Gestut Auenquelle’s Torquator Tasso, at odds of 72/1, swept down the outside to give Germany a memorable victory in a pulsating Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1). The winner gained an automatic place in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, California, on Nov. 5-6.
The Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe was the centerpiece of five Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races on Sunday at ParisLongchamp. (Race reports appear below).
Following a weekend of substantial rain, 14 horses went to post over a course listed as heavy. Broome (IRE) led the field in a slowly run contest, the 100th edition of the famous race, before Cazoo Derby (G1) winner Adayar (IRE) took up the running under William Buick. Adayar remained in front until the final furlong, only for his stablemate Hurricane Lane (IRE) and leading Irish fancy Tarnawa (IRE) to edge past him. However, a late run from trainer Marcel Weiss’ huge outsider Torquator Tasso saw him pull clear by three-quarters of a length for jockey Rene Piechulek, beating Tarnawa in second and Hurricane Lane a short head further back in third.
Arc de Triomphe Replay
Torquator Tasso, Germany’s Horse of the Year in 2020, is just the third German-trained winner of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe after Star Appeal (IRE) in 1975 and Danedream (GER) in 2011.
Reacting to his victory, winning trainer Weiss, who is only in his second year with a training license, 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.”
H.H. Aga Khan’s Tarnawa went very close to giving Dermot Weld a first Arc and her odds for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), which she won last year, were cut into 11-4 from 7-2.
Weld 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 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) again or the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) would be considered. I’ll speak with His Highness and decide, but the Breeders’ Cup is a definite possibility.”
Torquator Tasso, a bay son of Adlerflug (GER) out of the Toylsome (GB) mare Tijuana (GER), finished the 1 ½ miles in 2:37:62 over a course listed as heavy.
Zellie Wins Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac – Criterium des Pouliches
Al Wasmiyah Farm’s Zellie (FR) showed a fantastic attitude to accelerate up the inside rail under Oisin Murphy to give her trainer Andre Fabre a first Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac – Criterium des Pouliches (G1) success since 1995. Zellie’s victory gives her an automatic place in the US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).
Andre Fabre’s unbeaten filly Raclette (GB) was declared a non-runner on the morning of the race due to the heavy conditions, but her stablemate Zellie proved to be a more than able deputy. Fleur D’Iris (GB) and Agartha (IRE) set fast early fractions, but the pair were unable to keep up the gallop. Times Square (FR) and Oscula (IRE) finished second and third respectively.
Zellie, a bay daughter of Wootton Bassett (GB) out of the Nathaniel (IRE) mare Sarai (GB), had won her first three starts but had finished second behind Oscula (IRE) in the Prix Six Perfections Sky Sports Racing (G3) and second behind Fleur D’Iris in the Prix d’Aumale (G3) on her last two starts.
Zellie, the 4-1 second favorite, completed the 1-mile in 1:42:67.
Andre Fabre after the race said:” Zellie is a nice, uncomplicated filly who has been so consistent. She is finished for the season, and I don’t think she’ll go much further than a mile next year. It’ll be either the QIPCO 1000 Guineas (G1) or the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches(G1).”
Angel Bleu wins the Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere
Marc Chan’s Angel Bleu (FR) ran down the long-time leader Noble Truth (FR) to win the Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (G1), a “Win and You’re In” race for the US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).
The bay son of Dark Angel (IRE) out of the Galileo (IRE) mare Cercle De La Vie (IRE) settled towards the back of the field on the inside before being produced by jockey Frankie Dettori late on to get up near the finish. Angel Bleu finished the race in 1:24:57. The Charlie Appleby-trained Noble Truth (FR) finished second with the Aidan O’Brien-trained Ancient Rome (USA) back in third.
It was Ralph Beckett’s first Group 1 success since Simple Verse (IRE) won the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (G1) in 2015. After the race Beckett said: “It was a great ride. He’s very tough. He’s really progressed into a real man. He could reappear in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes (G1) next Saturday.”
Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere Replay
Rougir edges out Grand Glory for Group 1 Glory in Prix de l’Opera Longines
Le Haras de la Gousserie’s Rougir (FR) secured her place in the US$2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) by winning a thrilling renewal of the 1 ¼-mile Prix de l’Opera Longines (G1).
Trained by Cedric Rossi, Rougir had yet to win in six starts in 2021 but under a determined drive from Maxime Guyon, the daughter of Territories (IRE) just got the better of Grand Glory (GB) and Frankie Dettori to win by a nose. Eudaimonia (FR) was back in third, with Audarya (FR), the 2020 Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf champion, in fourth.
Rougir, a chestnut daughter of Territories (IRE) out of the Elusive City (USA) mare Summer Moon (FR), finished the race in 2:11:15.
A Case Of You leaves it late in the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines
Gary Devlin’s A Case Of You (IRE) got up in the shadows of the post under Ronan Whelan to win the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines (G1) and secured his spot in the US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1).
A Case Of You had finished runner up by half a length to Romantic Proposal (IRE) in the “Win and You’re In” Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes (G1) at The Curragh on his last start and built on that run to give trainer Adrian McGuinness a first Group 1 victory.
Air De Valse (FR) had kicked clear in the closing stages, but she just failed to hang on with a short head the winning distance. Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) winner Glass Slippers (GB), who on the 2019, Prix de l’Abbaye, finished second in 2020 and finished a gallant third today.
An ecstatic Adrian McGuinness declared after the race that a trip to Del Mar could be on the cards for the 3-year-old colt. He said: “I thought we were going to be second again! I am thrilled to bits with him. He’s a fabulous horse who is only going to improve. There’s a very, very big possibility we are going to go to the Breeders’ Cup. I think he’s a better horse around a bend.”
A Case Of You, a bay son of Hot Streak (IRE) out of the Key Of Luck (USA) mare Karjera (IRE), finished the 5-furlong contest in 58:02.