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Cirrus Des Aigles - Prix Dollar - Longchamp 6.10.12

Cirrus Des Aigles: one of several European runners set for Sha Tin races

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

Europeans held up by track conditions

Hong Kong: The rain-softened turf track at Sha Tin is giving connections of European runners a headache as they prepare for Sunday's international races.

Most visitors, including Hong Kong Cup candidates Cirrus Des Aigles and Saonois, were forced to work on the dirt track on Monday due to unseasonal rainfall.

Jean-Jacques Poincelet, assistant to Cirrus Des Aigles trainer Corine Barande-Barbe, said: “Cirrus did not do much today. With such weather, the track condition is not right for a real piece of work.

"The old man is all right, as usual. I could say that he travelled better than last year but as you might have noticed, I say that every year! We have not been lucky here the last few years but everything seems to have fallen in the right place for us this time.”

Jean-Pierre Gauvin, trainer of Prix du Jockey Club winner Saonois, said: “Saonois travelled very well and never left anything in his feed box – he’s a pony, really. I would rather favour the turf in the next few days. He should gallop on grass tomorrow and on Friday. I would like the rain to stop to give us a better track."

Another Hong Kong Cup runner, the Queen's Carlton House, was reported well on Monday. Sarah Denniff, travelling head lass to trainer Sir Michael Stoute, said: “He’s nice and fresh today and we’re really pleased with him. Although he lost 20lb on the journey here he has already put most of that back on.

"We’ll probably breeze him on Thursday, and the trainer will be here by then."

Other European runners in action at Hong Kong on Sunday include Dunaden, Red Cadeaux, Joshua Tree and Gordon Lord Byron.

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