An enduring tale of France's most popular horse took another twist today when Cirrus Des Aigles was disqualified after finishing first past the post in what would have been his fourth victory in Longchamp's Prix Dollar.
The Parisian stewards are famously strict when it comes to interference, and trainer Corine Barande-Barbe and especially jockey Christophe Soumillon looked resigned to their fate, with the eight-year-old having leaned towards Fractional and stopped Planetaire in his tracks further behind.
There were still positives to be taken, as Cirrus Des Aigles was having his first outing since pulling up lame after winning June's Coronation Cup and can be targeted towards the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot in a fortnight with his reputation intact.
Six times a Group One hero, including the 2011 Champion, Cirrus Des Aigles was required to make much of the running and looked as if he would be deprived by Fractional on the track itself before throwing a desperate neck out in front of the Godolphin challenger on the line.
He was, though, demoted to fifth, with the Andre Fabre-trained Fractional given the title ahead of Hippy.
"It's quite an emotional feeling, tempered because you don't want to win a race in the stewards' room and I'm sorry for all the fans of Cirrus Des Aigles" - Lisa-Jane Graffard
Barande-Barbe said: "He has still won the race, and he was off for a long time, so I'm still very happy.
"It's his fifth run in the Dollar and it would have been his fourth win. I'm always proud of him.
"He will travel over to Ascot on the Friday as always, and he will tell us what he does before then. I'm just the trainer on paper."
Lisa-Jane Graffard of Godolphin France said: "The target was to win a Group Two in 2012 before he got an injury and this is testament to the patience of Sheikh Mohammed and Andre Fabre.
"He was supplemented after he won a Group Three at Maisons-Laffitte last time.
"It's quite an emotional feeling, tempered because you don't want to win a race in the stewards' room and I'm sorry for all the fans of Cirrus Des Aigles. There are no plans for him at the moment."
Freddy Head was naming some big targets for Solow, who flew down the middle of the track under Olivier Peslier in the Prix Daniel Wildenstein.
While not as visually impressive as he had been at Deauville previously, the grey reeled in the Aga Khan's Veda and came half a length past.
Head said: "I was very confident coming here, and that wasn't as easy as I thought, but he's a very good horse.
"He'll probably go abroad now, maybe to Hong Kong and after that March in Dubai. Maybe for the World Cup, we'll see."
Hughie Morrison's Vent De Force went within half a length of collecting the opening event on Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe weekend, the Prix Chaudenay.
A winner three times this season, including the Melrose at York, the three-year-old colt was in front at the top of the straight but was eventually he was worn down by Auvray.
Christabelle Goodwin, of Vent De Force's owners The Fairy Story Partnership, said: "We're absolutely delighted as we didn't think he liked fast ground, his one bad run this year was on good to firm at Newmarket."
Her husband Ed said: "We'll look at coming back for the Prix Royal Oak (French Leger)."
The winner represented several connections of major Arc contenders.
Jockey Gregory Benoist and trainer Elie Lellouche will combine with Ectot, while Gerard Augustin-Normand part-owns that colt but and has the filly Avenir Certain involved.
Venetia Augustin-Normand, said: "That was a great training performance and a great ride. To have a winner on Arc weekend is magnificent."
There was a Spanish theme to the Prix de Royallieu as Frine burst through under Gerald Mosse.
Owner the Duc of Alburquerque switched the High Chaparral filly to his compatriot Carlos Laffon-Parias this summer after she outgrew the Iberian racing scene and made an immediate impact for her Arc-winning trainer when collaring the brave Mayhem close home.
"The Duke sent me her after her run in the Prix de Pomone and this means a lot as he gave me a lot of winners when I was a jockey," said Laffon-Parias.
"She's a tough filly and could go for the Royal Oak, maybe."