Alpinista owner Kirsten Rausing 'pondering' Japan Cup trip

Owner Kirsten Rausing is “pondering” the pros and cons of a Japan Cup farewell for Arc victor Alpinista.

The five-year-old claimed an eighth successive win, of which six have been at Group One level, when holding off Vadeni by half a length in the ParisLongchamp highlight at the beginning of October.

Should Rausing and trainer Sir Mark Prescott decide to have one last roll of the dice in Tokyo on November 27, they could bag a bonus of $3million if the popular grey comes home in front again.

However, while Rausing feels her star mare will take some topping in Japan, the lengthy journey and a reluctance to "ask her any more" is tempering enthusiasm.

She said: "If she were to go there, by the looks of it she wins it - she's higher rated than anything else there. She is 10lb higher rated than any European that has gone there in the last so many years, but then again no European has won there for quite a while.

"She will appreciate the firm going she is likely to encounter there and on all known form, she is likely to win it.

"However, there are a lot of other factors to take into account, not least the very long journey which necessitates a reloading in Frankfurt. I was under the impression it was a direct flight, but they have to spend a minimum of six hours at Frankfurt airport which makes a very long journey even longer.

"She is also, at the moment, world champion older mare. Win or lose in Japan, I cannot see anything that can come up and beat her, even whatever filly or mare wins at the Breeders' Cup, I can't see them being rated higher than Alpinista.

"From that point of view her reputation is already there, she's already world champion, she's won 10 races, she's won six Group One races. She's immensely generous and always courageous and giving and I feel reluctant to ask her any more, she's done so well, she's been so good to us all.

"Sir Mark is obviously keen to go to Japan, I am pondering."

Alpinista will join Rausing's broodmare band at the end of the year and the owner believes she has nothing left to prove.

She added: "She has beaten the best in the world (in the Arc), and she's beaten last year's winner (Torquator Tasso) and the form has worked very well and she has beaten Vadeni who in turn has beaten the very best horses in Europe previously.

"So she has very little left to prove and I'm immensely grateful to her and the team behind her and personally I'm very happy as we are."

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