Tarnawa and Keane swoop for Turf glory
Dermot Weld and Colin Keane teamed up to great effect as Tarnawa stormed to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland.
Crowned champion jockey once again in Ireland, Keane was replacing the luckless Christophe Soumillon, who also missed a winning ride on Order Of Australia in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. It was his first ride for veteran trainer Weld, who was also enjoying his first Breeders’ Cup success.
Tarnawa could have gone for the Filly & Mare Turf, but connections chose this stiffer task for the in-form three-year-old, who had won the Prix Vermeille and Prix de l’Opera on her last two starts for her owner the Aga Khan.
Keane had her at the back of the field as Channel Maker and United set the pace, with Aidan O’Brien’s Magical in a handy position not far off the lead.
Channel Maker set sail for home at the top of the straight, but the pack closed in a furlong out with Keane producing Tarnawa with a perfectly-timed run that saw her keep Magical at bay by a length. Channel Maker was another length away in third.
Weld’s son, Mark, said: “It doesn’t get any bigger than this. These overseas prestige races in the autumn are what we train them for and I’m sad my dad is not here, but the Covid situation put paid to that.
“It was Colin’s first ride for us and there were no instructions. We left it completely up to him and as soon as I saw Colin pull her out, it was a like a jet seeing a runway and off she went.
“My father has been a long-standing supporter of American racing ever since Go And Go won the Belmont back in 1990. He worked in the United States as a boy and it’s very special to him.”
Keane said: “Mr Weld gave me a call and told me what was happening, and then he rang again today and said it would have been lovely if I’d sat on her before, because she takes a bit of knowing.
“They had worked with her at the stalls while she had been here and when I spoke to Oisin Orr he said the filly had done one of her pieces of work before she left Ireland.
“It’s been a brilliant year, it’s lovely to get this victory going home and it’s definitely the icing on the cake for the year we’ve had.”