Torcedor struggles in wet ground

Torcedor remains on target for the Melbourne Cup despite a disappointing start for his new owners in Germany.

The top-class stayer trailed home last of seven runners in the Preis Von Europa at Cologne at his first start for trainer Andreas Wohler who won the 2014 Cup with Protectionist.

The six-year-old had enjoyed an excellent season for Jessica Harrington, winning the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot in May before being placed behind the John Gosden-trained Stradivarius in both the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and the Goodwood Cup.

He left Harrington’s yard last month after his New Zealand-based owners Te Akau Racing revealed Torcedor had been sold for a “significant seven-figure sum”.

Torcedor was sent off favourite for the mile-and-a-half (2400m) Group One contest, with Jamie Spencer taking the ride.

He raced midfield for much of the way, but was being pushed along rounding the home turn and he ultimately folded tamely in the ultra-testing conditions.

“The ground is horrible and he didn’t like it all. He was beaten after about a furlong, I think,” Wohler said.

“Jamie said he ran on soft ground last year, but soft ground is very different to the horrid ground we had here today.

“That (Melbourne Cup) is still the plan. He has to go into quarantine next week.

“I think he will probably go straight to the Melbourne Cup and Jamie will ride him. That is why he came to ride him today.”

Victory in the Preis Von Europa went to largely unconsidered 40-1 shot Khan.