Appleby proud of Arc pair and ponders 2022 options

Charlie Appleby expects both Adayar and Hurricane Lane to return better than ever next season, after his Classic heroes had to make do with minor honours in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

The Moulton Paddocks trainer headed for ParisLongchamp with a formidable hand in the European middle-distance championship, with Derby and King George victor Adayar joined by his St Leger-winning stablemate Hurricane Lane.

Adayar had been off the track since his Ascot success in July, after a setback ruled out an intended trial run three weeks ago, while Hurricane Lane was bidding to become the first horse in history to win the world’s oldest Classic and the Arc in the same year.

With heavy rain in Paris leading to extremely testing conditions, strong stayer Hurricane Lane went off the 5-2 favourite in the hands of James Doyle, with William Buick’s choice Adayar next in the betting at 3-1.

Following a sedate early gallop, Buick decided to allow Adayar to stride to the front a long way from home – and he looked set to deliver after quickening clear early in the home straight.

Adayar races clear of the field to win the King George at Ascot

Adayar races clear of the field to win the King George at Ascot

In the end his run petered out, and he passed the post in fourth place, but Appleby was proud of his performance in defeat.

“We knew there wasn’t going to be a strong pace in those conditions, but literally no one wanted to go on,” he said.

“William said unfortunately his horse has jumped well, and he had to go on the front end because he was never going to get any cover. He hoped he’d prick his ears in front – and to be fair he did.

“William said he didn’t like that ground. But it was another brave performance by the horse, and he showed his class there travelling into the straight when he was trying to pick up.”

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Sky Sports Racing’s Jason Weaver caught up with Torquator Tasso’s trainer Marcel Weiss after their shock 80/1 victory in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Having been ridden with more restraint than his stable companion, Hurricane Lane was produced with what looked a serious challenge in the heat of battle.

But after a stirring tussle with Dermot Weld’s Tarnawa on the far side of the track, both were mowed down by unconsidered 80-1 German challenger Torquator Tasso.

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Trainer Dermot Weld says his Arc second Tarnawa would have won the race without the heavy rainfall in Paris and says the Breeders’ Cup could be next on the cards.

Hurricane Lane was beaten a short head to the runner-up spot by Tarnawa.

Appleby said: “It was another brave performance from Hurricane Lane. James (Doyle) said he had a nice pitch – but then the pace steadied up in front, and he got slightly shuffled back, which wasn’t ideal for a horse who we knew was going to see the trip out well.

“James gave him every opportunity, and at one stage it looked like he was going to produce a run that was potentially going to win an Arc. But full credit to the winner – we knew it was going to be a gruelling race at the finish, and that’s what it was.”

Hurricane Lane and William Buick coming home to win the Cazoo St Leger Stakes

Hurricane Lane and William Buick coming home to win the Cazoo St Leger Stakes

While Appleby does not envisage either of his “big old units” tackling the tight turns of Del Mar at the Breeders’ Cup next month, he expects both to challenge for major honours once more in 2022.

He said: “One hopes they’ll both be back. Those discussions will be had, but I see no reason why they shouldn’t (stay in training).

“They’re two lovely three-year-olds who have done themselves proud and the team proud. Full credit to everybody for allowing the two horses to run in this race – I don’t think they’ve lost anything in defeat.

“They’ve both got plenty of scope – and while it sounds mad when they’ve both won a Classic and won multiple Group Ones, I genuinely think they could be better next year.

“I think going forward Adayar is a horse that could be slightly versatile trip-wise. You could drop him back to 10 furlongs. Hopefully in that 10-furlong/mile-and-a-half category he’s going to be dominating next year.”