Jake Stephens’ Alcopop is set to begin his Melbourne spring campaign in this Saturday’s Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes at Moonee Valley.
The seven-year-old gelding looks primed to tackle the quality opposition in the weight-for-age feature after winning the Listed Penny Edition Stakes at Morphettville last start.
Stephens said that the Melbourne Cup nominee has continued to improve since his last run three weeks ago.
“He’s still super actually; giving him the three weeks was a good thing… that way we were able to give him a week in the paddock,” Stephens said.
“(We were able to) keep a bit of freshness in him, a bit of dash in his legs and he’s looking great.
“He’s gotten older now and we’ve worked out a few things.”
Alcopop finished fifth in his first-up run in the Group 3 Spring Valley Stakes in his first-up run this preparation.
“He’s obviously improved off that first one and winning that last run was really exciting”
“He seems to have pulled up well from it.”
The trainer is hopeful that Alcopop can keep the current form he is demonstrating throughout the spring.
“Once he’s been in… that good form early on he seems to be able to keep going and condition wise he’s holding it so hopefully that’s a good sign.”
Stephens is adamant that Alcopop deserves to be among the top company of the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes field on Saturday.
“He’s three from four over a mile,” he said.
“It’s going to be interesting to see what he can do.
“Off that last run he’s right up there I’d say.
“He’s feeling a million dollars and he hasn’t been bucking and squealing like he was this time two years ago before the Melbourne Cup prep.”
Alcopop will have another well-deserved two to three week break following this weekend’s race before continuing to take some of the top races of the spring carnival.
“Probably in two or three weeks he’ll be coming back and we’ll see what’s around,” Stephens said.