Last year’s Yorkshire Oaks runner-up Alpinista began the new campaign with a hard-fought victory over Makawee in the British Stallion Studs EBF Daisy Warwick Fillies’ Stakes at Goodwood.
Five lengths behind Love at York in August, she signed off for the campaign with a narrow defeat in a Group Three at Newmarket and was sent off the 13-8 favourite against just three rivals, one of whom, Oriental Mystique, is also owned by Kirsten Rausing.
Makawee set out to make all under James Doyle, but Luke Morris looked to have him covered as he moved his Alpinista alongside.
However, Makawee stuck to her task gamely and Morris had to get pretty serious with Sir Mark Prescott’s filly, who eventually scrambled home by a short head with Oriental Mystique a length back in third.
“The plan was to make all today, but James was quite keen to go on, so I was quite happy to take a close sit,” Morris told Racing TV.
“When I finally drew up to him at the two pole I was fairly confident I had his measure, but fair play to the runner-up, she was very brave.
“My filly is probably a gallop or two short of her best on her homework and she was just a bit ring-rusty when I went for her.
“Hopefully there’s plenty of improvement in her going forwards.
“Miss Rausing’s horses generally come into their own with time. We had the dam (Alwilda) at Sir Mark’s and she improved with age, so I’d like to think this filly will take a similar path.
“There’s stamina in the pedigree, but being by Frankel, there’s a bit more speed in there. Sir Mark will come up with a plan.
“She was second to Love in the Yorkshire Oaks and the programme sort of marks itself out for a filly like that.”