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Tarnawa the one to beat in the Arc
Tarnawa had to settle for second in the Irish Champion Stakes on Saturday but she ran right up to her best behind a top-class rival in St Mark’s Basilica and enhanced her Arc claims in the process. Tarnawa progressed rapidly last season, notably winning the Prix Vermeille, Prix de l’Opera and Breeders’ Cup Turf.
She was kept in training with the primary aim of winning the Arc and is still right on track for Longchamp after getting to within three-quarters of a length of St Mark’s Basilica in a tactical affair that would have played to her rival’s strengths.
Tarnawa showed she is fully effective over a mile and a quarter when winning the Prix de l’Opera last season, but we also know that she has the stamina for a mile and a half. St Mark’s Basilica, on the other hand, had enough pace to win the French 2000 Guineas over a mile earlier this season and his sparkling turn of foot was a potent weapon when beating Addeybb and Mishriff in the Eclipse.
It is to Tarnawa’s credit, then, that she managed to get so close to St Mark’s Basilica over a mile and a quarter in a race that developed into a burn-up in the straight, while she was also slightly impeded by that rival. She is the one to beat in the Arc.
Native Trail the best juvenile seen this season
A notable feature of the Flat season had been the lack of star quality among the two-year-olds, with little separating those at the head of the Timeform ratings. It is a different story following the National Stakes, however, as Native Trail established himself as the leading colt of his generation, earning a Timeform rating of 122p that is already higher than what last season’s leading juvenile achieved, while there is still the prospect of more to come in the Dewhurst.
Native Trail didn’t look the finished article at the Curragh as he had to be pushed along over two furlongs out, but he responded strongly to pressure and impressively forged three and a half lengths clear of Point Lonsdale, the odds-on favourite who had previously set the standard in the division. Native Trail deservedly jumped to the head of the betting for next year’s 2,000 Guineas.
Eddie Lynam still a man to be feared with his sprinters
It had been six years since Eddie Lynam, the trainer best known for his handling of ace sprinters Sole Power and Slade Power, had last won a Group 1. However, Romantic Proposal ended that lean spell with a smooth success in the Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday, providing a reminder that Lynam has few peers when it comes to his training of sprinters.
Romantic Proposal graduated through the handicap ranks on her way to Group 1 glory and has been a fine advertisement of Lynam’s skills. The Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp on Arc day has been earmarked as a potential target and she will be a big player granted luck with the draw.
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