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German long shot Torquator Tasso rallies, wins 100th Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

By Robert Kieckhefer, UPI Racing Writer
German long shot Torquator Tasso rallies, wins 100th Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
German rider Rene Piechulek (L) on Torquator Tasso wins the 100th edition of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe race at the Paris Longchamps track in France on Sunday Photo by Ian Langsdon/EPA-EFE

Oct. 3 (UPI) -- German raider Torquator Tasso stormed down the middle of the course to post a massive upset in Sunday's 100th running of the Group 1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in Paris, the crown jewel of the European racing season.

The lightly raced 4-year-old was sent off at odds of 70-1, facing the likes of last year's Breeders' Cup Turf winner Tarnawa, this year's Epsom Derby winner, Adayar, and St Leger winner Hurricane Lane.

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Those three, in fact, looked likely to settle things among themselves in the final 200 meters of the Arc. Then, jockey Rene Piechulek got Torquator Tasso into his best stride and he eased by all three rivals in the last 50 meters to win by 3/4 length.

Tarnawa put a nose in front of Hurricane Lane to finish second. Adayar, who led much of the way, tired at the end and finished fourth.

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"He's a very strong horse," trainer Marcel Weiss said of Torquator Tasso. "And Rene is a very cool jockey."

Heavy overnight rain left the Longchamp turf rated "heavy", compromising some rivals' chances.

Japan suffered another disappointment as Chrono Genesis, after racing close up behind Adayar, faded badly through the stretch to get home seventh and dual-Oaks winner Snowfall never was involved, reporting sixth after lagging well back early.

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Torquator Tasso earned a "Win and You're In" spot in this year's Breeders' Cup Turf at Del Mar but his connections did not immediately reveal plans. His Arc win makes the colt invaluable for the German breeding industry.

Tarnawa, however, might be available to defend her Longines Breeders' Cup Turf crown.

"This had always been my target, but second is a lonely place, Tarnawa's trainer, Dermot Weld said, according to Racing Post.

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"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 Breeders' Cup Turf again or the Breeders' Cup Fillies and Mares (Turf) would be considered."

Adayar, Snowfall and Chrono Genesis already have qualified for Breeders' Cup slots by winning earlier "Win and You're In" races.

The winner, a son of Adlerflug, came to Paris after winning the Group 1 Grosser Preis von Baden in his last start a month earlier. Before that, he was second in the Group 1 Grosser Preis von Berlin and victorious in Group 2 events at Hamburg and Mulheim.

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If the centennial running of the Arc was missing anything, it was the jockey who has made the race a signature stop throughout his illustrious career.

The late scratch of Coolmore's filly Love with a temperature left Frankie Dettori without an Arc ride for the first time since 2013. The charismatic rider has won the race six times, twice with his favorite horse, Enable.

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