Yorkshire Oaks: ‘Flawless’ Alpinista takes next step on road to Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with York test

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Luke Morris is excited to be reunited with multiple Group One winner Alpinista as Sir Mark Prescott’s star takes her next step on the road to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

The popular five-year-old grey mare is 7/4 favourite for Thursday’s Yorkshire Oaks as she makes just her second start of the year, with connections keeping plans light with October’s main Paris prize in mind.

Morris was on board when Alpinista made a successful trip over to France last month for the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, her fourth consecutive victory at the top level.

Speaking to Sky Sports Racing on Monday, Morris said: “She’s been flawless the last 18 months and I’m just very privileged to be the one that rides her.

“At Saint-Cloud, it was her first run for seven months or so and she showed a bright turn of foot, which was another weapon in her armour.

Image: Alpinista beats subsequent Arc winner Torquator Tasso in the Berlin Grand Prix

“Her whole year last season was built around trying to win those three Group Ones in Germany. This year it’s all been about working backwards from the Arc. Her season started quite late this year so that she could have a light campaign ready for that first weekend in October.

“Sir Mark leaves no stone unturned so fingers crossed everything comes right on Thursday. I’m hoping at five she’ll be very much at her peak.

“These are the races and horses we all want to be involved with. It’s difficult to find these horses and I’m just enjoying the journey.”

Image: Luke Morris on board Alpinista after victory in the Berlin Grand Prix

Morris will be keeping a close eye on the weather conditions at York this week, with forecast thundery showers threatening to alter the current good to firm ground.

“Sir Mark and William Butler his assistant have always been very confident that she’d be a better filly on fast ground,” Morris said.

“The ground was very quick at Saint-Cloud so I’m hoping the rain stays away. A firm surface really won’t inconvenience her, whereas there are one or two in there who want a bit of cut in the ground.

“On slow ground she looks very workmanlike but on a faster surface she has a bit more class.”

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