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Cirrus des Aigles soars in Sheema Classic

March 31, 2012 at 1:36 PM

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, March 31 (UPI) -- Cirrus des Aigles, once a lightly regarded and questionably bred horse, upended the bluebloods again Saturday in the $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic.

Cirrus des Aigles, with Olivier Peslier up for his French connections, sat off the early speed, went to the front on the turn and held off last year's Breeders' Cup Turf winner St Nicholas Abbey at the end to win by a neck. Jakkalberry got by Treasure Beach in deep stretch to finish third.

The 2,410 meters, or about 1 1/2 miles, on the Meydan Race Course turf took 2:31.3.

The winner, a French-bred by Even Top, was gelded early in his career because of his unruly behavior. Despite early flashes of talent, he did not begin to blossom until last year, when he beat So You Think in the Champion Stakes, then finished a close fifth in a hotly contested Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup.

Cirrus des Aigles, now is the winner of 14 of his 41 starts but has been worse than third only six times. His victory Saturday gives his trainer, Corine Barande Barbe, a wide open path to plot the remainder of his 2012 campaign.

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