Tarnawa seeks historic repeat facing full field in Breeders' Cup Turf

All eyes will focus on H H Aga Khan IV's Tarnawa when the homebred mare by Shamardal attempts to win Saturday afternoon’s (6 November) - early Sunday morning (7 November) in Hong Kong - G1 Breeders' Cup Turf (2400m) for the second straight time.

 If Tarnawa  is to become the first female to win the race twice, and become the first repeater since Conduit in 2008/09, she will have to overcome barrier 13 in a race featuring a short run to the first turn.

An overflow field of 18 including four reserves are entered the 38th running of the Turf, which will go with a maximum 14 runners for the first time since 1999. Despite a challenging draw, the classy Tarnawa is tabbed as the likely favourite to notch her ninth stakes victory for trainer Dermot Weld.

In similar fashion to last year, when she also made her seasonal debut in August and had three runs leading to her smashing win in the Turf at Keeneland, Tarnawa makes her fourth appearance of the year following a heroic second in the G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (2400m) on rain-sodden ground that mitigated her brilliant turn of foot.

Ironically enough, the concern now for Tarnawa is considerably firmer ground than she encountered last year at Keeneland. "Remember it rained earlier in the week," Weld recalled. "I don't think that was quite as firm as what I expect to find at Del Mar. But she gives 110 percent every time she runs."

Tarnawa will be reunited with Colin Keane, who engineered last year's Turf win. If all goes well this weekend, Tarnawa could conclude her brilliant career in either the HK$30 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2000m) or the HK$20 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Vase (2400m) at Sha Tin on 12 December.

There is no shortage of opposition for Tarnawa.

Aidan O'Brien has won the Turf a record six times and entered four runners. All are longshots, though, and only Broome and Japan are in the main body of the race while Bolshoi Ballet and Mogul are stuck on the reserves list.

Godolphin and Charlie Appleby are represented by Walton Street and Yibir who, on 18 September took North America by storm capturing the G1 Canadian International Stakes (2400m) at Woodbine and the Jockey Club Derby Invitational Stakes (2400m) at Belmont Park, respectively.

Chad Brown, four-time champion trainer in the United States from 2016 to 2019, sends out the best of the American-based runners in Domestic Spending, as well as the rejunvenated Rockemperor and probable pacesetter Tribhuvan.

Domestic Spending has followed the same schedule as Brown's 2019 Turf winner Bricks And Mortar, who was also attempting this distance for the first time. Top United States-based grass rider Flavien Prat sticks with Domestic Spending and forsakes United, who he rode through 16 straight races including a close second at 50/1 to Bricks And Mortar in this race two years ago.

The three-year-old filly Teona makes just the seventh start of her career, but turned the tables on G1 Epsom Oaks (2420m) winner Snowfall in the G1 Prix Vermeille (2400m) to notch her second straight stakes win for Roger Varian. The daughter of Sea The Stars may be sitting on a corker after being witheld from the Arc due to the boggy conditions, and appears the sort who likes to hear her feet rattle on firm footing.

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