QATAR PRIX DE L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE (GROUP 1)
The 100th edition of the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe gave rise to a huge surprise following the victory of the German colt Torquator Tasso. Ridden by 34-year-old Rene Piechulek, who was riding this race for the first time, Torquator Tasso came from off the pace to pip the favourite Tarnawa, ridden by Christophe Soumillon, with the two Godolphin representatives, Hurricane Lane and Adayar, finishing third and fourth respectively. Sealiway was the first home of the French contingent in fifth.
Torquator Tasso had earned his ticket to ParisLongchamp following his win in the Grosser Preis von Baden on September 5.
It marked the third victory at Group 1 level for the Rene Piechulek and Marcel Weiss team. Marcel Weiss, the horse's trainer, had previously worked for Torquator Tasso's owners, the Gestüt Auenquelle, the racing concern of Peter Michael Endres and Karl-Dieter Ellerbracke, for 14 years. He only became their trainer in November 2019, having previously acted as assistant to Jens Hirschberger. This is the first Group 1 outside of Germany for this historic stable.
The last German success in the French feature came in 2011 via Danedream, who similarly had also won the Grosser Preis von Baden before going on to greater glory at ParisLongchamp.
Marcel Weiss (the trainer of Torquator Tasso (1st)
« I’m lost for words. I can't believe I’ve won this. I started thinking about the Arc over the winter as he had already proven himself to be a class act at 3. He has done very well this year, having won at Gr2 and Gr1 level [prior to this]. But given the sheer quality of the field for the centenary edition of the Arc, we would have been delighted to be fourth or fifth. The ground helped him. He was able to come with a run on the outside as we had planned. I have been training at Mulheim for two years, but I have been working for the Gestüt Auenquelle for many years prior to that. The owners of Torquator Tasso turned down some big offers for the horse, and I am delighted to be able to train him. He is a star. We will discuss his future programme next week, which may take in Japan. »
Rene Piechulek (the jockey of Torquator Tasso (1st)
«This is the first time that I have ridden in the Arc. It was a great opportunity and I thank all the connections. It won’t sink in until tomorrow that I've won! I wanted to be quite close to the pace when turning into the straight. The horse has a superb power of acceleration and he showed that alright. »
Peter Michael Endras (co-owner of Torquator Tasso (1st)
« It's absolutely incredible. It's the best race in the world. We are breeders and we bought Torquator Tasso, as we do from time to time, on the advice of our trainer. He had already trained the high class Adlerflurg for us. We are very lucky. »
Christophe Soumillon (the jockey of Tarnawa (2nd)
« I'm not disappointed as we had a great race. We have nothing to be ashamed of: the winner had a three wide trip throughout the race, and he was in front of my mount for the duration of the straight, and he beat me by three-quarters of a length. If I had been beaten by a nose, after being unlucky in the straight, I might have felt disgusted, but I wasn't. I think the ground was a bit too sticky for Tarnawa. She came out of the boxes well and we had a dream run. On the false straight I thought it was there for the taking. I had to shift out 300m from the post, and when I came to take the lead, I glanced to the left and thought, "But it can't be, where did this one come from?" I'm delighted with Tarnawa. Congratulations to her team as they have done a great job. She has only run twice this year [prior to this] and had just run on good ground at Leopardstown. She is a 5-year-old and there is nothing more to say. I hope that she gets the chance to win a nice race abroad before the end of the season. She's a superstar, she's second in the Arc. I think that given slightly less sticky ground that we would have played the leading role today. »
Dermot Weld (the trainer of Tarnawa (2nd)
« The sticky ground made the difference. The mare had a good run on the rails and was right where she needed to be. She didn’t have the required speed at the finish, and she lacked a little something when it came to winning the race, and it's a shame because all her preparations have gone perfectly, and I was really confident. Regarding the rest of her programme, I will discuss it with His Highness the Aga Khan, but a crack at the Breeders' Cup is a possibility. »
Charlie Appleby (the trainer of Hurricane Lane (3rd) and Adayar (4th)
«Hurricane Lane ran a very good race. He ran to his usual mark and his effort can’t be faulted He will make a very good 4-y-old, but he has already done very well this season.
Adayar started well, too well in fact, and he was in front very early on, and he usually likes to have other horses in his sights. When he upped the tempo, he took the lead only to weaken in the closing stages. It's difficult to kick for home early on sticky ground. I think he'll stay in training at four, and he'll be at home over trips ranging from 2,000 (10f) to 2,400 metres (12f). »
Cédric Rossi (the trainer of Sealiway (5th)
« We can only be satisfied with such a reappearance! At the beginning of the straight we thought it could be even better, but he still produced a great finish. Before the race one could have thought that Sealiway would need the race. One thing is for sure: his fifth place shows us that we are working well (laughing). It’s obvious that we can dream of trying our luck in the Breeders' Cup Turf. »
Pauline Cheboub (the co-owner of Sealiway (5th)
«What's great is that he's a colt who's going to improve greatly for the race. There was big gap between the Prix du Jockey-Club and today, but he is an exceptional horse. He was the best French 2-y-old, and he’s now the best 3-y-old in France! I won't hide the fact that it was not easy to prepare him for such a race as we are a young team. His jockey, Franck Blondel, knows him by heart as he rides him every morning. He will race again this year: either in the Breeders' Cup Turf or at Ascot. »
Download video free of rights of the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (credit France Galop): https://we.tl/t-AYeHdabQ7x
Replay of the press conference: https://youtu.be/_1AjJ81I4AE
On board cameras of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe :
- Tarnawa and Christophe Soumillon : https://youtu.be/8QSLJP3y-IE
- Deep Bond and Mickaël Barzalona : https://youtu.be/WMsWIcqONxw
- WeTransfer of on board cameras: https://we.tl/t-Hxx6GjBP9u