Trainer Tony McEvoy has confirmed that Australian Guineas placegetter Alpine Eagle will return to the races in the 2015 Penny Edition Stakes at Morphettville on Saturday after he was included in the nominations for the Listed event.
Alpine Eagle was set to start his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last weekend, but McEvoy elected to give the four-year-old another week of tough track work following his second place finish behind Éclair Choice in a barrier trial over 1000 metres at Morphettville on August 7.
McEvoy believes that Alpine Eagle has taken plenty of benefit coming out of the barrier trial and he told AAP that he is hopeful the High Chaparral entire can replicate his three-year-old form when he takes on older horses in the Penny Edition Stakes.
“I wasn’t quite happy with his fitness so that’s why I’ve elected to give him a little bit more work and head towards the Penny Edition,” McEvoy said.
“He’s on everyone’s lips, so I’m just hoping that he can come back and confirm all that.
“They’ve got to take a big step going from their protected three-year-old days to the open grade, so let’s hope he’s good enough to do it.”
“I’m been very pleased with him so I’m looking forward to it.
“I’m hopeful that he can take the step up.”
Alpine Eagle could face up to 12 rivals in the Penny Edition Stakes on Saturday after 13 gallopers were included in the nominations for the $100,000 event.
Red Eclipse produced the best performance of his racing career to date to take out the Group 3 Spring Stakes (1200m) and he will have opportunity to become the first horse in history to complete the Spring Stakes/Penny Edition Stakes double.
2014 Champagne Stakes winner Go Indy Go failed to fire in the first-up in the Spring Stakes, but the talented filly will have the chance to recapture her best form in the Penny Edition Stakes.
Riziz finished a credible fourth in the Spring Stakes and will also be given the chance to return to winning form in the Penny Edition Stakes, while Dylanson, Justify That and Stimulatte could also be given the chance to back-up in the Listed event.
Last start winner Back On Target, the lightly-raced Bon Aurum, the consistent Go Dreaming, Leon Macdonald-trained Goodfun Girl, promising mare Rocket Commander and Shane Oxlade-trained Ustinov’s Fury have also been included in the 2015 Penny Edition Stakes nominations.