Dermot Weld was relieved that new Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe favourite Tarnawa came out of her Irish Champion Stakes effort unscathed, admitting that he was worried the superstar mare might have picked up an injury by racing on unwatered ground in the race's closing stages.
In a thrilling climax to last Saturday's €1 million showpiece at Leopardstown, Tarnawa and Colin Keane were carried across the track by St Mark's Basilica which prompted the stewards to call an inquiry, but the placings remained unaltered with the winning distance three quarters of a length.
Despite the defeat, Tarnawa was promoted to favourite for the Arc a fortnight on Sunday and is 3-1 with Betfair, bet365 and Paddy Power, but as short as 5-2 with William Hill and Sky Bet.
Weld said on Friday: "She has come out of the race very well. She's in great shape. Given that they drifted all the way across to even beyond the chase track at Leopardstown, I have to admit I was worried about the firmness of the ground over there and the damage it might have caused her. Fortunately, she is fine."
Reflecting on the race itself and Tarnawa's performance over a trip many felt was a few furlongs short of her best, Weld added: "I knew going to Leopardstown that I had her in great order. She was bouncing out of her skin on the morning of the race.
"She did what I thought she would do. She ran extremely well and I was delighted with her."
With just over two weeks to the Arc – her ultimate aim all season according to Weld – the master trainer thinks he has the five-year-old exactly where he wants her as he attempts to win Europe's most prestigious prize for the first time.
He said: "She came forward nicely from her first run back at Leopardstown to the Irish Champion Stakes. She won't do a whole lot between now and the Arc – we'll keep her nice and fresh for it."
Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe betting
Paddy Power: 3 Tarnawa, Adayar, 9-2 Snowfall, 5 Hurricane Lane, 10 St Mark's Basilica, 12 Chrono Genesis, Teona, 16 bar