Streaking Alpinista favored in Thursday’s Yorkshire Oaks – Horse Racing News

It won’t be Alpinista’s first Darley Yorkshire Oaks (Group 1) on Thursday at York Racecourse, but this time it’s a very different scenario to 2020.

When Alpinista finished a five-length second to QIPCO 1000 Guineas and Oaks winner Love two years ago, it was almost as if she had won, as she had a 33-1 chance and wouldn’t even have won. not run without the revised entry. protocols introduced because of Covid-19.

Fast forward to 2022 and Kirsten Rausing’s filly Frankel is the favorite after four consecutive Group 1 wins, the most recent of them in the historic Grand Prix De Saint-Cloud – favorite in betting to the winners of the Cazoo Oaks and Juddmonte Irish Oaks in a field of seven for a highly competitive £500,000 deal, which is the second of four races at York this week in the QIPCO British Champions Series.

The Yorkshire Oaks are also a ‘Win and You’re In’ race for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf this autumn in Keeneland.

Thinking back to Alpinista’s first Yorkshire Oaks, his coach, Sir Mark Prescott, recalls: “It was a great placement at the time. She would never have entered it if it had been an early closing race, as is usually the case, but she had just won the Listed Upavon Stakes in Salisbury and we thought we had nothing to lose at this stage of his career. To finish second was like having a big win.

“You never know how far a filly like her can go, but she was progressing fast back then, and her dam Alwilda was better when she was five. Her granddam Albanova only won all those Group 1s. at the age of five, so the fact that it is a family that continues to progress has given us hope.Since then, she has been very professional in an understated way.

Albanova won all three of her Group 1s in Germany, and it was there that Sir Mark campaigned for Alpinista so successfully in the second half of 2021, winning the Grosser Preis von Berlin, where she beat the winner of the Arc Torquator Tasso, then the Preis von Europa. (which Albanova also won) and the Grosser Preis von Bayern.

Germany’s Group 1s don’t always get the respect they deserve, but the Coronation Cup, which Alpinista missed last year after a lousy reach, was Sir Mark’s initial target for 2022, followed by the King George VIs and Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes, which shows how highly regarded she was.

Unfortunately, the Heath House team have generally been slow to set up and Alpinista have been no exception. Sir Mark confirmed: “She just didn’t want to come with her coat and after missing the Rite again, the timing meant we had to start her at Saint-Cloud instead.

“It was more difficult after winning France to say his form wasn’t good, although we had some luck in that the pitch was quite firm and everyone was disappointed that it wasn’t good. not the ‘good to soft’ that was advertised.

“Luke (Morris) was very determined not to get caught off guard by sitting down until they straightened up, and I think it was a winning decision to go around the outside and not not lose momentum. It meant she was rolling while the others were hanging on to speed up, and it allowed her to shoot clearly.

Sir Mark is still looking forward to the Ebor reunion and said: “York was very lucky for us because we had Pivotal and Marsha winning the Nunthorpe and we won the Ebor (with Hasten To Add) and also the Magnet Cup (now John Smith’s, with Pasternak and Foreign Affairs), all with few runners.

He also has painful memories of the narrow defeat of Ebor favorites Flymetothestars in 2017 at the hands of Nakeeta, but he is optimistic about Alpinista, while having all the respect due to rivals like Magical Lagoon and Tuesday.

Provided all goes well in York, Alpinista will travel to Longchamp for the Arc, which she is already lobbying out of favoritism. She will only be the team’s second runner in the race, despite Marsha winning the Prix de l’Abbaye on Arc Day in 2016.

Sir Mark confirmed: “I think she’s third favorite in the Arc, and that’s an unusual position I find myself in. I’ve only had one runner before, and that was Foreign Affairs, who ran very well behind Sakhee in 2001.

“That is hopefully the main target after York, but she will also be retained in the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares at Ascot, although Miss Rausing has other very fine fillies entered there and she probably has Albaflora (a short head penultimate year) reserved for her.We’ll keep our options open though.

Alpinista faces a tough challenge from Ireland, who provide the next three in betting. It’s no surprise that one of them is being trained by six-time Yorkshire Oaks winner Aidan O’Brien, whose Oaks winner on Tuesday offers to follow in the footsteps of Love (2020) and Snowfall (2021), who have both also won the Epsom Classic.

Tuesday has since only ended when he faced Colts fourth in the Irish Derby, but it was a muddled affair which O’Brien says ‘was in two halves and the front three got away’ .

Jessica Harrington’s Irish Oaks winner Magical Lagoon, who has already won the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot and may continue to improve, has a similar chance to Tuesday on paper, while Paddy Twomey’s La Petite Coco has yet to be beaten in a group race, having followed the last Group 3 and Group 2 wins of the year with a Group 1 loss to My Astra in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh in her reappearance in June.

Twomey hasn’t been placed with any of the previous five runners in Britain, but he’s going from strength to strength at home in Ireland and has a big week ahead of him as his York squad also includes Tote Ebor favorite Earl Of Tyrone.

He said: “We look forward to running La Petite Coco in the Yorkshire Oaks which has been the plan all year. We really had the second half of the season in mind since the beginning of the year and we always planned to start his campaign where we did in the Pretty Polly. This was the next step we had in mind.

“She’s a good filly and she’s in good shape. The Pretty Polly was a mile and a quarter but she won at a mile and a half and I would say that’s her ideal course. She could go to the Breeders’ Cup later, but not necessarily. There are other races (including QIPCO’s British Champion fillies and mares) and I think where his chances are best, his owners, Team Valor, will be happy to go.

Andre Fabre saddles an interesting racer at Raclette, a filly in progress by Frankel from a good Judmonte family and winner of a Listed and a Group 2 at Longchamp in her last two outings.

Rounding out the field are Qatar Nassau Stakes third Lilac Road, Group 2 winners at York earlier and growing in strength, and Poptronic, Group 3 winners on Tapeta at Newcastle.

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