Torqautor wins but will he get due credit?
Gary McKenzie looks back at last Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and doubts the winner will get full credit
Sassafras, Star Appeal, Urban Sea, Marienbard, Solemia, and Trempolino. All of these horses won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Yet none of them were well fancied for the race. And I think they do not get the plaudits they deserve for winning Europe’s biggest all aged middle distance race.
And I think Torquator Tasso will now be added to that list. Mainly due to the fact he was such a big price.
But the odds are just a guide. If every favourite won then the bookies would have to shut up shop. And of course the horses are unaware of their starting price when they enter the starting stalls.
In my opinion there is no such thing as a bad Arc. There are some, like 1986, where the cast is of stellar proportions, but every year we do have plenty of top quality equine athletes going for gold.
Before this years race we, me included, were looking forward to seeing Tarnawa, Hurricane Lane, Adayar, Snowfall, and Japan’s best horse, Chrono Genesis fighting out the finish. But some had posted each way slips featuring Torquator Tasso at 100/1.
He had won Group Ones in Germany and that may be why he was such a price.
But in the Arc itself he has run a career best beating the Breeders Cup Turf winner and the St Leger hero. The colt who won the Derby and King George was fourth ahead of a horse who was second in the Prix du Jockey Club (behind possibly ‘ top colt) and a triple Oaks winner in sixth.
I am a fan of Racing Post Racings (whether that’s good or bad I don’t know) and they have Tarnawa running to her best as has Hurricane Lane. Adayar was well down on his King George run but has run a solid enough race while Sealiway has been given a personal best.
The ground has been cited as the reason for Torquator Tasso winning and blunting the speed of Tarnawa. But the mares best runs, once again on RPR, have both been on very soft ground.
There have been calls in some quarters for the race to be moved forward a few weeks. But you cannot guarantee better ground in September. And it would, of course, clash with the Irish Champion Stakes.
One big priced winner and certain members of our community gets their knickers in a twist.
Why can we not celebrate the winner and the fact that someone other than Andre Fabre, or Coolmore, or John Gosden has won the race. This should be such a great story for our sport but the naysayers are looking for excuses.
This horse obviously has ability and I don’t think these things can be fluked, not with the class of field he beat.
And he will be trained for the race next season. I doubt he will be such odds in a years time.