PARIS (AP) — German jockey Rene Piechulek rode 80-1 outsider Torquator Tasso to victory at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on his debut in a huge upset on Sunday.
The Marcel Weiss-trained colt won the G1 Grosser Preis von Berlin to qualify for l’Arc, but few had predicted Piechulek’s victory at Longchamp in western Paris on the race’s 100th running.
“I had the luck to ride in this amazing race. It will only be tomorrow I will realize I had won,” the 34-year-old said. “He was super relaxed throughout the race and once we reached the finishing straight he hit top gear.”
Leading up to the race, Piechulek said that he hoped to take advantage of heavy rainfall in Paris over recent days, and the Longchamp track was suitably soggy.
Torquato Tasso, who is named after an Italian poet of the 16th century, was able to accelerate away from veteran French jockey Christophe Soumillon on Tarnawa, with Hurricane Lane taking third place.
Weiss found it hard to believe.
“I am stumbling for words,” he said. “You cannot really go higher than a Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.”
It was a third German victory at the showcase race following Danedream in 2011 and massive outsider Star Appeal in 1975.
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