Tarnawa Back With a Bang at Leopardstown

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Tarnawa | racingfotos.com

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Leading up to Thursday's G3 Grant Thornton Ballyroan S. at Leopardstown, Dermot Weld raised concerns that star distaffer Tarnawa (Ire) (Shamardal)) may not be as forward as in previous years, but His Highness The Aga Khan's 5-year-old showed little sign of ring-rustiness and plundered the Foxrock card's 12-furlong feature by daylight. The homebred chestnut enjoyed a banner 2020 season, going unbeaten through a four-race campaign which included wins in the G1 Prix Vermeille, G1 Prix de l'Opera and GI Breeders' Cup Turf. Sent postward as the heavily backed 1-2 favourite, she was settled several lengths off the pace, with just one rival behind, in seventh until improving to go fifth at halfway. Making smooth headway on the bridle in the straight, Tarnawa cruised to the front approaching the final furlong and lengthened clear in imperious fashion to easily account for the overmatched Silence Please (Ire) (Gleneagles {Ire}) by 6 1/2 lengths. Silence Please, in turn, finished 13 lengths clear of the remainder headed by Hector de Maris (Ire) (Camelot {GB}).

“It was her first run back after a long absence and, as you could see, she was carrying a few kilos extra compared to last year,” said trainer Dermot Weld. “I had to be extra careful with her, after the wonderful dry spell that we've had, and my only concern was that I may have left her a little too short. She has not been away to a racetrack and has done all her work at home. I'd love to have got her away about two weeks ago. but it just wasn't possible. She has been training extremely well and has probably strengthened since last year. She just cruised there and I thought she was very impressive. It was always the plan to start here or the [G3] Give Thanks in Cork which she has won the last two years. The forecast was for plenty of rain in Cork so I thought it might be more prudent to come here. It was a very true run race. She is a wonderful mare as she won the Breeders' Cup on firm ground and at Longchamp on heavy.” Looking ahead to targets later in the season, the trainer added, “The [G1 Prix de l'] Arc [de Triomphe] is the plan and the main reason for keeping her in training, while the [G1] Irish Champion probably fits into the programme. The [G1] Prix Vermeille would be a possibility, but the Irish Champion is probably favourite for her next race. This year's crop of horses look outstanding and she has joined an outstanding team of horses to look forward to in the Autumn.”

Tarnawa, half-sister to a yearling filly by Siyouni (Fr), is the first of three foals bred from MSW dual G3 Curragh Cup third Tarana (Ire) (Cape Cross {Ire}), herself the leading performer produced by G3 Noblesse S. third Tarakala (Ire) (Dr Fong). Tarakala is the best horse out of Listed Oyster S. second Tarakana  (Shahrastani), who in turn is the leading representative of Tarafa (Ire) (Akarad {Fr}). Tarafa is a half-sister to five black-type winners headed by G3 Princess Royal S. victress Tashtiya (Ire) (Shergar {GB}), G3 Prix Messidor victor Tassmoun (Kalamoun {GB}) and Listed Chester S. winner Tarikhana (Ire) (Mouktar {Ire}), who in turn is the dam of G1 Prix Royal-Oak hero Tiraaz (Lear Fan). Tarafa is also kin to the dam G1 Phoenix S. heroine Damson (Ire) (Entrepreneur {GB}).

Thursday, Leopardstown, Ireland
GRANT THORNTON BALLYROAN S.-G3, €50,000, Leopardstown, 8-5, 3yo/up, 12fT, 2:36.45, yl/sf.
1–TARNAWA (IRE), 133, m, 5, 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 Aga Khan; B-H H The Aga Khan's Studs SC (IRE); T-Dermot Weld; J-Colin Keane. €30,000. Lifetime Record: Hwt. Older Mare-Eur at 11-14f, Hwt. Older Mare-Fr at 9.5-11f, MG1SW-Fr & GISW-US, 15-9-2-2, $2,959,177. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Silence Please (Ire), 133, f, 4, Gleneagles (Ire)–Crazy Volume (Ire), by Machiavellian. (27,000gns Ylg '18 TAOCT). O-Gary Barber & Team Valor International LLC; B-Lynch Bages Ltd & Camas Park Stud (IRE); T-Jessica Harrington. €10,000.
3–Hector de Maris (Ire), 126, c, 3, Camelot (GB)–Frequential (GB), by Dansili (GB). O-Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith; B-Lynch Bages Ltd & Longfield Stud (IRE); T-Aidan O'Brien. €5,000.
Margins: 6HF, 13, HF. Odds: 0.50, 6.50, 12.00.
Also Ran: Benaud (Ire), Taipan (Fr), Questionare (GB), Seattle Sound (Ire), Effernock Fizz (Ire). Scratched: Layfayette (Ire), Wembley (Ire). Click for the Racing Post result or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.

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