By Jon Lees
Germany: Germany’s reigning horse of the year Torquator Tasso has the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe as his “priority” goal after returning to winning form with an impressive victory in Hamburg last weekend.
The four-year-old colt atoned for a disappointing seasonal debut to trounce old rival Sunny Queen by 4½ lengths in the G2 Grosser Hansa-Preis at the track where he finished second to In Swoop, last year’s Arc runner-up, in the 2020 Deutsches Derby.
The Marcel Weiss-trained son of Adlerflug will now seek to add to his G1 haul in his next two starts before the focus shifts to the ParisLongchamp showpiece.
“We were hoping to go to France next but there is no good race for him so we will go to Berlin [Grosser Preis von Berlin] in the G1 race and after that he will go to the Grosser Preis von Baden and if he is okay then he will go to the Arc,” said his owner Peter Endres.
“The Arc is a priority and we will prepare him for the big race through the other two races in Hoppegarten and Baden-Baden. We thought about going to Deauville but the race isn’t until the last day and the surface is not good. It’s also a G2 and he would have to give up so many kilos as a G1 winner. It’s better to let him run in Germany.”
Torquator Tasso tackled both G1s last year, finishing third at Baden-Baden behind Barney Roy and winning at Hoppegarten. On his final start he was beaten a neck by Sunny Queen in the Grosser Preis von Bayern, but when he returned in a G2 at Mulheim last month he beat only one finisher.
“That was his home track,” said Endres. “I think he is a clever guy. We shouldn’t let him run in Mulheim again as he knows exactly where his home is.
“In Hamburg we saw the old Torquator. I think it was his best performance. We were very happy with his jockey Rene Piechulek and if he is free I think he will sit on him in Berlin and Baden-Baden. He is a very good young rider.”
Germany has produced numerous top-class mile-and-a-half performers, including the country’s two previous Arc winners Danedream and Star Appeal. Endres’s Gestut Auenquelle has contributed through the likes of Turfkonig, Oriental Tiger and Gonbara, the sire of Farhh, who was sold to Godolphin.
Torquator Tasso, whose sire died earlier this year, will not be sold. “We will keep him and keep him as a stallion in our colours,” said Endres. “In Germany we love Adlerflug who was his father and German breeders are very keen that we keep him in Germany.
“We have won a lot of G1 races in Germany but we need to win a very good race in France or England.”
Weiss, who had previously held a number of assistant roles, was appointed as Aueneqelle’s trainer in November 2019. Torquator Tasso provided the first leg of a Group double in Hamburg where Reine D’Amour landed a G3.
Endres said: “Marcel has worked for us for 14 years and has been a trainer for two years and we are very happy with him. The first year was unbelievable and the second year starts now.”