The phrase “100-year storm” is used to a storm event that has a one in 100 chance (1% probability) of hitting in any given year. What happened Sunday in the centenary running of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Paris Longchamp was just such a rare event.
Torquator Tasso, a little-known four-year-old purchased for $26,000 as a yearling at Germany’s October sale left from the rail post on soft ground at 70-1 odds, then shocked the racing world with a quick-closing victory over 2020 Breeders’ Cup Turf Champion Tarnawa and Godolphin’s Hurricane Lane in one of the most thrilling—and unlikely—results against one of the deepest fields in the recent history of Europe’s most prestigious turf race.
Even more unlikely? The horse arrived only on Saturday. He was ridden by 34-year-old jockey Rene Piechulek and saddled by second-year trainer Marcel Weiss, both competing in their first Arc.
“We would have been very happy if he had finished third, fourth, fifth or even sixth,” explained the clearly surprised trainer of the unanticipated result. “Winning was a bonus.”
It was the fifth win in 11 starts (11:5-3-1) for the son of Adlerflug (out of Tijuana by Toylsome), the fourth in his last five races, and his first time racing outside Germany. It was only the third victory for a German-bred horse in Arc history (Star Appeal, 1975; Danedream, 2011).