Tarnawa my best chance of a Breeders’ Cup win, says international pioneer Dermot Weld

Horse Racing ParisLongchamp Tarnawa Prix Vermeille goes for Breeders' Cup Turf
Tarnawa (Christophe Soumillon): heads to Keeneland with outstanding claims in the Turf, according to Dermot Weld. Photo: France Galop/scoopdyga.com (Mahaut D’Ornellas)

By Jon Lees

Ireland: Dermot Weld described Tarnawa as “unquestionably” his best chance of adding a Breeders’ Cup win to his unparalleled record of international success as he confirmed the filly would contest the Turf at Keeneland on November 7.

The Aga Khan’s Prix Vermeille and Prix de l’Opera winner was pre-entered for two races next week but her trainer said she would target her first preference race, the 1m4f Turf, where she would bid to emulate Found and Enable, both winners of the race as fillies. Her other option, the Filly & Mare Turf, is run over an extended 1m1f this year.

“She will go for the Breeders’ Cup Turf,” said Weld during a Breeders’ Cup media conference. “I just think the track is pretty tight with a short straight. The draw is very vital and if you are unlucky to get a poor draw you have a better chance in the Turf. She is very sound, tough and genuine, a stayer with speed

“I’ve been very pleased with Tarnawa since France. We purposely planned an autumn campaign for her. We have been keeping her on the same training schedule. She did a piece of work last week and I was delighted with the way she went.”

Weld, 72, was the first European trainer to win the Melbourne Cup with Vintage Crop in 1993 and is the only handler from Europe to land a US Triple Crown race, Go And Go (1990 Belmont Stakes) one of a number of US successes. He has yet to train a Breeders’ Cup winner from 16 starters.

“It would be lovely to win one of the races, “ he said. “I’ve had very few horses with the serious chance that I believe she has of winning. Unquestionably she would be my best chance.”

The Aga Khan won the first ever Breeders’ Cup Turf with Lashkari in 1984 and won again with Kalanisi in 2000.

“Christophe Soumillon will ride her,” Weld said. “I thought he gave her two perfect rides when she won her two Group 1 races so we don’t break a winning combination.”

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