Multiple Group 1 Winner Cirrus Des Aigles Retired

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Cirrus Des Aigles | Scoop Dyga

Cirrus Des Aigles (Fr) (Even Top {Ire}), a seven-time Group 1 winner in three different countries, has been retired from racing by his trainer Corine Barande-Barbe at the age of 10. Barande-Barbe used the horse’s Facebook page to announce on Monday that the popular veteran has some calcification on his oblique sesamoid ligament which could be damaged irreparably if he is subjected to intense work. It read, “Dear friends, I will race no more. Don’t worry, it is nothing serious. I’m in good form and I am still pulling Zoe’s arms out at canter every morning. [The injury] doesn’t bother me in daily exercise but an intense effort could cause the ligament to rupture.”

The Cartier Older Horse of the Year in 2011 began his winning on the sand more than three months before his official third birthday, landing the Prix des Maures at Cagnes-Sur-Mer in January 2009 for owner Jean-Claude-Alain Dupouy. From relatively humble beginnings and one of just a few winners on the Flat for his sire, the G1 2000 Guineas runner-up Even Top, Cirrus Des Aigles became a byword for longevity. He added another 21 victories to his record in the ensuing years, earning more than £6 million from his 67 appearances in eight consecutive seasons. Nineteen of his wins came in his native France, generally when there was plenty of cut in the ground, but he also raced in England, Ireland, Dubai, Hong Kong and Japan, sharing the billing with Frankel (GB) (Galileo {Ire}) when winning the G1 QIPCO Champion S. on the inaugural British Champions Day at Ascot, as well as overhauling Flintshire (GB) (Dansili {GB}) in the G1 Coronation Cup at Epsom and St Nicholas Abbey (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}) in the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic.

Having been gelded as a young horse, Cirrus Des Aigles was never able to contest the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe but he nevertheless won 13 times at Longchamp, including three runnings of the G1 Prix Ganay. That race was to provide his last hurrah in May 2015 when the rain-softened turf played into his hands to enable him to defeat Al Kazeem (GB) by a length and three-quarters. He returned to the track on another five occasions last season but was unable to recapture the glory days, despite a valiant effort when fourth to Saturday’s runaway Dubai Gold Cup winner Vazirabad (Fr) in the G1 Prix Royal-Oak in October when tried for the first time over two miles.

Few Flat horses have amassed such a following around the world as the veteran gelding from one of Chantilly’s smallest stables, but then few are able to race so consistently over such an extended period of time. Barande-Barbe has stated that Cirrus Des Aigles, who retires sound, will continue to be hacked regularly through the forest at Chantilly while she and jockey Christophe Soumillon find him a permanent retirement home nearby.

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