Qatar Vermeille Report: Tarnawa outclasses French champion

13 September 2020

Qatar Vermeille Report: Tarnawa outclasses French champion


Sunday, September 13, 2020, ParisLongchamp. - For her debut in France, the 4-year-old filly Tarnawa (Shamardal) easily defeated the French favourite Raabihah (Sea the Stars) and became the 117th winner of the Qatar Prix Vermeille (Gr1). It was a 7th success in the French Classic for her breeder-owner, the Aga Khan, which places him at the same level as the record-holder Marcel Boussac.

The winning rider Christophe Soumillon, for his part, recorded a fifth success in the event. With a time of 2'26'42, Tarnawa is 42/100th of a second behind the race record set by Pearly Shells in 2002 at 2'26''00, a record Zarkava has since tied.

Starting slowly, Tarnawa moved to follow Laburnum (Galileo), who was travelling outside the leading group, alongside Dame Malliot (Champs Elysees) and Wonderful Tonight (Le Havre). Raabihah, for her part, was held in the last position for her 1m4f debut. Going into the straight, Tarnawa was able to switch outside and start a long acceleration, taking Raabihah in her wake. She only managed to gain the upper hand over Dame Malliot about one furlong out, leaving Raabihah without reaction for a short while before she recovered and came back to pip Dame Malliot for second place, three lengths behind a supreme Tarnawa ...

Trained in Ireland by Dermot Weld, Tarnawa was racing for only the second time this season. She had just won for her comeback in August in a Group 3 over the same distance at Cork and while winning her fourth Group by then she had failed clearly twice last year at Group 1 level.

It should be noted that she is entered in the Prix de l'Opéra Longines (Gr1), over 1m2f but not in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Gr1).

Tarnawa's dam is a winner over 12.5f at Listed level in Ireland and a very consistent runner around that distance in Listed races.