English mare Alpinista wins Arc for 74-year-old trainer Prescott
PARIS – English raider Alpinista stormed to victory in Europe’s most prestigious race, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, on Sunday for an enormously popular victory for 74-year-old trainer Mark Prescott.
The tough-as-teak mare and favourite battled gamely under jockey Luke Morris to repel French Derby winner Vadeni (Christophe Soumillon).
Torquator Tasso (Frankie Dettori), the 2021 winner, was a stunning third in the Group 1 feature over 2,400m.
It was Alpinista’s sixth successive Group 1 victory and it reduced Prescott, who had been under orders from owner Kirsten Rausing to make a rare foreign trip, to tears.
The 7-2 favourite’s reception on crossing the line and, when she returned with Morris to the winner’s enclosure, was greeted with raucous cheers.
“It has been a great day,” said Prescott, who was making his first trip to Longchamp in 21 years.
“Shes does everything right, she made training easy, she’s got a little bit better every time.
“For Kirsten, I am very lucky to have her as an owner.”
Morris, 33, showed little sign of nerves on what was his first ride in the race. After he crossed the line, he waved his whip in celebration.
“I cannot describe how emotional I am,” said Morris.
“She travelled beautifully, felt we were going a bit too quick early.
“She’s a very special filly, all credit to the trainer and breeder (Rausing).”
For 70-year-old Rausing, it was also a long-time goal achieved, though she confessed she was more nervous than Prescott.
“I have been pacing up and down since yesterday,” she said.
“I am thrilled and grateful to have such a great race mare. I have been breeding from this family for 40 years.” - AFP