Torquator Tasso delivered a shock victory to take the Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on Sunday and become only the third German horse to win the prestigious race at the Paris Longchamp Racecourse.
Godolphin pair Hurricane Lane and Adayar, widely considered to be the pre-race favourites, had to settle for third and fourth respectively, with Irish raider Tarnawa taking second, three quarter lengths behind the surprise winner.
“He's a very strong horse and Rene [Piechulek] is a very cool jockey,” trainer Marcel Weiss said after Torquator Tasso joined Star Appeal (1975) and Danedream (2011) as the only German winners of the Arc.
William Buick, on the English Derby and King George winner Adayar, raced prominently after jumping out of Gate 11. They led from the halfway mark and went clear on the home stretch but couldn’t maintain the advantage in the testing underfoot conditions, fading to fourth late on in the 100th edition of the race.
Charlie Appleby, who trains both Godolphin horses, said: “We knew that there wasn’t going to be a strong pace in those conditions – no one was going to be mad enough to go out there and set a real gallop.
“Literally no one wanted to go forward and William said that Adayar jumped well, so he had to go and pop him on the front end because he wasn’t going to get any cover.
“William said that the ground was too soft for Adayar and it was another brave performance from the horse. He showed his class there travelling into the straight and trying to pick up in that ground.
“I think Adayar is going to be slightly versatile next year – you can drop him back to 10 furlongs or keep him over a mile and a half. Hopefully, he is going to be dominating that category next year."
Ridden by James Doyle, Hurricane Lane, who entered the Arc having won the St Leger three weeks ago, started fast before the rest of the field closed down the gap in a tight and frenetic race.
“Hurricane Lane produced another brave effort," Appleby said. "James said that he had a nice pitch but the pace steadied up, so he got shuffled back slightly and, in doing so, he wasn’t where he wanted to ideally be on a horse who was going to see the trip out well.
“James has given Hurricane Lane every opportunity and, at one stage, it looked like he was about to produce a run that was going to see him get there in time. All credit to the winner – it was a race that we knew was going to be gruelling in the finish and that’s what it was."
Despite falling narrowly short of victory, Appleby is remaining optimistic and believes both Adayar and Hurricane Lane are set for very bright futures.
“They are both horses with plenty of scope and I have always felt that they could potentially be better next year," he said. "I genuinely think that we have two outstanding three-year-olds that will progress into lovely four-year-olds.”
Godolphin drew some consolation when Space Blues, under Buick, ran out an impressive winner in the Prix de la Foret.