Sir Mark Prescott’s prolific mare Alpinista claimed her fourth Group One victory with a determined display in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.
The daughter of Frankel enjoyed a fantastic campaign in 2021, winning each of her five starts including a hat-trick of top-level triumphs in Germany between August and November.
Having been off the track since the latter of those wins eight months ago, Alpinista was an 8-1 shot for what looked a deep renewal of this mile and a half contest, with Luke Morris in the saddle.
Aidan O’Brien’s High Definition and the Martyn Meade-trained Lone Eagle disputed the lead for a long way, but both began to toil early in the home straight.
Having been ridden with restraint, Alpinista stormed home under a power-packed Morris drive to get up and beat Baratti a shade cosily by a length and a quarter.
Morris told Sky Sports Racing: “She’s taken a long time to come to hand this year, which is why she missed the Coronation Cup. I feel she’s only just starting to come now, so I hope she can improve for the run and I think all roads will lead to the Arc.
“She’s a filly we usually ride very handy, but there looked to be a lot of pace in the race and with it being her first run of the year we said we’d take a chance and drop her in a bit more and see how she went.
“The gap came lovely and she produced a very good turn of foot.”
The disappointment of the race was last year’s Irish Derby, Grand Prix de Paris and St Leger hero Hurricane Lane.
Charlie Appleby’s charge, who was beaten less than a length into third place in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October, was expected to build on his comeback run in last month’s Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot, but faltered when push came to shove and passed the post eighth of the nine runners.