December 9, 2022

Breeders’ Cup Turf Transcript 2020

Tarnawa wins the 2020 Breeders' Cup Turf (Coady Photography)

Transcript for the Nov. 7th, 2020 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland.

  • Mark Weld
  • Colin Keane

THE MODERATOR: Well, we just saw the Breeders’ Cup Turf and victory by Tarnawa, the filly, and now joined here by Colin Keane, jockey. And Colin, you’ve won Irish championships, but you’ve never ridden Tarnawa before.
That’s kind of been the theme of this Breeders’ Cup with riders ending up on horses they hadn’t ridden. What did you find out about her or who kind of talked to you about how to ride her or what some of her quirks are in racing.

COLIN KEANE: Obviously I talked to her Irish jockey, Mr. Wells, her trained rider in Ireland and he filled me with plenty of confidence. He said she had done one of her best pieces all year with her last piece before she came out
here and that she was very straightforward. And then talking to Mr. Wells and Mark and Chris, and they have done work around the stalls, because she has a tendency sometimes to be slow and they worked on that when they got her out here. And regards of the race, he said, We can be on the phone for half an hour trying to make a plan, but it might not go to plan. So he kind of left it up to me as the main plan was to try to her get out as well as possible and kind of go from there. And without following the right horses or they brought us to where we needed to be before we turned in, and my filly, she quickened up very smartly and hung out the whole way to the line.

THE MODERATOR: I was listening to Mark Weld, Dermot’s son, his interview and he said that when you get her outside she takes off like she’s on a jet way, and that that was kind of the instructions is to cover-up and then even at the risk of maybe losing a little ground but to get her outside.

COLIN KEANE: Yeah, exactly, and Mr. Weld, he said I would rather you be on the outside or the inside but not in between them. So, no, we got a pitch in behind Frankie at two wide the whole way or one off, as you’d like to say, and when we turned in she quickened up very smartly.

THE MODERATOR: And you’ve won Irish championships, so many big international races, but to win a Breeders’ Cup, your first Breeders’ Cup race here today at Keeneland what does that mean?

COLIN KEANE: Oh, it’s the stuff, as I say, being a Champion Jockey back in Ireland is something you dream of and then coming to the big international stage out here, it’s a dream come true. Obviously we were a little bit disappointed with Siskin’s, we are, a bit of a bad taste left in our mouth, but thank goodness it’s sweetened back up.

THE MODERATOR: Well, it turned out a perfect trip and now we are joined by Mark Weld. Mark, congratulations. We’re just talking to Colin about having not ridden this filly before it’s been kind of the theme of this Breeders’ Cup with riders, but champion jockey and what were the instructions and he kind of mentioned about getting her outside when it was time to go.

MARK WELD: Look it’s thrilling to win this race. It doesn’t really get any bigger. It’s been a long time since 1990 when my father first won the Belmont with Go and Go and it’s kept going ever. Since this filly we have been on an incredible journey with her this year. It’s the third of three Grade 1’s that’s she’s won, two in France and now the Breeders’ Cup Turf, it’s just, it’s what dreams are made of. Look, instructions wise, we left it to Colin. He’s not Champion Jockey of Ireland for nothing. He took over from the late great Pat Smullen, who we miss terribly here today and I really must mention him. I also must mention Christophe, who had done so brilliantly on her in Paris as well, please, God, there will be another day and you know it’s just, it’s very special.

THE MODERATOR: And open it up to the press box if they want to send down any questions, but also for your father, to be his first Breeders’ Cup win, obviously disappointing he can’t be here, but that really must be special, such a legend in this industry and such a supporter of international racing.

MARK WELD: He’s been coming to the U.S. since he was a small boy. He worked here on the back stretch of 102912-1-1044 2020-11-07 22:18:00 GMT Page 1 of 2 Belmont as a vet. He has some of his best friends, Irish Americans and American people, both here in Kentucky and all over. America every year always features on our program from, no matter what, if we have one good enough to come here — and they only come if they’re good enough — and all the different racetracks up down the East Coast over to the West Coast. It’s been, as I said, from Go and Go to Dress to Thrill, right the way through all the way to Tarnawa today, it’s wonderful.

THE MODERATOR: And let’s talk a little bit about bit more about her. Fillies have had success obviously in this race, but coming out of those two races at Longchamp, was this always the plan to point for this race here today?

MARK WELD: Yes, it was. It’s been a progression. She’s started over winning a Grade 3 this year in Cork for the second year in succession. Ironically, Cayenne Pepper, who is a very, very talented filly of Mrs. Harrington’s who ran fourth earlier on and she’s had a great progression since as well and she beat Cayenne Pepper that day. Also, James Fanshawe’s filly who won the Filly & Mare Turf. The form is rock solid, those fillies are all locked in there and luckily and thankfully we have come out number one each time they have met and she that’s just been a very progressive filly, a filly that wins three Grade 1’s like that she’s traveled by land, by sea and by air.


MARK WELD: By sea. Well she come home from France, on each occasion she’s come home on the ferry. So she’s flown over, but just with the way things are at the moment in European travel and transport, it wasn’t practical to come home on the plane, so she well what I’m trying to say is she’s tough. She’s tough. She’s gutsy, she’s honest. She’s tough. And she’s good.

THE MODERATOR: Very good. She certainly proved that today with a win here in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. Any plans for her for next year that you’re aware of?

MARK WELD: Look, today was the culmination of the year’s work. Her whole year, as indeed a lot of my father’s horses here now, the first half of the year he puts to one side, he trains them for the fall, he trains them for the big international meets. Starting with Irish Champions, going through the Arc weekend, British Champions, if it lies well, coming here for the Breeders’ Cup, please God. You know, it’s the second half of the year in Europe now where, you know, it’s become such a feature with these big
international meets now in Europe in the second part, particularly in the fall, September, October.

THE MODERATOR: And Colin, wearing those very famous silks of his highness, the Aga Khan, very special always to see those, but in your first Breeders’ Cup victory.

COLIN KEANE: Exactly, it’s brilliant and just to fall in for this, very grateful to get it and it was just a dream come true.

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations.

MARK WELD: It’s a hard act to follow now (laughing.) Because you start off with a Breeders’ Cup Turf and how do you top that?

THE MODERATOR: You’ve set the bar very high. You all have with this incredible remarkable filly Tarnawa, so congratulations to you, to your father and as well to his highness the Aga Khan and Colin as well.