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Arc hero Torquator Tasso slashed for King George after impressive Hamburg win

Torquator Tasso: high-class performer is a possible runner at Ascot
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Last year's shock Arc winner Torquator Tasso was slashed to 6-1 (from 20) by Paddy Power for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in three weeks after he returned to form in emphatic fashion on Saturday.

The five-year-old, who is trained by Marcel Weiss for Gestut Auenquelle, caused a huge 72-1 upset in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in October, but produced a tame effort at Baden-Baden when he was an 18-length sixth of seven on his first start of 2022 in the Grosser Preis der Badischen Wirtschaft.

However, he left that effort well and truly behind when powering to an impressive victory in the Grosser Hansa-Preis at Hamburg.

Ridden by Rene Piechulek, Torquator Tasso sat in a prominent position behind pacemaker Virginia Storm and was able to sweep clear in the straight, winning by three and a half lengths.

The son of Adlerflug also won the Group 2 last year before he headed to Hoppegarten where he was beaten by the Sir Mark Prescott-trained Alpinista in the Grosser Preis von Berlin.

That race would again be an option, although Torquator Tasso is entered in the Qipco-sponsored King George at Ascot on July 23 and would not be an unprecedented German raider given Danedream and Novellist triumphed in 2012 and 2013.

Nick Smith, Ascot's director of racing and public affairs, would be thrilled to see Torquator Tasso make the journey to Berkshire.

"We've been talking with the owners for some time and are delighted he showed his true form today and a warm welcome awaits," he said.

"Arc winners in the King George are always exciting and, in this case, it would be particularly so, given Germany's impressive record in the King George. To have him line up against the Derby and Irish Derby winners is exactly what the race is framed for."

Derby hero Desert Crown heads the King George betting at 11-8 with Paddy Power and Betfair with Westover – behind him at Epsom but brilliant in the Irish equivalent – priced at 4-1. Oaks second Emily Upjohn and last year's winner Adayar are also prominent in the market.

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We've been talking with the owners for some time and are delighted he showed his true form today and a warm welcome awaits
E.W. Terms