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TDN MAGAZINE: Is This the Death of Synthetic Racing? And If So, Why?: Lucas Marquardt takes an in-depth look at the controversy and the myths about synthetic surfaces, and based on their substantially better safety record when it comes to catastrophic breakdown, asks the question, "Is the American Thoroughbred better off without them?" Click here for more.
Top News in Monday's TDN
So Easy For Aigles In the Ganay
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15.40 at LCPG1 Prix Ganay - Prix Air Mauritius  [1 5/16m (T)]Winner: Cirrus des Aigles (Fr), g, 6 by Even Top (Ire)

SWOOPING AIGLES
   
Cirrus des Aigles (Fr) (Even Top {Ire}) had to travel overseas for his first taste of top-level success in the Champion S., but yesterday's homecoming for Longchamp's Prix Ganay had a special feel to it as he outclassed his rivals to add a first domestic Group 1 to his ever-growing tally. Sent off the 7-10 favorite having confirmed his lofty status in the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan Mar. 31, the bay was soon at the head under Olivier Peslier and that jockey was simply a passenger throughout. Extending his advantage in the straight, the 6-year-old, who was enjoying his 42nd lifetime start, was always in hand en route to an eight-length success from Giofra (GB) (Dansili {GB}). "What new words can I use to him?" trainer Corine Barande-Barbe said. "He is a dream who does everything every time--he is just extraordinary. I am very happy that he has now won a Group I in France."

Sunday, Longchamp, France
PRIX GANAY - PRIX AIR MAURITIUS-G1
, €300,000, Longchamp, 4-29, 4yo/up, 1 5/16mT, 2:18.90, hy.
1--CIRRUS DES AIGLES (FR), 128, g, 6, by Even Top (Ire)
   
     1st Dam: Taille de Guepe (Fr), by Septieme Ciel
   
     2nd Dam: Roots (Fr), by Funambule
   
     3rd Dam: Ruma (Fr), by Rheffic (Fr)
O-Jean-Claude-Alain Dupouy & Xavier Niel; B-Yvon
Lelimouzin & Benoit Deschamps; T-Corine
Barande-Barbe; J-Olivier Peslier; €171,420. Lifetime
Record: Ch. Older Horse-Eur, Hwt. Older Horse-Fr &
Eng at 9.5-11f, Hwt. Older Horse-Fr at 11-14f,
G1SW-Eng & UAE, 42 starts, 15 wins, 25 places,
€4,361,865. Werk Nick Rating: A++. 
Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2--Giofra (GB), 125, f, 4, Dansili (GB)--Gracefully (Ire),
by Orpen. O/B-Haras de la Perelle; T-Alain de
Royer-Dupre; €68,580.
3--Reliable Man (GB), 128, c, 4, Dalakhani (Ire)--On Fair
Stage (Ire), by Sadler's Wells. O-Pride Racing Club;
B-NP Bloodstock; T-Alain de Royer-Dupre; €34,290.
Margins: 8, 2, 8. Odds: 0.70, 3.20, 4.20.
Also Ran: Wigmore Hall (Ire), Saga Dream (Fr), Pagera (Fr).
Click for the Racing Post chart or the free brisnet.com catalogue-style pedigree.
   Cirrus des Aigles never had much commercial appeal, being by the virtually unknown Even Top, whose claim to fame was being beaten pixels by Mark of Esteem (Ire) in the 1996 G1 2000 Guineas and who has hardly bred another winner. Now that he is an international performer of real renown, the decision to geld him has taken on extra significance as he is obviously made of serious material. Owned by the little-known partnership of Jean-Claude-Alain Dupouy and Xavier Niel and trained by Corine Barande-Barbe, who has long carried out her profession on the fringes, the 6-year-old has come from nowhere to emerge as France's worst-kept secret over the past 12 months.
   Inching ever closer to the big time prior to his breakthrough when third and second respectively in this race and the G1 Prix d'Ispahan here last spring, he tacked another second in the G1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud on to his record in between authoritative wins in the G3 La Coupe at this course and G3 Grand Prix de Vichy in the summer. In two weeks at Deauville, he had annexed the G3 Prix Gontaut-Biron and G2 Grand Prix de Deauville by a cumulative margin of 18 lengths. After a second in the G2 Prix Dollar back at this circuit at the start of October, he shipped to Ascot a fortnight later to deny So You Think (NZ) (High Chaparral {Ire}) the laurels on that sun-baked Champions' Day. Only two-lengths fifth in the G1 Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin in December, he was surprisingly beaten by the smart Zazou (Ger) (Shamardal) on his Dubai warm-up in a conditions event over 1 3/16mile on Chantilly's Polytrack Mar. 3 but was in front where it mattered on World Cup night having got first run on St Nicholas Abbey (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}).
   As soon as Peslier was allowed a near two-length advantage in the early stages here, the contest was as good as over and it seemed up the straight that the more the de Royer-Dupre pair of Giofra and Reliable Man tried, the easier the task was for the favorite as he coasted to a landmark win. "Now we have many choices," Barande Barbe added. "We could go to Kranji for the [May 20] G1 Singapore Airlines Cup, even though it comes up quite quick, or try the G1 Prince of Wales's S. [at Royal Ascot June June 20] or [June 24] G1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud. We will decide in time and let him tell us, but he didn't seem to have a hard race there." Alain de Royer-Dupre said of the second and third, "The filly ran a good race, but the heavy ground was probably against her and the winner is unbeatable in that. Reliable Man ran a good race, as he probably needed it and we could consider the Prince of Wales's S. for him."

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