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Cirrus des Aigles to return for a third crack.

Dubai: Eccentric French handler Corine Barande-Barbe is preparing to execute another big-race coup with her experienced stable star Cirrus des Aigles on QIPCO British Champions Day, the richest day in British racing at Ascot.

The Chantilly-based handler reports the seven-year-old to be at the top of his form ahead of a third crack at the EeAu1.3 million (Dh7.6 million) Champion Stakes (G1), a race that he majestically won in 2011 only to bow to the great Frankel last season.

Cirrus des Aigles has won two Group races on the bounce this season and appears to have impressed his handler to no end.

"Cirrus des Aigles came out of the [Prix du] Dollar in great shape and he will be at a peak on October 19," she said in an official press release.

"I have never doubted that he would return to his best form. I never wanted to push him as he needed time and his ground."

Other likely runners include Declaration Of War, The Fugue, Farhh, Mukhadram and Al Kazeem.

John Gosden is still to finalise plans and said: "The Fugue and Elusive Kate are both intended Champions Day runners at this stage.

"Elusive Kate would like a drop of rain while The Fugue needs better ground -- as ever, it is very much a case of watching the weather for her.

"I also hope to run Pomology in the British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes."

The Fugue won the Darley Yorkshire Oaks (G1) before defeating Al Kazeem and Trading Leather in the Irish Champion Stakes (G1).

Elusive Kate is on track for the EeAu1m Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (G1), a race in which she finished third last year.

He said: "The Fugue and Elusive Kate are both intended Champions Day runners at this stage.

"Elusive Kate would like a drop of rain while The Fugue needs better ground -- as ever, it is very much a case of watching the weather for her.

"I also hope to run Pomology in the British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes."

Meanwhile, Dalkala, a smart winner of the Prix de l'OpEara (G1) on Arc Day at Longchamp, is set to run in the EeAu500,000 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (G1).

"She has recovered very well from the Opera and she might have even needed the race," said Alain de Royer-Dupre.

"The distance is no problem as she has already won the Prix de Royallieu."

Amongst her rivals will be Talent, who won the Investec Oaks (G1) and ran second in the St Leger (G1) for trainer Ralph Beckett.

The Queen's filly Estimate, makes a long-awaited return to action since winning the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in June when she defends an unbeaten Ascot record in the EeAu200,000 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup (G1).

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute in Newmarket, Estimate is unbeaten in three races at the Royal racecourse.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Oct 13, 2013
Words:499
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