5-Year-Old Mare Gains Automatic Berth for US$2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf
YORK, ENGLAND– Kirsten Rausing’s Alpinista (GB) powered home to win the Darley Yorkshire Oaks (G1) in decisive fashion at York on Thursday at York Racecourse. The 5-year-old mare earned an automatic starting position in the US$2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of 82 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, on Nov. 4-5.
Alpinista scored her first domestic G1 and fifth consecutive top-level success when landing the Darley Yorkshire Oaks. The homebred grey is already a three-time G1 heroine in Germany, and winner of the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (G1) in France.
Settled in behind the leaders under jockey Luke Morris, Alpinista cruised to the front down the home straight, before holding off a late challenge from Cazoo Oaks (G1) winner Tuesday (IRE), to whom she was conceding nine pounds. Proving too good for her younger rivals, Alpinista won by 1-length, with Paddy Twomey’s La Petite Coco (IRE) 1 ¾-lengths back in third.
Trainer Sir Mark Prescott last celebrated a domestic G1 victory five years ago, when Marsha (IRE) won the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (G1) at the same track. Marsha would go on to finish sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Del Mar in 2017.
Reflecting on his winning mare today, Prescott said: “These are hard to come by for a smallish stable, every five or six years we’ll have a good one come along and it’s tremendous when it happens.
“We trained this one’s dam, grand-dam and great-dam so it’s been a marvelous family to be a part of. Miss Rausing [owner] was very keen to come here as she (Alpinista) hadn’t won a Group 1 in England, so she’s done it all now.”
All roads for the winner now lead to ParisLongchamp for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1), with Prescott adding: “The Arc has always been her aim. Last year we rather patted ourselves on the back winning three Group 1s in Germany but when the one behind us [Torquator Tasso] came and won the Arc, we thought we might not have been as clever as we thought.”
Alpinista, a grey daughter of Frankel (GB) out of the Hernando (FR) mare Alwilda (GB), completed the 1 ½ miles in 2:29:92 over a course listed as good.
Alpinista becomes the fifth horse to earn an automatic berth into the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf in 2022, joining: Captain’s Ransom (SAF), winner of the Cartier Paddock Stakes (G1) in South Africa; Sodashi (JPN), who captured the Victoria Mile (G1) in Japan; Ola Perfecta (PER), who won the Gran Premio Pamplona (G1) in Peru, and Dalika (GER), winner of the Beverly D. Stakes (G1) at Churchill Downs.
As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for Alpinista to start in the US$2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Keeneland, which will be run at 1 3/16 miles. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the Championships’ pre-entry deadline of Oct. 24 to receive the rewards.
Breeders’ Cup Press Release
Photo: Alpinista wins the Yorkshire Oaks (Eclipse Sportswire Photo)