Torquator Tasso Upsets Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe to Earn Breeders' Cup Berth

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German-bred Torquator Tasso (yellow and black silks) got up at the finish to win a thrilling edition of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on Oct. 3. (Eclipse Sportswire)

Torquator Tasso sprang a huge surprise with victory for Germany in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in Paris on Oct. 3.

Trainer Marcel Weiss had said in the build-up he had been hoping for a place "with a perfect race and perfect conditions" but the 2020 German Horse of the Year exceeded his expectations, rallying stoutly on the outside to gain the lead nearing the finish. He won by three-quarters of a length in a final time of 2:37.62 for 1 1/2 miles on at turf course rated as heavy.

After the shocking win at odds of 72-1, Weiss paid tribute to Torquator Tasso and to rider Rene Piechulek.

"He's a very strong horse," the trainer said of the winner. "And Rene is a very cool jockey."

In winning the Arc, Torquator Tasso picked up a "Win and You're In" berth for the Nov. 6 Longines Breeders' Cup Turf at Del Mar.

Tarnawa, winner of the 2020 Longines Turf, was second with Hurricane Lane third and Adayar fourth.

Torquator Tasso was a third German winner in the Arc after Star Appeal (1975) and Danedream (2011).

Trainer Dermot Weld was left rueing the rain for Tarnawa and said: "She's run a superb race. She was in great order coming into the race. Her speed was of limited value today.

"I honestly believe if we didn't have all the rain last night she'd have won. This had always been my target but second is a lonely place. When she won the Breeders' Cup she showed tremendous pace. When she won her two Group 1s here last year she showed a lot of pace. You didn't quite see that pace today because of the gluey ground.

"The Breeders' Cup Turf again or the (Maker’s Mark) Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf would be considered."

Owned by Gestut Auenquelle, Torquator Tasso had won the Grosser Preis von Baden at Baden-Baden and in the build-up to the Arc, and Weiss had warned: "He's always been special since he was a 2-year-old, he showed himself very early on, and he's done it right through his racing life. He's always improving.

"German horses have won the Arc and run well in it. There is not much respect for them from the bookmakers – but I hope we can prove them wrong!"–David Carr/Racing Post

Four other “Win and You’re In” races were held at Longchamp on Sunday. Zellie won the Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac, an automatic qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, Angel Bleu won the Qatar Prix Jean-Lug Lagardere, a Challenge Series race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, Rougir took the Prix de l’Opera Longines, a qualifier for the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, and A Case of You won the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines, a “Win and You’re” in prep for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.

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