German outsider Torquator Tasso is poetry in motion in 100th Arc

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German jockey Rene Piechulek crosses the finish line on Torquator Tasso to win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (AFP/Christophe ARCHAMBAULT)

German outsider Torquator Tasso won the 100th running of France's most iconic race, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, on Sunday to spring one of the biggest shocks in its history.

Rene Piechulek gave the 69/1 winner a dream ride to overhaul Irish runner Tarnawa, with English raider Hurricane Lane third.

Torquator Tasso's victory -- the first for Germany since Danedream in 2011 -- rivals that of fellow German runner Star Appeal who won the 1975 edition at odds of 118/1.

For trainer Marcel Weiss -- whose winner is named after an Italian poet -- Arc success has come early in his career as he is in just his second season.

"This is mega, this is beautiful, it is beautiful," the 44-year-old gasped.

"I am stumbling for words. You cannot really go higher than a Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe."

Weiss admitted the horse had exceeded his expectations.

"To be fair he has won two Group One races and even though I thought it was one of the strongest Arcs of recent years I felt finishing fourth to sixth would have been worth it," he said.

"The ground came in our favour and the race went as we wanted come on outside."

Piechulek, who has ridden the winner to three victories in four rides, was overjoyed.

"He was super relaxed throughout the race and once we reached the finishing straight he hit top gear," said the 34-year-old, who received the trophy from Princess Anne.

"I had the luck to ride in this amazing race. It will only be tomorrow I will realise I had won."

Torquator Tasso cost just 24,000 euros as a yearling, a fraction of the amounts spent on several of his rivals. He repaid that sum handsomely -- for winning the Arc his owner received a cheque for 2.86 million euros ($3.31 million).

With heavy rain having fallen on the Longchamp course all night, he took full advantage and put a top-class field to the sword.

Epsom Derby winner Adayar had set the pace but he found little when challenged by stablemate Hurricane Lane.

The latter looked set to become the first English St Leger winner to add the Arc in the same year until Christophe Soumillon came at him on Tarnawa.

However, flashing down the outside came Piechulek and it was he who raised his finger to the crowd in victory -- and the German national anthem rang out.

Japanese hopes of victory and fulfilling a dream that began with their first runner 52 years ago ended in disappointment.

The better fancied of their duo, Chrono Genesis, shadowed pacesetter Adayar throughout and was second into the finishing straight.

However, Oisin Murphy could find nothing extra in the tank once the first three home came to challenge and he finished seventh.


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