Air De Valse fuels Royal Ascot dreams

Corine Barande-Barbe’s Air De Valse could be aimed at Royal Ascot next year after her valiant runner-up effort in the Prix de l’Abbaye at ParisLongchamp.

The five-year-old was sent to post at 48-1 for Sunday’s Group One sprint, odds she defied from the off when shooting from the stalls and setting the pace from the inside rail.

She galloped clear of the field with only a furlong remaining, and only Ado McGuinness’ A Case Of You could lay down a challenge,  eventually catching the mare to deny her by a short-head – with the pair five lengths ahead of their rivals.

Air De Valse is reported to be in fine fettle following the performance, with the Group Three Prix de Seine-et-Oise on October 26 next on her agenda and several international races also under consideration.

“She’s very well, she’s even better than before the race,” said Barande-Barbe, who bred, owns and trains the mare.

“Her rider told me that yesterday and this morning.

“I’m very proud because I bred her – she is like Cinderella. She can beat very, very good horses – she nearly won a Group One, and it was a great moment.

“She might run at the end of the month. She has a Group Three at Chantilly, and she might be entered in Hong Kong.

“I think she might prefer a straight line, so we’ll she if she’s invited to Dubai.”

Qipco British Champions Day on October 16 will come too soon for the chestnut, but Barande-Barbe already has an eye on the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot next June.

“There is a race at Ascot (British Champions Sprint Stakes) – but it comes very soon, and she’s not entered.

“We don’t know how the going will be for six furlongs, so maybe we will come over for the five-furlong race next spring at Royal Ascot.

“That would be a very good race for her. I think she’s a bit better over five furlongs, and there are not many races.

“She has fantastic speed. When you see the race last Sunday from the skies, she really jumped out of the gate.”

Air De Valse’s success is still more significant to Barande-Barbe, because she is closely-related to Cirrus Des Aigles – the horse with whom she will always be associated with after she guided him to 22 victories, including seven at Group One level.

“Her (Air De Valse) sire, Mesnil Des Aigles, is Cirrus Des Aigles’ brother, so he’s her uncle,” said Barande-Barbe.

“Cirrus Des Aigles’ career was like a dream, and now we have a bit of the dream coming back – which is very nice, because you get used to living in a dream!”

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