Alpine Eagle had his first look at Moonee Valley this morning as he builds towards the 2015 Cox Plate and trainer Tony McEvoy could not have been happier with the enigmatic four-year-old.
Alpine Eagle worked alongside stablemate Big Memory and talented mare Rising Romance at Moonee Valley this morning and he hit the line strongly to finish over the top of his rivals, despite not being asked for an extra effort by jockey Mark Zahra.
The High Chaparral entire has done plenty wrong during his racing career to date, but McEvoy said that the four-year-old had no problems getting around the tight Moonee Valley circuit and he confirmed that the Australian Guineas placegetter would continue to head towards the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
“I think it was a real pass mark,” McEvoy said.
“He had a couple of horses to follow and take him into the gallop and they quickened really nicely to my eye from the 400 and he stalked them and came off their backs.
“He was brilliant to the line I thought and Mark Zahra said that he seemed to feel comfortable.
“I was as pleased as you could be.”
Alpine Eagle is set to have his next race start in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4 and McEvoy said that his only concern is that the talented entire could miss out on a place in the final field.
The Cox Plate contender performed well without winning in both the Listed Penny Edition Stakes (1400m) at Morphettville on August 22 and the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600n) at Flemington on September 12, but McEvoy believes that the progressive galloper can go to another level when he gets a maiden opportunity over 2000 metres in the Turnbull Stakes.
“We just have to get into the race, but he doesn’t get a penalty and he gets 54 and a half, which tells you that is the right race for him,” McEvoy said.
“The 2000 metres at Flemington would be ideal.”
Alpine Eagle is currently available at 2015 Cox Plate odds of $21, while George Main Stakes winner Kermadec ($7) is now a narrow favourite from Team Williams-owned Fawkner ($8), two-time Group 1 winner Contributer ($11), Gai Waterhouse-trained Pornichet ($12), talented mare Winx ($12), European visitor Highland Reel ($13), Godolphin-owned Hartnell, Sussex Stakes runner-up Arod ($15), Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Criterion ($15) and last start winner Gailo Chop ($15).