Trainer Tony McEvoy is still undecided if he is to back up last Saturday’s impressive Autumn Classic winner Alpine Eagle this weekend in the Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington.
Alpine Eagle put up an enormous performance to come from well back in the field on the home turn to grab victory on the line in the Group 2 $200,000 Race-Tech Australia Caulfield Autumn Classic (1800m) at Caulfield.
That was the High Chaparral colt’s fourth win from five starts and his third on the trot this campaign.
Even though Alpine Eagle showed his class at Group 2 level, McEvoy is cautious about backing him up in a week after such a tough run.
“I’m a bit cool on the idea,” McEvoy told TVN.
“It goes against everything I’ve done with him up until now and everything I’ve done with him seems to be working.
“I’d like some more time to look at him before I make a call.
“He’s come through it well although he left a bit of feed, but that’s understandable as he never got back home until 8pm.
“It was a late night for those horses so I can forgive leaving a dipper of feed. I trotted him up and he was lovely, loose and free.”
Damien Oliver was having his first ride on Alpine Eagle and the three year old seemed to be going nowhere near the tail of the field and still looked to be out of contention well into the straight before finally responding to the champion jockey’s urgings.
Under hard riding from Oliver Alpine Eagle was to able gain momentum and picked up Minnesinger and Firehouse Rock right on the post.
Even if McEvoy heads to the Australian Guineas, he will have to find a new rider as Oliver could be on the sidelines because of suspension but if not he is set to ride the Gai Waterhouse trained Wandjina.
Oliver will appeal today against a twelve meeting careless riding suspension he received at Ballarat last Thursday but fell fowl of stewards again at Caulfield on Saturday when slapped with an eight meeting suspension arising from an incident in the Group 3 $150,000 Zedative Stakes (1200m).
After Saturday’s Autumn Classic win Alpine Eagle has been elevated to equal third in the betting at $9 for the Australian Guineas alongside of Petrology, Wandjina and Caulfield Guineas winner Shooting To Win.
The Chris Waller trained Kermadec heads the market order at $4 just ahead of Disposition at $6.
Waller has Kermadec ready to peak on Australian Guineas Day following his first up fourth to Scissor Kick in the Group 3 $150,000 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on February 7 plus an ultra-impressive third to Hallowed Crown in the Group 2 $200,000 Blackwoods CRC Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on February 21.