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Brave Alyssa does it the hard way in Park Hill triumph at Doncaster

Alyssa dug deep into her reserves to run out a surprise winner of the DFS Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster.

Brave Alyssa does it the hard way in Park Hill triumph at Doncaster

Alyssa dug deep into her reserves to run out a surprise winner of the DFS Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster.

Disappointing when well-fancied for last year's renewal of the Group Two contest, Ralph Beckett's four-year-old returned as a 25-1 shot, despite running well to finish third in the Coral Marathon at Sandown on her latest appearance.

Pat Dobbs sent his mount straight to the lead from the off and she remained just about in front racing inside the final furlong.


She looked beaten when Aljezeera claimed the lead under Frankie Dettori, but Alyssa roared back tenaciously to get up by half a length.

Aljezeera was joined on the line by 9-2 joint-favourite Melodic Motion, a stable companion of the winner, with the pair dead-heating for second.

Beckett was claiming the prize for the second year in succession following the victory of Simple Verse, the 2015 St Leger winner, 12 months ago.

Dobbs said: "I couldn't see what was going on behind me, but Ralph told me to let her enjoy herself.

"When you start pulling she doesn't really enjoy it, so I let her do her own thing. She settled and was watching the Jeep in front for most of the way, so that helped. She's very honest and tries very hard.

"She's not very big but she stays well and I'd say on faster ground she'll be even better."

Winning owner-breeder Kirsten Rausing said: "The race unfolded as we had planned - it went exactly to plan.

"I'm delighted and very grateful to Ralph Beckett, Pat Dobbs and the entire team.

"I bred this filly, I bred her dam, her grand-dam, her great grand-dam was the great Alborada and I bred her great, great grand-dam Alouette.

"The family has been with me a long time and I hope for some time yet.

"This filly is a four-year-old now and that is her fifth win. Either we finish today or we go to Ascot (Champions Day)."

Beckett confirmed the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup as a likely final port of call.

"She's a proper madam to train and have anything to do with. She's never been easy, but that was great and Pat got the fractions absolutely right," the trainer told ITV Racing.

"She's awkward, but she's tough and she's from a terrific family.

"She could go for the Long Distance Cup on Champions Day.

"I must say it is diabolical prize money for a Group Two, though (£90,000). Last weekend we had three-year-olds running off 80 in handicaps worth more at Haydock."

Of Melodic Motion, Beckett added: "She travelled great but probably didn't get home."

Luca Cumani was pleased with the performance of the other joint runner-up Aljezeera.

He said: "She ran very well. It was slightly disappointing in that she hit the front and I thought she was going to stay on and win, but the other one came back at her.

"But considering she's had very little racing experience, it's an improvement on previous form and she's going in the right direction. I'm delighted to have heard that she stays in training next year.

"Her dam (Dynaforce) improved to win Group One races at five and six years of age. I hope we don't have to wait that long with this filly. If there is one more race for her this year it might be the St Simon Stakes."
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