Arc aim for ‘class filly’ Alpinista after fourth straight Group 1 success | Horse Racing News

Frederic Vernichon

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Alpinista: stayed on stoutly for a top-level win on her return at Saint-Cloud

Alpinista: stayed on stoutly for a top-level win on her return at Saint-Cloud

Frederic Vernichon

Sunday: Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, Saint-Cloud

Alpinista thrust herself firmly into the picture for major mile and a half honours when settling the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud with a turn of foot even Luke Morris admitted took him a little by surprise. 

Kirsten Rausing’s homebred daughter of Frankel came here off an eight-month break and with trainer Sir Mark Prescott warning she would be far from fully tuned up, but it mattered not as she ran down Baratti and left high-quality rivals in the shape of Hurricane Lane and Mare Australis well behind. 

Alpinista’s stock rose throughout the autumn of 2021 as she rattled off a hat-trick of German Group 1s, form that received the ultimate compliment when her Grosser Preis von Berlin victim Torquator Tasso landed the Arc.

Europe’s greatest middle-distance prize will be her main target on October 2, and Paddy Power cut her from into 14-1 (from 33). 

The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes on July 23 would also look a suitable target if Alpinista comes out of her Saint-Cloud run in good form, although undoubtedly Prescott and Rausing will want to let the dust settle a little before deciding on whether to turn her out relatively quickly for the Ascot showpiece.

 

Prescott’s assistant William Butler said: “Her form in Germany was knocked until the Arc and then everybody took notice. We’ve always been confident better ground would see a better filly.

“It was her first run of the year as we’d been very patient with her and were a bit worried coming into it. But she’s a class filly. It’s fantastic for Miss Rausing and all at Lanwades Stud.”

The Alpinista team were undoubtedly pleased to see Torquator Tasso bounce back to form at Hamburg on Saturday, and a possible rematch is possible if the team decide to head for Ascot, where Derby winner Desert Crown is likely to be in opposition.

“This year we have to go to the big stages with her,” said Butler. “Let’s hope this has been a successful stepping stone. 

“The King George could come too soon, but she’s had an easy year so far. If we want to be taking in the big ones that’s the logical next Group 1 over a mile and a half. But we will see. We’ll give her a bit longer? 

“We’re working back from the Arc. It came at the wrong time in her programme last year so we decided it would be the Arc this year.”

Scott Burton (racingpost.com/photos)


title=”Connections pose for the camera after Alpinista’s Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud victory”
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Connections pose for the camera after Alpinista's Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud victory

Connections pose for the camera after Alpinista’s Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud victory

Scott Burton (racingpost.com/photos)

Morris had a slight coming together with Bubble Gift shortly after the start – an incident that saw him incur a four-day ban – but after that he had as comfortable a time of it as he is likely to get in a Group 1.

“She hadn’t been hard-galloped and this was very much a prep for the autumn,” said Morris. “She blossomed in the autumn last year and we felt she came here just right to have a run. I’d be very hopeful she could step forward.” 

Asked if Alpinista’s decisive acceleration took him by surprise, Morris added: “I did a bit because all her runs last year were on slow ground – in the Lancashire Oaks and then in Germany. She rode a little bit laboured, but there looked to be plenty of pace on so we rode her a bit more patiently. 

“I gave her a squeeze turning in and almost found myself arriving there a bit too soon. She showed a bright turn of foot and hopefully all roads lead back to France.”

Scott Burton (racingpost.com/photos)


title=”Luke Morris returns on Alpinista after winning the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud”
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Luke Morris returns on Alpinista after winning the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud

Luke Morris returns on Alpinista after winning the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud

Scott Burton (racingpost.com/photos)

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