Trainer Jake Stephens will look to the Spring next year for stable star Alcopop after finishing third in the Group 1 HK$22m Longines Hong Kong Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin last Sunday.
Alcopop raced up to his good Spring form and after missing the start, Craig Williams had to be content with settling at the tail of the field before finishing hard along the rails to grab third placing behind local hero California Memory.
Stephens was ecstatic with the run and after giving some thought about the Dubai World Cup Carnival in March, decided to give the eight year old a decent spell in preparation for the 2013 Spring Carnival hoping to repeat this year’s outstanding efforts.
“That’s pretty ambitious and we do want to give him that bit of a rest over summer and autumn,” Stephens said.
“For us to get him up and fit enough to get him to Dubai would take a fair bit of work on some pretty hard ground.
“He’ll get a good holiday now and we’ll just see how he comes up. He’s eight years old and his joints are not getting younger.”
Alcopop proved that he was a top class performer winning his first Group 1 race in the $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 3 and lived up to that form with a slashing third on the international stage in Hong Kong.
Even though Alcopop is an eight year old, he has only started on thirty-four occasions and has keep his best form for her later years.
“You’d never think that a horse eight years could recapture some of that form and probably be up to career-best. It’s ridiculous really,” Stephens said.
“I would have liked him to be doing that for the last three years. I don’t know what I’ve changed but I’m going to keep doing it.”
Alcopop first burst in the headlines when Stephens bought him over from South Australia in the Spring of 2009 and after winning his next two starts, including the Group 2 $200,000 Sportingbet Herbert Power (2400m) at Caulfield in October, was sent out the favourite for that year’s Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington.
After finishing sixth to Shocking that year, Alcopop struggled to regain his best form until this Spring and after two Group 1 seconds in the $400,000 Cathay Pacific Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 13 and the $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 20, broke through for his initial Group 1 victory in the Mackinnon Stakes.