DERMOT Weld’s “main concern” about the prospect of a Breeders’ Cup repeat for Tarnawa is ground conditions at Del Mar next Saturday week.

The Aga Khan-owned mare produced a brilliant performance under Colin Keane to win the Longines-sponsored Turf at Keeneland last year, but her trainer feels the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe runner-up would appreciate at least some ease in the ground in California – something that might not be forthcoming.

Weld – who confirmed Keane would be reunited with the daughter of Shamardal – said: “She’s a very brave filly, she’s very tough and genuine. She gives 110% every time she runs. So obviously she came back from Paris and was tired for a week.

“I let her have a nice, easy time and freshened her up. I took my time getting her back and I’m very happy with her work over the past week. I think she’s come right back, her weight is good, her blood picture is good and she’s all set to go.

“The main concern I have will be the ground, I appreciate that she handled what we would call good to firm ground in Kentucky, but they had rain, you must remember, earlier that week. I actually thought the turf track from what I heard and the reports I got was that is was just really nice ground, just on the quick side of good is what we would have called it.

“I’m well aware what we face is going to be a lot quicker and it is a concern – our good to firm or firm ground, I don’t think that is quite as firm as what I expect to find in Del Mar to be quite honest.”


On Keane being back aboard after Christophe Soumillon was in the saddle at ParisLongchamp, Weld said: “Colin will ride in the Breeders’ Cup. After all he did win on her last year, he won on her on her comeback start in August and gave her a perfect ride from what we planned in the Irish Champion Stakes.

“Christophe won two Group 1s on her last year and rode an excellent race on her in the Arc, it wasn’t her fault that she was beaten. He is the retained rider in France for His Highness, whereas Colin Keane rides most of my horses in Ireland.”

Weld added there is a possibility Tarnawa could run in Hong Kong, should all go well in America – and that would be her last career start.

He said: “This will be her last season. She is entered in Hong Kong and that would be reviewed after she runs at the Breeders’ Cup.”


Tarnawa is one of approximately 10 Irish-trained horses and 20 British-trained horses who can be expected to start in the Breeders' Cup races at Del Mar.

Over $30 million in prize money is on offer across the two-day meeting and the pre-entries for the 14 championship races were released on Wednesday afternoon.

The final fields will be confirmed on Monday.

Quick Suzy (Gavin Cromwell) and Twilight Jet (Michael O'Callaghan) have gained places in the Juvenile Turf Sprint on Friday. Aidan O'Brien's Glounthaune goes in the one-mile Juvenile Turf on the same evening, and is the stable's only two-year-old entry at the meeting.

Aidan O'Brien has entered Love for the Turf but has indicated she could switch to the Filly & Mare Turf, which would allow stable companion Japan to get a place in the Turf, and also improve the chances of Broome and Bolshoi Ballet getting a run.

Joining Love in the Filly & Mare Turf is stable companion La Joconde. The Ger Lyons-trained Acanella is first reserve for this race and likely to get a place in the starting line-up.

The Turf Mile is on the agenda for the O'Brien-trained Mother Earth and the Paddy Twomey-trained Pearls Galore. Last year's winner Order Of Australia was entered again but trainer Aidan O'Brien revealed on Wednesday evening that the horse suffered an injury this week. Surgery was required and while the operation was a success, the horse is unlikely to race again.

A Case Of You, recent winner of the Prix de l'Abbaye for trainer Ado McGuinness, will be Ireland's sole representative in the Turf Sprint.