TORQUATOR TASSO WINS ARC
Torquator Tasso gave Germany a third victory in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe as he caused a seismic 80-1 upset in the ParisLongchamp showpiece on Sunday.
The Marcel Weiss-trained colt pounced late in the hands of Rene Piechulek to emulate compatriots Danedream in 2011 and Star Appeal in 1975.
Torquator Tasso got up close home to score from Dermot Weld’s Tarnawa and the Charlie Appleby-trained Hurricane Lane, whose stablemate Adayar was fourth after leading for much of the way.
Mojo Star and Hurricane Lane broke well from their inside draws, but William Buick soon hit the front on the free-running Adayar.
The Derby and King George hero entered the straight a few lengths to the good, but he tired in the final furlong. Tarnawa and Hurricane Lane came on strong towards the inside – but Torquator Tasso was the last to challenge and nabbed the pair in the dying strides.
Weiss, a former assistant to Jens Hershberger, is in just his second year with a licence. He trains 50 kilometres from Mulheim and is a private trainer for owner Gestut Auenquelle.
Weiss said: “That was beautiful. He’s a very nice horse, he’s all heart. He’s a very strong horse. That was amazing.
“Rene is a very cool jockey, very cool. It was his first ride in the race.
“It’s very hard to digest and put into words how I feel, but our plan was hatched last winter. I felt he deserved to go for it and my hopes rose when the ground came in our favour.
“We planned to chase the leading horses and launch our challenge wide into the straight. It’s a long straight and we knew he would finish strongly.
“I had 20 years as an assistant before taking the reins two years ago and I’m so pleased the owner turned down an offer for the horse.
“He could go to Japan, but let’s get him back and see how he is in the next week or so.”
Reflecting further, Weiss said: “It’s very, very difficult to understand I’ve won this race.
“Before the Arc, he’s produced some very good performances – he’s a dual Group 1 winner and a Group 2 winner already. Even though I thought this was the strongest Arc of the last few years, we thought he deserved to run.
“We would have been very happy if he’d finished third, fourth, fifth or sixth – we would have considered that a success.
“The race itself went as we wanted. We wanted him to challenge on the outside, and launch himself in the straight. That he has won is a bonus.
“I’m just so happy I got to train a horse like Torquator Tasso, who was already a star in Germany. His owners refused an offer that was made, so I’m delighted to have him in my yard.
“You can’t really go higher than the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – I’ve dreamt about it, and now I’ve won it. It’s absolutely unreal.”
Piechulek said: “I think it will be only tomorrow that I realise what it really means to win this race.
“I wanted to be in position, when we got into the final straight, to really launch my horse – because he really quickens and gets faster the longer the straight is.
“I know the horse and am thankful the owner trusted me to ride him, even though I had never ridden in the Arc before.
“When I got out of the stalls there wasn’t a lot of pace. I tried to get as close to the leading horses as possible.” – Sportinglife.com
Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe result
1st – TORQUATOR TASSO 80/1
2nd – Tarnawa 5/1
3rd – Hurricane Lane 5/2 favourite
4th – Adayar 3/1
5th – Sealiway 33/1