I HAVE not met a soul who did not rejoice in the weekend success of Alpinista (Frankel) in the Group 1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at ParisLongchamp. On so many levels it was the perfect result, and for a team that enjoys great respect individually from all of their peers.
Let me hark back to what I wrote in my editorial in advance of the weekend’s racing. Speaking about John Oxx, I said: “Director now of Staffordstown Stud, he will be cheering on the homebred Alpinista who, should she win the €5 million race, would deliver the crowning achievement as a breeder and owner for Kirsten Rausing, an iconic figure in this business who has enjoyed enormous success in recent years.
“As an independent thinker, and someone who has contributed more than most to the industry, Miss Rausing has done so much for racing and breeding, and victory for Alpinista would be truly deserved.” I am glad that I wrote this in advance of the race, but the words are true and I have to admit to being a great fan of Miss Rausing, Sir Mark and of the female line from which the star mare descends.
As with another of the major winners at the weekend, Kyprios in the Group 1 Prix du Cadran, both have occupied more than the normal amount of space in Breeding Insights than is usual for top-class horses. This is down, in both cases, to their consistent annexation of Group 1 races throughout the season. In terms of the overall tally, the five-year-old mare Alpinista excels over the four-year-old colt, though that could change in the years ahead.
After all, Alpinista is already earmarked for the breeding shed in the spring, but not before at least one more target. To date her 10 wins, equally divided between England and offshore, include six Group 1 races, while all but one of her victories have been in blacktype races. All her wins in France and Germany have been at Group 1 level, her sole success in that sphere in England coming in the only Group 1 she has won against her own sex, the Yorkshire Oaks.
Thanks to her win on Sunday, she is now Frankel’s biggest earner and most successful Group 1 winner, the value of her triumphs amounting to the equivalent of more than €3.9 million. Every which way you look at what she has done, under the fine tutelage of Sir Mark Prescott, is awesome. She is also, and this is so important to say, a graduate of the nurseries where she was raised, and what a joy it was to see, among the party at the races on Sunday, the former Staffordstown Stud manager Julian Lloyd.
I will reprise the family of Alpinista, though many readers would likely to able to recite it anyway, and what a crowning glory for the family that she should win the most desirable race of all in Europe in the same year, and just a few short weeks after, that her ‘cousin’ Eldar Eldarov (Dubawi) gave Kirsten Rausing her first winner of a British classic as a breeder.
If Miss Rausing thought 2021 was her annus mirabilis, and it was until now, than it has been surpassed by the happenings 2022.
Alpinista is a fourth-generation homebred, and Miss Rausing purchased the mare’s fourth dam in 1985. That was Alruccaba (Crystal Palace), a Michael Stoute-trained, Aga Khan-bred two-year-old who was a two-length winner of the EBF Alfriston Stakes for maidens at Brighton on her second start, ridden by Bruce Raymond.
Beaten half a length on her debut, Alruccaba ran twice more that season, finishing third and fifth. She did not race again, having been purchased at the end of her first season racing at the Tattersalls December Sale for 19,000gns. What a gem she was to become for Miss Rausing and her friend Sonia Rogers.
Alruccaba had eight winners, half of them stakes-winning daughters, and three of that quartet bred Group 1 winners. One of her non-winners, Jude (Darshaan), went on at stud to breed the Group 1 winners Yesterday (Sadler’s Wells) and Quarter Moon (Sadler’s Wells), successful in the Irish 1000 Guineas and Moyglare Stud Stakes respectively.
Last Second (Alzao) was the best runner out of Alruccaba, winning both the Nassau Stakes and Sun Chariot Stakes, Group 2 races then, and she was runner-up in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot. At stud Last Second bred the Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains-French 2000 Guineas winner Aussie Rules (Danehill), is grandam of Group 1 Prix Jean Romanet winner Coronet (Dubawi), and third dam of the Group 1 St Leger winner Galileo Chrome (Australia).
The Group 3 Doncaster Cup was the best of six wins for Alruccaba’s daughter Alleluia (Caerleon), and she bred Allegretto (Galileo), who travelled to France to win the Group 1 Prix Royal Oak.
Another daughter, Alouette (Darshaan), Alpinista’s third dam, won a listed race at Galway, but she made her debut in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes, finishing third to Sayyadati and Bright Generation. Alouette has been an outstanding success at stud, her nine winners headed by the Group 1 winners Alborada (Alzao), winner of the Champion Stakes twice, and Albanova (Alzao).
The latter mare won three Group 1 races in Germany, also won by her granddaughter Alpinista, and has four stakes winners among her nine successful offspring on the racecourse. Three are by present or former Lanwades stallions. The odd-one-out is All At Sea (Sea The Stars), the dam of Eldar Eldarov.
Finally, we move to the present, and another of Albanova’s stakes-winning progeny, Alwilda (Hernando). Stakes-placed in England where she won three times, her fourth win came in the Listed Silbernes Band in Koln. Alwilda is now dam of two winners with her first two foals, an Arc winner and her three-year-old half-sister Alpenblume (Kendargent), trained for Miss Rausing by her godson Tim Donworth. The latter is a three-time winner in France and stakes-placed in Germany. Watch when she contests a blacktype race next.
There is simply nothing to add to the story of Frankel (Galileo) – just look at the leading lots at this week’s Book 1 Sale of yearling in Tattersalls and you have further proof that he is one of the very best stallions in the world. He has more than 100 stakes winners, and they include 25 individual winners at Group or Grade 1 level.