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  • Cirrus Fends Off Nic In Sheema Classic

Dubai Sheema Classic Presented By Longines (Group 1) (Turf) 1m 4f

  • (3yo+, 1m 4f, Class 1, 10 runners)
  • Winner 10,463,894 2nd 3,958,029 3rd 1,966,209 4th 899,886 5th 453,600 6th 270,697
  • Going: Good
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Off time: 18:00:52
  • Last Updated: March 31 2012, 19:02 BST

Cirrus Des Aigles held off the challenge of St Nicholas Abbey to land the Dubai Sheema Classic.

Cirrus Des Aigles: Fends off St Nicholas Abbey
Cirrus Des Aigles: Fends off St Nicholas Abbey

The Ascot winner was in a prominent position throughout and was able to quicken clear off the pedestrian pace set by Bold Silvano.

Olivier Peslier had to pull out all the stops but his mount, trained by Corine Barande-Barbe, held on to score by a neck.

Joseph O'Brien had to sit and wait for a gap on his mount and once in the clear he started to gain ground, but just couldn't reel in the winner.

Marco Botti's Jakkalberry ran a career-best in third, with Treasure Beach fading back into fourth.

Peslier said: "I'm very happy and especially happy because yesterday it was Corine's birthday and this has made me both proud and happy to give this gift for her.

"I must also thank Christophe (Soumillon) as I had never ridden the horse before and he gave me some valuable tips.

"In the last 100 meters I knew he (St Nicholas Abbey) was coming but the trainer said don't worry the horse is very tough, every time you ask him he is very competitive.

"I am very happy for the horse and for the team."

Barande-Barbe said of her gelding: "He likes to fight - if there is a horse in front he wants to pass, if it comes from behind it pushes him. I was very happy, he gets better and better and it's like a dream that never stops.

"If the pace had been much quicker he would have finished, if the pace was not fast he can do it on his own."

O'Brien said: "He has run a very good race and Joseph did a good job on him."

Newmarket-based trainer Marco Botti, responsible for third-placed Jakkalberry, said: "I'm very pleased with that run. He stays very well and so we knew he would finish.

"Beforehand we were hoping to be placed so I suppose we have achieved our goal.

"Fifty per cent of the horse is owned by Australians and although we will think about Royal Ascot in June I think long term, the Melbourne Cup will be plan."