Shamardal's Tarnawa Reigns Supreme In the Opera


Tarnawa Scoop Dyga

Having won the G1 Prix Vermeille on a quick surface over ParisLongchamp's 12 furlongs last time Sept. 13, The Aga Khan's Tarnawa (Ire) (Shamardal) had to deal with the other extreme and a drop back to 10 furlongs on Sunday but proved up to the task in the G1 Prix de l'Opera Longines. Held up towards the rear early by a confident Christophe Soumillon, the 3-1 shot was brought with her customary withering run down the outer to deny Alpine Star (Ire) (Sea the Moon {Ger}) in the final strides and win by a short neck, with the G1 Prix Jean Romanet winner Audarya (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) 3/4 of a length back in third. “That was a very special performance, it's very hard to win here in France,” Dermot's son Mark Weld commented. “She won the Vermeille and to come back just three weeks later, she's a really tough, courageous mare. This is always one of the best races–sometimes the best race of Arc weekend, so we knew it was going to be tough and we knew the Niarchos filly had plenty of group one form and was always going to be the one to beat. We got there–it was a fantastic performance.”

Successful in the G3 Blue Wind S., G3 Give Thanks S. and G2 Blandford S. last term, Tarnawa had failed to shine on two overseas forays when 11th in the G1 Epsom Oaks and ninth in the G1 Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares S. at Ascot in October. Returning to defy a penalty in the latest renewal of the Give Thanks at Cork Aug. 8, the chestnut had put Cayenne Pepper (Ire) (Australia {GB}) to the sword there to suggest she had improved and confirmed that impression with a three-length defeat of Raabihah (Sea the Stars {Ire}) in the Vermeille. With the latter beaten only marginally further in the Arc earlier on the card, there is a suggestion that Tarnawa could have been a major force in the main event and the way she quickened by genuine top-level fillies in the straight here backs up that feeling.

The Aga Khan's Studs' Manager Georges Rimaud said, “At one stage, we had talks very briefly about the Arc but really the idea has always been to keep her at a mile and a quarter as we feel she is more effective over this trip even though she won the Vermeille. Christophe found a good position and she finished very strongly. She is really a top-class filly and we'll see how she does after this and talk to Dermot, but the idea is if she is in good form to go for the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.”

Jessie Harrington was not too downcast over another tight reversal for Alpine Star and told the Racing Post, “She ran a cracker, she's some filly. If the other horse had come to her earlier, she'd have battled back because that's the kind of horse she is. If you told me at the beginning of the year she'd be second in three group 1s and win one, I'd have taken it. She's finished for the year now, but she'll stay in training next year, which is brilliant.”

Tarnawa is the first foal out of the Listed Oyster S. and Listed Martin Malony S. winner Tarana (Ire) (Cape Cross {Ire}) who was also third in the G3 Curragh Cup and is a daughter of the Listed Galtres S. winner and G3 Noblesse S. third Tarakala (Ire) (Dr. Fong). This is also the family of the G3 Princess Royal S. winner Tashtiya (Ire) (Shergar {GB}), the G3 Prix Messidor scorer Tassmoun (Kalamoun {GB}) and the G1 Prix Royal-Oak hero and G1 Prix du Cadran runner-up Tiraaz (Lear Fan), as well as the precocious G1 Phoenix S. heroine Damson (Ire) (Entrepreneur {GB}). Tarana's unraced 2-year-old gelding by Fastnet Rock (Aus) is named Tazaral (Ire), while she also has a filly foal by Siyouni (Fr).

Sunday, ParisLongchamp, France
PRIX DE L'OPERA LONGINES-G1, €300,000, ParisLongchamp, 10-4, 3yo/up, f/m, 10fT, 2:12.87, hy.
1–TARNAWA (IRE), 128, f, 4, by Shamardal
                1st Dam: Tarana (Ire) (MSW & GSP-Ire, $141,525), by Cape Cross (Ire)
                2nd Dam: Tarakala (Ire), by Dr Fong
                3rd Dam: Tarakana, by Shahrastani
O-H H The Aga Khan; B-H H The Aga Khan's Studs SC (IRE); T-Dermot Weld; J-Christophe Soumillon. €171,420. Lifetime Record: MGSW-Ire, 13-7-2-2, €684,332. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Alpine Star (Ire), 123, f, 3, Sea The Moon (Ger)–Alpha Lupi (Ire), by Rahy. O/B-Niarchos Family (IRE); T-Jessica Harrington. €68,580.
3–Audarya (Fr), 128, f, 4, Wootton Bassett (GB)–Green Bananas (Fr), by Green Tune. (€125,000 Ylg '17 AROCT). O-Mrs Alison Mary Swinburn; B-Haras d'Ecouves (FR); T-James Fanshawe. €34,290.
Margins: SNK, 3/4, 3/4. Odds: 3.60, 1.60, 15.00.
Also Ran: Tawkeel (GB), Ambition (GB), Tickle Me Green (Ger), Grand Glory (GB), Inter Royal Lady (Ire), All Rumours (Fr), Spirit of Nelson (Ire), Zariyannka (Ire), Durance (Ger). Scratched: Fancy Blue (Ire), Laburnum (Ire). Click for the Racing Post result or the free catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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