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Picture: Luke Morris celebrates as Alpinista triumphs in the Arc (Edward Whitaker (

By David Carr
Wonder mare Alpinista passed her stiffest test with flying colours to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe for Sir Mark Prescott and Luke Morris.
It was an eighth success in a row for the five-year-old, who is unbeaten in the last two seasons.
She was always travelling strongly in the rain-softened ground, led around a furlong and a half from home and held on bravely from Vadeni and last year’s winner Torquator Tasso.
“I’m lucky to get a good one at this stage of my career!” the winning trainer joked afterwards.
Sir Mark Prescott points to the camera after Alpinista’s magnificent Arc triumph
Edward Whitaker (
Alpinista, owned and bred by Kirsten Rausing, was backed down to favouritism as the rain fell and was winning her sixth straight Group 1.
“Luke’s ridden for me for 11 years, Miss Rausing’s had horses with me for 36 so I’m very lucky, aren’t I?” Prescott added. “It’s hard to think of a better day.”
Reflecting on the closing stages, he said: “You felt she was always going to win, but it was just an enormous relief when she got there.”
The outcome was better news for backers than layers as Paddy Power spokesman Paul Binfield said: “A 7-2 favourite grey mare winning the Arc might have been a fairytale result for punters but it was a poor result for us with backers not being able to get enough of her all the way to the off.”
Prescott, 74, is in his 52nd year as a trainer, having sent out his first winner when Belle Royale scored at Teesside Park in 1971.
Alpinista is only the second five-year-old mare to win the Arc, following Corrida in 1937.
She passed the post half a length clear under Morris, who has twice won the Prix de l’Abbaye on this card but was riding the biggest winner of his career.
Morris said: “I think this is the pinnacle of my career. It’s an unbelievably special day. There are not many times I get teary-eyed but I was having to hold back tears today.
Luke Morris: “I couldn’t believe how well she was going”
Edward Whitaker (
“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.”
Ante-post favourite Luxembourg, trained by Aidan O’Brien, could finish only seventh, a place ahead of stablemate Broome. Main Japanese hope Titleholder came home 11th having forced the pace from the off.