Jessica Harrington ready to unleash Alpine Star at York on Friday
York's evening meeting on Friday will welcome one of the stars from last season as Coronation Stakes heroine Alpine Star is set to make the trip from Ireland to the Knavesmire for her belated seasonal return, trainer Jessica Harrington has confirmed.
The Niarchos family-owned daughter of Sea The Moon, who is a half-sister to the owner's star filly Alpha Centauri, was an impressive four-and-a-quarter-length winner at Royal Ascot last year.
She subsequently finished runner-up in three Group 1s in France, including when going down by a short neck in both the Prix de Diane and the Prix de l'Opera at Longchamp behind Breeders' Cup Turf winner Tarnawa last October on her most recent start.
Having missed some intended spring targets, she will be seen for the first time this season in the 1m2½f Listed Lyric Fillies' Stakes, having also been engaged in the Group 3 Valiant Stakes at Ascot on the same day.
Her expected appearance adds some star quality to York's popular fixture, which will be the first meeting at the track since the coronavirus protocols were lifted on Monday and features a post-racing concert from Rick Astley.
Harrington told the Racing Post: "I'm hoping to come to York with her and will travel over. I'm looking forward to getting her out again.
"We'll hopefully go on to Deauville afterwards for the Prix Jacques le Marois next and there are a few other targets after that. The big races are on the list."
The four-year-old contested the Prix Jacques le Marois last season – a race won by Alpha Centauri in 2018 – when going down to Palace Pier by three-quarters of a length, and the two could clash once again after the latter was ruled out of next week's Sussex Stakes with a blood disorder.
She also holds a number of high-profile entries for the second half of the season, including in the Yorkshire Oaks, the Matron Stakes, Irish Champion Stakes and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
On Alpine Star's delayed comeback, Harrington added: "It wasn't the weather that played any troubles with her. She had a bit of a minor setback in the spring.
"We had to bide our time for a little bit and missed the Pretty Polly Stakes, but she's fit and ready to go now. I can't wait."
Read more of Tuesday's top stories:
Place bets with seven bookmakers without leaving the free Racing Post app. Same prices, same offers, live video. Every race, every day. Search 'Racing Post App' to download for free