German outsider Torquator Tasso is poetry in motion in 100th Arc

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German jockey Rene Piechulek crossing the finish line on “Torquator Tasso” to win in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe horse race at the Paris Longchamp course in Paris on October 3, 2021. (Photo: AFP)
PARIS — German outsider Torquator Tasso won the 100th running of France’s most iconic race, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, on Sunday to spring one of the biggest shocks in its history.اضافة اعلان

Rene Piechulek gave the 69/1 winner a dream ride to overhaul Irish runner Tarnawa, with English raider Hurricane Lane third.

Torquator Tasso’s victory — the first for Germany since Danedream in 2011 — rivals that of fellow German runner Star Appeal who won the 1975 edition at odds of 118/1.

Torquator Tasso cost just 24,000 euros as a yearling, a fraction of the amounts spent on several of his rivals. He repaid that sum handsomely — for winning the Arc his owner received a check for 2.86 million euros.

For trainer Marcel Weiss, whose winner is named after an Italian poet, Arc success has come early in his career as he is in just his second season.
“This is mega, this is beautiful, it is beautiful,” the 44-year-old gasped.
“I am stumbling for words. You cannot really go higher than a Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.”

Weiss admitted the horse had exceeded his expectations.
“To be fair he has won two Group One races and even though I thought it was one of the strongest Arcs of recent years I felt finishing fourth to sixth would have been worth it,” he said.

“The ground came in our favor and the race went as we wanted.” 
Piechulek, who has ridden the winner to three victories in four rides, was overjoyed.

“He was super relaxed throughout the race and once we reached the finishing straight he hit top gear,” said the 34-year-old, who received the trophy from Princess Anne.

“I had the luck to ride in this amazing race. It will only be tomorrow I will realize I had won.”

‘Very tough game’ 

With heavy rain having fallen on the Longchamp course all night — the usual presentation ceremony involving horse-drawn carriages pulled by horses was scrapped due to fears they might get stuck — he took full advantage and put a top-class field to the sword.

Epsom Derby winner Adayar had set the pace but he found little when challenged by stablemate Hurricane Lane.

The latter looked set to become the first English St Leger winner to add the Arc in the same year until Christophe Soumillon came at him on Tarnawa.

However, flashing down the outside came Piechulek and it was he who raised his finger to the crowd in victory — and the German national anthem rang out.
Tarnawa’s trainer Dermot Weld may have won two Melbourne Cups and many other major races round the world but he was left to rue a near miss at the age of 73.

“I have always rated German horses,” said the Irishman.

“I did say in one of my interviews beforehand this was a wide-open Arc and could well be one for an outsider.

“This is a very tough game and being a trainer is a very tough life. These are the knocks you take.

“I just wanted to win for His Highness the Aga Khan, as much as myself.”
Japanese hopes of victory and fulfilling a dream that began with their first runner 52 years ago ended in disappointment.

The better fancied of their duo, Chrono Genesis, shadowed pacesetter Adayar throughout and was second coming into the finishing straight.

However, Oisin Murphy could find nothing extra in the tank once the first three home came to challenge and he finished seventh.

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