Tarnawa was a luckless runner-up in Saturday’s Irish Champion Stakes but is favourite in some ante-post lists to go one better in next month’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
The surprise defeat of long-time Arc favourite Snowfall in one of Sunday’s Trials at Longchamp, the Prix Vermeille, has resulted in a shake-up in betting for Europe’s all-aged championship event.
Aidan O'Brien's dual-Classic winner was an underwhelming runner-up to Teona in a race run at a sedate pace that rider Frankie Dettori reported was unsuitable for the Irish star. Snowfall slipped to 6-1 with some layers.
With Adayar forced to miss his own Arc trial due to a setback it leaves the Tarnawa camp in comparatively good shape despite lingering frustration at Saturday’s outcome to the €1 million Leopardstown feature.
The winner St Mark’s Basilica carried the older mare across the track during a memorable battle up the Leopardstown straight that ended up with the pair almost on the road under the stands.
At the end of a lengthy stewards' enquiry, where Tarnawa's jockey Colin Keane argued the interference cost him victory, Ryan Moore got a one-day ban for careless riding but the places remained unaltered.
Dermot Weld was visibly displeased with the verdict, suggesting Moore had apologised to Keane after the line and had failed to straighten up the winner.
On Sunday, however, Weld ruled out an appeal and pointed to Paris on the first Sunday in October as Tarnawa’s ultimate objective.
“We said it all yesterday. We move on to another day. She has come out of it well and is all set for the Arc. That’s been her target all year and we’re still on track,” he said.
Snowfall’s long odds-on reverse in the Vermeille was a blow to her Arc credentials on a frustrating afternoon for the Ballydoyle team at Longchamp.
Bolshoi Ballet was prevented from taking part in the Prix Niel due a problem with the vaccination record on his passport.
The colt was found to be currently properly vaccinated but his most recent shot was three days after a new French rule on vaccination timing. O’Brien was fined €150.
Snowfall’s defeat at odds of 2-9 wouldn’t have helped the champion trainer’s mood as she always looked to be struggling to get to the leaders up the straight.
At the end Snowfall was never closer than at the line when coming up short of the Roger Varian-trained winner.
The early pace was cut out by Snowfall's stable companion La Joconde under Hollie Doyle and a disappointed Dettori reported: "I thought I was too far back. I think Hollie didn't go fast enough for me. It turned into a bit of a sprint."
Later the O’Brien hope Broome also had to settle for second in the Prix Foy behind the Japanese star Deep Bond. The latter made all to earn 20-1 quotes for the Arc.
Ger Lyons was out of luck at the Curragh on Sunday but enjoyed a bumper first day of Irish Champions Weekend with a memorable four-timer at Leopardstown.
Atomic Jones in particular looked a Classic prospect for 2022 when making it two from two in the Champions Juvenile Stakes.
Panama Red was another juvenile winner for the in-form trainer while Camorra got the better of his stable companion Thunder Kiss in the Group Three Paddy Power Stakes before Masen landed the last.