Frankie Dettori and Torquator Tasso were narrowly denied in their quest to land the 152nd Wettstar Grosser Preis von Baden – with the evergreen Italian also handed a 14-day ban for misuse of the whip aboard the defending Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe champion.
??152. Grosser Preis von Baden (G1)— ?????????????????????? (@WorldRacing1) September 4, 2022
2400m, 200.000 EUR, for 3yo+
(4C Adlerflug - Mill Marin, by Pivotal)
J :Rene Piechulek
T :Sarah Steinberg
O :Stall Salzburg
B :Gestüt Brümmerhof
?? Sammarco pic.twitter.com/R2rUkBI3O0
Dettori, who had been touched off in the Group 2 Brunner-Oettingen Rennen earlier on the card, was adjudged to have struck Torquator Tasso six times which is one over Germany’s permitted limit of five.
The ban will run from September 18th to October 1st inclusive, which means that Dettori is free to ride in the St Leger next Saturday and also the Arc itself on October 2nd, where he will be attempting to enhance his fine record in the French capital aboard last year’s winner.
The race was won by Torquator Tasso’s usual pilot Rene Piechulek, who has ridden the runner-up in his last six appearances, including when landing this Baden-Baden Group 1 12 months ago, before the duo moved on to ParisLongchamp glory.
However, he was claimed to ride Frau Steinberg’s Mendocino as retained jockey to owner Stall Salzburg and produced a fine ride to edge out the favourite in a photo finish. It was the four-year-old’s first victory since scoring at this meeting last year and he was also winning a Group 1 at the first time of asking.
German Derby winner Sammarco put down a strong challenge at one stage, but ultimately had to settle for third and was ruled out of the Arc by trainer Peter Schiergen.
Needs softer ground
Dettori lamented the lack of pace, and expects better to come.
He said: “He needs a stronger pace and softer ground. It’s as simple as that. We knew it was going to be a slow-run race and that is why I sat second. And I kicked as early as I could. Unfortunately the others had more turn of foot.
“He needs a true test of stamina, which I didn’t get. He will be much better on softer ground, but I’m not using the ground as an excuse. I just use the pace.
“I was never going to go in front. He started to go to the front, but I waited until halfway round the turn here and I thought ‘come on let’s go, let’s stretch him’. He has a good turn of foot with a good gallop. Today the turn of foot was in the straight, the Derby winner passed me as if I was standing still.”
With Mendocino going to the Arc, Dettori was asked by part-owner Peter-Michael Endres if he would be willing to ride Torquator Tasso in the big race, at which he offered a handshake and said: “I already told them that I would be happy to ride him in the Arc. It’s still okay.
“Once we go to France and we get soft ground and a strong-run race, we’ll be in business. Today we went too slow. I’m free and I’ll see you in four weeks. He’ll get the pace and the ground, that is what he wants. He wasn’t beaten far today.”
“There was absolutely no pace and he had the worst run,” said trainer Marcel Weiss.
“He had no cover and was running with the nose in the wind the whole time. It couldn’t have gone any worse. And so we have to accept this result.
“The horse needs pace. Obviously I am disappointed. But we will go to the Arc where the ground and the pace will be different. I also have to mention, which by the way I said before the race already, that he doesn’t really appreciate running left-handed. He has never been as strong left-handed as he is right-handed.
He added on the booking of Dettori: “Frankie has been booked to ride Torquator Tasso in the Arc, as Rene will be riding Mendocino. But who complains when you can have Frankie Dettori in the Arc? So, we immediately booked him.”
Endres said: “We are obviously a bit disappointed, but from the beginning we knew that there was no pace. It was not right for such a race to get off to such a slow start, but that is what happened. Maybe it’s not a bad thing that he won’t be favourite. Now we are again outsiders, so that is okay."