SHE came, she saw, she conquered.
The brilliant Alpinista powered relentlessly through the driving Paris rain to record an epic Arc de Triomphe win for 74-year-old Sir Mark Prescott.
The 7-2 favourite Alpinista won the Arc de Triomphe under Luke Morris
It is the crowning moment in a legendary career for Britain’s longest-serving trainer and a dream come true for jockey Luke Morris.
He cut his teeth on the all-weather as a young rider – and even took a full book of rides at Wolverhampton on the eve of the Arc – but he is now the winner of the world’s biggest Flat race.
Alpinista has been a galloping cash register over the last couple of years and had won five Group 1s on the spin coming into the race.
The ground was softer than ideal and Prescott was wearing an anxious expression as the heavens opened in the minutes before the race.
But he needn’t have worried as his wonder mare cruised around Longchamp in second gear and had enough up her sleeve to fend off the late challenge of Vadeni, with last year’s hero Torquator Tasso a close third under Frankie Dettori.
You don’t earn a nickname like ‘the sniper’ for nothing, and Morris showed all the poise of a veteran sharpshooter in the heat of battle aboard the well-backed 7-2 favourite.
He isn’t a regular on the big stage, but he showed great nerve in the home straight to bide his time and deliver his challenge at the perfect moment.
Prescott, one of racing’s greatest characters who is said to smoke 10 cigars a day, watched on nervously from the parade ring but was soon wearing a grin as wide as the River Seine as she passed the post in front.
He is not a man moved to emotion very easily, but he was choked up after watching his stable star cling on by half a length. No doubt a well-earned, celebratory cigar will be being puffed as we speak.