Breeders' Cup Champ Tarnawa Returns

Tarnawa winning the Breeders' Cup Turf | Coady

    The Aga Khan's G1 Prix Vermeille, G1 Prix de l'Opera and GI Breeders' Cup Turf heroine Tarnawa (Ire) (Shamardal) takes the 2021 flat season up another level on Thursday as she sets foot on a racecourse for the first time since her brilliant success at Keeneland. Bidding to repeat last year's comeback win when handing Cayenne Pepper (Ire) (Australia {GB}) and Passion (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) 11 pounds weight-for-age in the G3 Give Thanks S. at Cork last August, the 5-year-old evades a penalty due to the conditions of the 12-furlong G3 Grant Thornton Ballyroan S. at Leopardstown. Trainer Dermot Weld said he believes the homebred may be more in need of her return than 12 months ago. “We're very, very happy with her. The only thing is she's done herself extremely well through the summer and she's just carrying a bit more than I'd like condition-wise for her first run,” he explained. “It worked really successfully for her last year and I thought we'd kind of follow a similar pattern, but possibly because we've had a very, very dry and warm summer in Ireland and the ground has been pretty firm I would have liked to have got a bit more work into her. I'm happy with the filly physically and mentally and I suppose she's bigger and stronger in many ways, but I just want to warn I would like to have her a shade fitter than she is going into the race. Last year I had her very forward and she put up an excellent performance at Cork and won her group race well. She's in great form again this year, but possibly not quite as advanced in her training. It's a long road all the way into November, so we're 'hasting slowly'.”

Tackling Tarnawa is J P McManus's 3-year-old colt Benaud (Ire) (Australia {GB}), who was fourth in the G2 Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot last time June 16, but to give a sense of context he is the next-best rated in the race and still 19 pounds off her level. The day's other significant black-type event comes at Deauville in the Listed Prix Arqana Prix de Tourgeville, where Godolphin's G3 Autumn S. winner and G1 Futurity Trophy runner-up One Ruler (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) looks for a confidence boost having finished sixth in the G1 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and in the June 5 G1 Epsom Derby and run into Baaeed (GB) (Sea the Stars {Ire}) when third in the Listed Sir Henry Cecil S. on Newmarket's July course last time July 8.

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