Tarnawa’s (9/4 Breeders’ Cup Turf) trainer Dermot Weld says his horse would have won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp had it not rained so heavily overnight.
In what is Europe’s richest and most prestigious sprint race, 80/1 outsider Torquator Tasso, saddled by Rene Piechulek, defeated more illustrious competition to take the big prize.
He finished three-quarters of a length in front of Tarnawa, with pre-race favourite Hurricane Lane rounding out the top three.
The win meant he was just the third German horse to win the Arc, ten years after Danedream was successful.
For Tarnawa, it will be a case of what might have been with the five-year-old riding well through the mile-and-a-half race.
However, the Marcel Weiss outsider then came through the pack and held on for victory.
Weld says the rain scuppered any chance of success and is already targeting races further ahead with two Breeders’ Cup races among options on the agenda for the mare (5/1 British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes).
“I honestly believe if we didn’t have all the rain last night she’d have won,” the trainer lamented.
“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 Breeders’ Cup Fillies and Mares would be considered.”
Adayar (8/1 Champions Stakes) led half way through the race after being drawn on the outside but jockey William Buick couldn’t get any more out of the Derby and King George winner.
Trainer Charlie Appleby was also disappointed with the ground conditions but thinks the three-year-old will have a chance next year.
He said: “William said he didn’t like the ground – he was going in it not going through it.
“Coming back on decent ground next year I can see this horse being at the top of his game between ten furlongs and a mile and a half. Turning in you felt William’s got everything right and he went there to go and win the race. We knew the challengers were going to come with that late run.”
In a day of Group One races, Zellie won the Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac before Angel Bleu took victory in the Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere.
After the Arc, Rougir won the Prix de l’Opera Longines before A Case Of You came home to win the de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines.
The last race of the day saw Space Blues win the Qatar Prix de la Foret.