On Sunday, the French track in Saint-Cloud hosted the prestigious G1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, where Alpinista started the 2022 season with a bang, leaving behind every single one of the well-known names she faced here.
While progressive Baratti took second place, all of the three anticipated contestants – High Definition, Mare Australis, Hurricane Lane – gave quite disappointing runs; moreover, the last mentioned colt didn’t probably finish the race in good order.
Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud
The G1 turf race offered the purse of €400,000 and attracted a field of nine four-year-old and older horses. They clashed at the distance of a mile and a half, while neither of the preferred duo impacted the race as it was Alpinista (79-10) who struck gold under Luke Morris.
The five-year-old mare travelled in the midpack and patiently waited for the moment in the spotlight that came in the final stretch. The jockey took the grey mare outside, urged her forward, and in a span of a few strides, Alpinista closed on the leading contestant, Baratti (10-1), and bettered him by one and ¼ of a length. Crossing the wire in 2m 26.15s, she delivered another big victory for her trainer Sir Mark Prescott. Bubble Gift (25-1) finished third.
The daughter of Frankel is currently unbeaten in six starts. In the past, her best results were a Listed win and a distant second place in the G1 Yorkshire Oaks; however, since April 2021, she hasn’t been defeated. Moreover, the grey amassed four G1 wins, three of them in Germany, where she had no issues leaving behind the local stars, including Torquator Tasso.
In 2022, she hit the track for the first time on Sunday, and it was a glorious return for her as she had a great gallop, upon which the finish she gave was just superb. None of her rivals could actually respond with a similar burst of speed, and therefore, Alpinista scored quite easily in front of bravely going Baratti, another Frankel offspring here.
The progressive four-year-old clang to second place before finishing Bubble Gift, while the rest of the prize money was also divided among less anticipated horses, four-year-olds Sweet Lady (25-1) and Lone Eagle (20-1).
French hope Mare Australis (5-1) basically didn’t have a single bright moment here, while favourite Hurricane Lane (4-5) probably crossed the wire with some health problem. After galloping outside the field, he was asked to quicken up in the final stretch, but nothing came out of it.
The jockey tried briefly to persuade the multiple G1 winner to go forward; however, he subsequently let the Charlie Appleby trained chestnut only finish the race in eighth place. A disappointing result, of course, but given Hurricane Lane really looked out of sorts, it seems that last year’s demanding campaign is still taking its toll on the colt.
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