Cirrus Des Aigles: popular eight-year-old set to take on Arc heroine TrevePICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Treve and Des Aigles set for Ganay showdown
UNBEATEN Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heroine Treve and Corine Barande-Barbe's popular eight-year-old Cirrus Des Aigles are reported to be in fine form ahead of Sunday's opening Group 1 of the European season, the Prix Ganay at Longchamp.
The pair featured among eight names to go forward after Wednesday's forfeit stage, at which Just The Judge was a notable absentee following her comeback fifth at Newmarket last week.
Treve will have the assistance of pacemaker Belle De Crecy as she bids to add a fourth Group 1 to victories in the Prix de Diane, Prix Vermeille and the Arc.
"We need to see her back on the course because, although she has done all we have asked of her in the mornings, it all comes very easily to her - it is what she is used to." Criquette Head-Maarek told the Equidia racing channel.
"She will be up against Cirrus Des Aigles, she will have a pacemaker to ensure it is a proper race and then it will be a case of 'may the best horse win'."
Cirrus Des Aigles was last seen when second to the impressive Gentildonna in the Dubai Sheema Classic at the end of March.
"It will be a great race and it is an opportunity to run against a true champion," said Barande-Barbe. "It isn't the first time - he has come up against Goldikova, Frankel and Sarafina - and because he is a gelding we cannot pick and choose where he runs so much."
Smoking Sun came out on top against Norse King, Triple Threat and Baltic Baroness in the Prix d'Harcourt, with all four remaining among the possible runners.
"We have accepted an invitation to run in the Singapore Cup in mid-May," said Alan Cooper, racing manager to the Niarchos family who own Smoking Sun.
"We've left him in at the first forfeit and we'll decide later in the week if he has another race before Singapore or goes straight there."