Breeders' Cup: Dermot Weld delighted with Tarnawa prep ahead of Del Mar title defence next month

Tarnawa set to return to Del Mar to defend Breeders' Cup Turf title next month; Dermot Weld's five-year-old finished second behind Torquator Tasso in Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at start of October; Weld hoping ground is not too firm

Tarnawa is unbeaten in her last five starts for Dermot Weld
Image: Tarnawa has finished second on her last two runs, behind St Mark's Basilica and Torquator Tasso

Firm ground is Dermot Weld's biggest worry for Tarnawa's bid for back-to-back victories in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Del Mar next month.

The five-year-old lifted the 12-furlong Group One at Keeneland in Kentucky last year on ground described as firm, but the meeting will be staged on the Californian coast this year.

Tarnawa was last seen when beaten three-quarters of a length by surprise winner Torquator Tasso in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, in what was a thorough test on heavy ground at ParisLongchamp.

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Weld is satisfied with Tarnawa's recovery since that run at the start of the month, though, and she has pleased with her homework since.

"The Arc took a fair bit out of her, but she's an amazing animal with a wonderful constitution and huge determination," Weld said.

Torquator Tasso, nearside, beats Tarnawa and Hurricane Lane to the line
Image: Tarnawa (far side) is beaten by Torquator Tasso in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

"After a week when she was tired, she has bounced right back, and I was pleased with a bit of work she did the other morning.

"She flies out with the other Irish and English contingent, about 35 horses altogether, next Friday.

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"The track is going to be my biggest concern. It's where the surf meets the turf, and it's very firm."

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