Trainer Tony McEvoy will meet with owner Wolf Blass to discuss spring options for Alpine Eagle who could kick off his new season campaign with a Memsie Stakes run at the end of the month.
The five-year-old High Chaparral stallion hasn’t raced since late May in Adelaide when fifth behind Tonopah in the Group 3 RA Lee Stakes (1600m).
That was his first run since the previous September when a close sixth crossing under a length behind the winner Fawkner in a blanket finish in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.
Alpine Eagle subsequently suffered a cracked pedal bone and was scratched from the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) the morning of the race.
Very lightly-raced for his age the horse has been kept to just nine runs due to setbacks over his career – recording four wins, two seconds and a third.
His biggest win so far was in the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) at Caulfield in February 2015 as a three-year-old, which he followed with a second to Wandjina in that year’s Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m).
A meeting with connections this week will see McEvoy lock in a spring return, the horseman pushing for a resuming run in the $500,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield Racecourse on August 27 after a nice track-gallop from Alpine Eagle at Flemington on Saturday morning.
The Memsie Stakes marks the return of Group 1 racing for the 2016-17 Australian Racing Season and from five previous starters McEvoy has twice run second.
All going to plan post-Memsie and Alpine Eagle could be given a second shot at the following month’s Makybe Diva Stakes on September 10.
“I’ll have a meeting with Wolf this week and see where we step him off,” McEvoy told the media over the weekend.
“I’d like to kick him off in the Memsie Stakes if we could and then get him to the Makybe Diva Stakes.”
Alpine Eagle also features in early nominations for both the $3 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 15 and the following Saturday’s $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
All-in Caulfield Cup betting and futures Cox Plate odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have the galloper at $41.
Other Memsie Stakes bound horses this season include the Lindsay Park-raced Rising Romance whose last run was an unplaced effort at Sha Tin in Hong Kong’s Group 1 QEII Cup (2000m) from April, the fellow David & Ben and Tom Dabernig-trained Dibayani who returned with a second to Sooboog in last Saturday’s Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington and Tarzino.
Prepared by Caulfield’s Mick Price, Tavistock entire Tarzino won the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) last Melbourne Cup Carnival as well as the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) in Sydney this autumn.
He was last seen finishing fourth as the beaten odds-on favourite behind Tavago in Randwick’s Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) on April 2.
Price plans to kick off Tarzino’s four-year-old campaign in the Memsie Stakes, the $1.6 million earner to back-up in the Makybe Diva Stakes before tackling the $500,000 Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) third-up at Caulfield on September 24.
He is also early favourite to win the Caulfield Cup this year after Chris Waller’s Cox Plate winning mare Winx was absent from the nominations for the country’s richest mile and a half race.