Star Mare Alpinista Ends Sir Mark Prescott’s 52-Year Wait to Win the Qatar Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe

October 2, 2022

Five Winners at ParisLongchamp Secure Free Starting Positions at the 2022 Breeders’ Cup World Championships

PARISLONGCHAMP, PARIS, FRANCE (Oct. 2, 2022) ― Kirsten Rausing’s Alpinista (GB) provided trainer Sir Mark Prescott his first victory in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) at ParisLongchamp on Sunday. The homebred winning mare earned an automatic place in the US$4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup 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.

The Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe was the centerpiece of five Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races in Paris on Sunday, (Race reports appear below).

Backed into 3-1 favoritism as the rain fell at Paris, Alpinista rewarded her supporters with a sensational victory in the 1½-mile French showpiece. 

The 5-year-old traveled prominently throughout the race under Luke Morris before taking up the running with a furlong and half to go. The wonder mare showing all her toughness to hold off a late challenge by Vadeni (FR) to win by ½-length, with last year’s winner Torquator Tasso (GER) a neck behind back in third.

It was a first Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe victory for her trainer Sir Mark Prescott, in his 52nd year as a trainer, and a sixth consecutive G1 success for the daughter of Frankel (GB).

Reflecting on the victory, an emotional Prescott said: “I’m lucky to get a good one at this stage of my career!

“It’s absolutely marvelous but the last 100 yards absolutely killed me. Such a relief she held on. Luke has ridden for us for 11 years and Miss Rausing has had horses with us for 36, so I’m very lucky. I trained her grandmother so it’s hard to think of a better day.

“You felt she was always going to win but it was just an enormous relief when she got there.”

Luke Morris, also celebrating his first success in this race, added: “Things went to plan. It was very nice and smooth. I was concerned after we got all that rain whether she’d be quite as effective but she’s a remarkable mare. She’s so versatile and so tough. I couldn’t believe how well she was going, coming into the straight. I was just trying to conserve her for as long as I could. When I needed her, she dug in very deep.”

The grey daughter of Frankel (GB) out of the Hernando (FR) mare Alwilda (GB), completed the race in 2:35:71 in ground listed as very soft.

Belbek provides Andre Fabre his sixth win in the Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere

Nurlan Bizakov’s Belbek (FR) got up in the shadow of the posts under Mickael Barzalona to win the Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (G1), a “Win and You’re In” for the US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).

An outsider in the market having only finished fifth in the Darley Prix de Cabourg (G3) at Deauville last time out, the Andre Fabre-trained 2-year-old relished the testing conditions at ParisLongchamp to win by a neck.

Belbek secured a one-two-three for France, with the Christophe Ferland-trained Gamestop (FR) in second, and Breizh Sky (FR) a neck behind in third.

It was a sixth success in the race for French maestro Andre Farbe and a trip to the U.K. for the Vertem Futurity Trophy (G1) looks to be the next on the agenda for Belbek.

Fabre said: “We always thought he had a lot of ability, but he didn’t find the right conditions and in his first races he failed to settle. This time, helped by the pace and probably the softer ground, he settled well. He’s good-looking, well-bred, and a good horse. He might go for the Racing Post Trophy [Vertem Futurity].”

A bay son of Showcasing (GB) out of the Makfi (GB) mare Bee Queen (GB), Belbek completed the 7 furlongs in 1:22:98.

The pre-race favorite, The Antarctic (IRE), was declared a non-runner.

Blue Rose Cen runs away with the Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac-Criterium des Pouliches

Blue Rose Cen (IRE) provided trainer Christopher Head his biggest success to date when landing the Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac-Criterium des Pouliches(G1) by an impressive 6-lengths. The winner secured an automatic berth into the US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.

Blue Rose Cen, a bay daughter of Churchill (GB) out of the Jeremy mare Queen Blossom (IRE), was stepping up to Group 1 company for the first time after winning the Prix d’Aumale (G3) over course and distance last time out. Blue Rose Cen completed the 1-mile in 1:40:45.

The 2-year-old raced prominently throughout the race under Aurelien Lemaitre before surging clear of her rivals down the home straight. She was chased home by the Irish-trained Gan Teorainn (IRE) and Never Ending Story (IRE), who finished second and third respectively.

Reflecting on his filly’s success, Head said: “I knew she would be okay on the testing ground because it was soft last time she ran, and I think she can go further than a mile. A mile-two would be easy for her. “It’s surprising how well she won because it was a good race. She was jumping from a Group 3 to a Group 1 against all the Europeans, it wasn’t like she was just running against French horses.”

Place Du Carrousel wins Prix de l’Opera Longines and connections eye Breeders’ Cup as next target

Al Shaqab Racing & Ballylinch Stud’s Place Du Carrousel (IRE) made it a double on the day for trainer Andre Fabre and jockey Mickael Barzalona when winning the Prix de l’Opera Longines (G1). The victory secured the winner an automatic berth into the US$2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1).

Place Du Carrousel flashed down the outside to deny favorite Nashwa (GB) by three-quarters of a length, with Above The Curve (USA) a short head behind in third.

A trip to Keeneland for the Breeders’ Cup could be next on the cards for the 3-year-old winning filly who was introduced at 8-1 with Paddy Power for the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

After the race, Fabre said: “She really enjoyed the soft ground, but she’s always shown quality. She won a Group 3 at Saint-Cloud in April and then was second in the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary here in May, but the ground probably made the difference today.

“She’s a big, scopey filly with the pedigree to train on. The Breeders’ Cup could be an option for her next. If not, she will stay in training and she will run over a mile and a half next season.”

A bay daughter of Lope De Vega (IRE) out of the Duke Of Marmalade (IRE) mare Traffic Jam (IRE), Place Du Carrousel finished the race in 2:12:64.

Richard Fahey and Hollie Doyle team up to win the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines with The Platinum Queen

Middleham Park Racing’s The Platinum Queen (IRE) became the first 2-year-old since 1978 to win the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines (G1).

It was a first G1 success for the daughter of Cotai Glory (GB), who was runner-up to Highfield Princess (FR) in the “Win and You’re In” Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes (G1), and second in the Coral Flying Childers Stakes (G2) at Doncaster last time out.

The only 2-year-old in the field, The Platinum Queen made the best of her weight allowance to hold off White Lavender (IRE) by a short neck, with the French-trained Coeur De Pierre (FR) filling third place.

Winning jockey, Hollie Doyle, was full of praise for the juvenile post-race and said: She’s done that brilliantly. She had a bit up her sleeve and she had the race put to bed, but half a furlong out she idled. Luckily, I got some company, and she stuck her neck out again.

“Her biggest asset is her speed. She was either going to go on this ground or wouldn’t, but thankfully it worked out well. All credit to Mr. Fahey, who is an exceptional trainer of this type of horse.”

The Platinum Queen, a bay daughter by Cotai Glory (GB) out of the Kodiac (GB) mare Thrilled (IRE), finished the 5-furlong contest in 58:65.

(NOTE: The Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines is a “Win And You’re In” for the US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) which is restricted to runners 3-years-old and older. The Platinum Queen’s connections are permitted to transfer the waived entry fees for her to start in another Breeders’ Cup Juvenile race based upon the requisite conditions.)

Breeders Cup Press release

Photo: Alpinista (Eclipse Sportswire photo)

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