Torquator Tasso pulls off upset for the ages at Arc de Triomphe as 72-1 winner becomes biggest outsider to triumph at Longchamp since 1975
- Torquator Tasso had a starting price of 100-1 and went off at 72-1
- Four-year-old horse is biggest outsider to land Europe’s richest race since 1975
- Tarnawa comes second, three-quarters of a length behind Torquator Tasso
- Derby winner Adayar well beaten in fourth, while Hurricane Lane comes third
German-trained outsider Torquator Tasso crushed British and Irish hopes yesterday in one of the biggest shocks in the 100-year history of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
The four-year-old, who had won two Group One races in Germany, was available to back at 100-1 on Sunday morning with British bookmakers.
Torquator Tasso was sent off at a starting price of 72-1 and at 69-1 on the Pari-Mutuel (PMU), the French equivalent of the Tote.
Torquator Tasso pulled off a shock for the ages on Sunday in Paris at the Arc de Triomphe
He is the biggest outsider to land Europe’s richest race since German-trained Star Appeal, ridden by British jockey Greville Starkey, won in 1975 with the PMU paying 118-1.
But this was no fluke and there were no hard-luck stories as Torquator Tasso added his name to an Arc roll of honour alongside Dancing Brave, Enable, Mill Reef, Sea Bird and Sea The Stars.
Torquator Tasso, carrying silks in the colours of the German flag, beat Dermot Weld-trained second favourite Tarnawa three-quarters of a length.
Charlie Appleby-trained favourite Hurricane Lane was a short head further back in third with his Derby-winning stablemate Adayar beaten three lengths in fourth.
The four-year-old is the biggest outsider to land Europe’s richest horse race since 1975
The decisive factor was the Longchamp ground, which had turned heavy after an inch of rain overnight. German horses typically act on testing ground and show fine stamina.
Torquator Tasso, who finished second to 2020 Arc runner-up In Swoop in last season’s German Derby, did just that.
Danedream became just the second German-trained horse to win the Arc, in 2011, but she was only a 20-1 shot.
Winning jockey Rene Piechulek had never run at the Arc de Triomphe until Sunday
Yesterday’s surprise win had many searching Google for Marcel Weiss, — the 44-year-old winning trainer who only started at the end of 2019 when he took over the stable of Jens Hirschberger — and jockey Rene Piechulek, a 34-year-old former champion apprentice in Germany.
The pair, neither of whom had even had an Arc runner before yesterday, looked shell-shocked as they tried to take in what they had achieved.
Weiss, who trains just over 50 horses at Mulheim racecourse near Cologne as a private trainer for winning owner Gestut Auenquelle, said:
‘Even though I thought this was the strongest Arc of the last few years, we thought he deserved to run. We would have been very happy if he’d finished third, fourth, fifth or sixth — we would have considered that a success.
Piechulek admitted it will take a while for reality to sink in after his triumphant ride
‘You can’t really go higher than the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. I’ve dreamt about it. Now I’ve won it. It’s absolutely unreal.’
Piechulek added: ‘It will be tomorrow when I realise what it really means to win this race. I am just thankful the owner trusted me to ride him, even though I had never ridden in the Arc before.’
The disappointment for Weld and Appleby was to get so close and beat off most of the big guns, only to get chinned by an outsider.
Weld, seeking one of the few prizes in world racing that has eluded him in his 49-year career, reckoned the testing ground blunted Tarnawa’s speed, adding: ‘She just couldn’t quicken in the gluey ground.’
DETTORI’S ANGEL FLIES TO VICTORY
Frankie Dettori missed out on an Arc ride for only the second time since his debut in the race in 1988 when intended mount Love was withdrawn — but still came away from the meeting with a smile and a Group One winner.
His horse Angel Bleu also gave trainer Ralph Beckett a first top-level win in France with a three-quarter length victory from Noble Truth in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere.
Angel Bleu could make a quick reappearance with Beckett considering capitalising on the colt’s love of soft ground with a run in Saturday’s Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.
Dettori, adding to his Longchamp wins on Real World and Loving Dream on Saturday, said: ‘I always knew I was going to win. A Group One win on the Arc card is always special.’
For Appleby, Adayar’s failure to settle meant jockey William Buick was left in front after half a mile, much earlier than he would have wanted.
By contrast, Hurricane Lane got shuffled further back than his rider James Doyle would have wanted.
But he still got to the front 100 yards out, only to be hauled back.
Appleby said: ‘Both lost nothing in defeat. We knew it was going to be a gruelling race and that’s what it was. They are exciting horses for next year.’