German Runner Torquator Tasso Shocks In Arc With 71-1 Odds, Gutsy Closing Kick

The 100th edition of the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe belonged to German contender Torquator Tasso, who stunned horseplayers at odds of 71-1. The race was the first time rider Rene Piechulek had contested the Arc, and gave trainer Marcel Weiss his first win in the race. Weiss hung out his shingle just two years ago.

Heavy rains in Paris Saturday night changed the going of the turf to the advantage of the 4-year-old colt, who sat well off the early pace and closed through the Longchamp stretch, hitting his best gear in the very last furlong, passing Tarnawa and Hurricane Lane just before the wire. Adayar was fourth.

The win was the third for a German horse in the Arc, after Danedream in 2011 and Star Appeal in 1975.

Torquator Tasso was Horse of the Year in his native Germany last year, and prepped for the Arc with a winning effort in the Grosser Preis von Baden last month.

“I have no words. I can’t believe I won,” Weiss told French media. “I started to think about the Arc during the winter because it had already shown class at three years old. He behaved very well this year, winning a Group 2 and a Group 1. But given the range of this 100th edition, we would have already been delighted to be fourth or fifth. The terrain helped him. He was able to attack on the outside as we had planned. I have been training for two years in Mulheim (Germany) but I have been working for Gestüt Auenquelle for many years. The owners of Torquator Tasso have turned down important offers for the horse and I am delighted to be able to train him. He’s a star. We will discuss next week his future program, which will perhaps pass through Japan.”

The Arc, contested at 1 1/2 miles, is a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Turf. Though it remains unclear whether Torquator Tasso will come to Del Mar for the race, Racing Post reported that Tarnawa, last year’s winner, could return to defend her title.

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