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King George: Hero of Torquator Tasso raises the German flag in Ascot against the hero of Westover of Ireland | Racing news


“I don’t think Muhlheim racecourse has ever seen anything like this,” surprised Marcel Weiss on Monday.

Such was the attraction of last year’s shocking Torquator Tasso hero, some of Britain’s best racing media deliberately flew to Germany this week to document his final workout before winning. was crowned King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Racing.

The Muhlheim racecourse, not far from the international business and financial center of Dusseldorf, was founded in 1863 but had to wait until 2021 and Torquator Tasso’s surprise victory at the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe before the world. attention to existence.

Torquator Tasso, five, is now the undisputed star at the track, which is also home to 10 coaches, who every morning train runners on the sand or grass inside the court. And he certainly knows it.

The Torquator Tasso is not a difficult horse to train, but like all good horses, he has his habits and above all a strong character, which has been proven again this time. he first started in Baden-Baden this year.

His coach Weiss, who arguably understands him best, has warned the public that he may not make a strong run in his seasonal comeback, however, he is. is a strong supporter.

On that day, true to his past form, he decided that instead of trying his best, he wanted to get a good look around the track and he crossed the finish line 18 lengths behind Alter Adler. .

Torquator Tasso, nearby, wins Arc in Paris
Picture:
Torquator Tasso beats (from right to left) Hurricane Lane and Tarnawa at ParisLongchamp

“Everybody was so frustrated except me, the coach. I told everyone he always needed his first run, that the first time out was just his way of waking up,” Weiss said with a laugh. .

“I’ve had him for three years now and I know how aggressive he is. You can’t force it or train it out of him. You just have to accept that he is who he is and train him. accordingly. And you saw that next time in Hamburg (three-and-a-half win), he’s a different horse.”

Weiss, who worked for former German Champion coach Heinz Jentzsch before establishing himself in late 2019, has steadily climbed the ladder and established himself as one of Germany’s most successful coaches.

With “just” 54 horses in his box, he currently has an attack rate of 16%, while 53% of his runners have been placed second or third.

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Jockey PJ McDonald said receiving a call to ride the Pylediver from coaches William Muir and Chris Grassick during King George at Ascot on Saturday was a ‘confidence booster’.

This season, he also had his first US finish, an instant success thanks to Loft, who lifted the Second Belmont Gold Cup.

Arriving in England for King George will be another first for him, as will be for his jockey Rene Piechulek.

He’s not worried though about the unknown and continued: “I’ve watched a lot of King George replays and I think the track will suit Torquator Tasso. He’s used to long straights. I mean he ran at ParisLongchamp, that’s not too different, so I’m not worried about him adapting to the track.”

In fact, it seemed that very few people bothered the trainer, who seemed so calm and collected just a few days before the event. “I’m not worried,” he declared. “At least not yet. Talk to me the other day and it might be different, but for now, it’s business as usual.

“Torquator Tasso finished his last job on Monday morning, as he worked the 2000 meters with his familiar leader. We were very pleased with that gallop. ridden by Rene Piechulek, who also had a lot of fun with him.”

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Jockey James Doyle will speak to David Egan after replacing his weight room colleague on the Mishriff for King George on Saturday following the conclusion of Egan’s underling deal with owner Prince Faisal.

However, like what he did earlier in the year, he warned: “The horse is still not 100 per cent ready, as it keeps improving throughout the season.”

Perhaps that explains why chestnuts only took 14/1 for midsummer at Ascot, a race where, in recent years, the winner of the German Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is the Danedream and the German Novel of the Year List.

“After his win in the Hansa Preis in Hamburg, I also briefly reviewed the Grosser Preis von Berlin for him,” the coach explained. “But he won the Arc, so why shouldn’t he run with the best horses?

“If he is placed in this race, it will go a long way when he retires at the end of this season. It will be better than second or third in Berlin, that’s also possible. may happen as you. never know with the race.”

Only six horses have been confirmed for King George and although he would have preferred a larger field, he is not too concerned with race tactics.

Torquator Tasso, nearby, beat Tarnawa and Hurricane Lane to the line
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Torquator Tasso will bid to become the third German to win the Arc in the past 11 years

“In Hamburg they also only had six runners and he still won the race,” he pursued. “Obviously, it would be better to have more runners, because then you can be sure of a good pace, but I saw in Hamburg that he is no longer dependent on speed. He showed. that he can react after a slow pace.”

Torquator Tasso will leave Germany on Thursday night for a ferry on Friday. β€œHe was used to traveling and loved it,” explains Weiss. “If temperatures had remained high we could have changed our travel plans, but there’s a bit of a rain forecast and temperatures are expected to drop, so I’m not worried.

“So is the ground in Ascot. I know that the best horses in the world run there and they always take care of the ground. I couldn’t imagine that the ground would be like the road.”

Of the competition, he said: “Someone who doesn’t have a lot of horses in the yard, in fact there aren’t many horses in your life that can run in these races, so we’re very excited and looking forward to the day.” Saturday.

“There is no doubt that the horses still in the race are the strongest horses at the moment.

“Three-year-old Westover was a challenge. I was impressed with how he won his races. Then Mishriff and Broome looked so strong.

Colin Keane celebrates Westover's win in the Irish Derby
Picture:
Colin Keane continues his journey on the match against hero Westover of the Irish Derby

“For me, those three horses are the horses to beat. However, with six horses, anything is possible. But I can’t change anything about that, and we can. We’ll see what happens when the starting gate opens.”

Regardless of what happens at Ascot on Saturday, Torquator Tasso’s main goal remains to protect his Arc on the first Sunday of October.

Weiss concludes: “We’ve always said that Arc is still his main goal. After Ascot, he’ll run one more run in Grosser Preis von Baden in early September and then he’ll return to Paris for another run. Join the Arc.

“He’s been a progressive horse throughout the season, growing stronger from race to race, but I’m still very optimistic that he’ll run a great race on Saturday.”





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