Alpine Eagle impressed trainer Tony McEvoy with a strong piece of track work this morning as he continues his return from the injury that prematurely ended his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign.
A great deal was expected of Alpine Eagle during the spring and he was set to start the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) as favourite following credible efforts in the Listed Penny Edition Stakes (1400m) at Morphettville on August 22 and the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 12, but he was scratched from the Turnbull Stakes with what was suspected to be a foot abscess before x-rays revealed that he had a crack in his pedal bone.
There were concerns that Alpine Eagle’s racing career was over, but a team of vets nursed him back to full fitness and McEvoy told Racing Ahead this morning that the son of High Chaparral is now back in full work.
“It was lovely to see Alpine Eagle striding past me with his action being so true and good,” McEvoy said.
“This horse galloped superbly at Flemington ahead of the Turnbull and he just came out of it a bit wrong in his action.
“I decided to x-ray and sadly we found a crack in his pedal bone.
“They can be very serious, they can be career ending, but this was not thankfully.
“We acted on it straight away, we put a different sort of shoe on him and it looks like we have had a really good result.
“They handled the horse really well and I am really pleased with how it has come along.”
McEvoy revealed last month that he thought the autumn would come around too quickly for Alpine Eagle and he still believes that will be the case.
The in-form trainer said that he is yet to make a decision about when Alpine Eagle would return to the races, but he admitted that the four-year-old could remain in Adelaide for a very late autumn prep before returning to Melbourne for the spring.
“I haven’t made any plans on his return yet,” McEvoy said.
“He has only had one little gallop back and to be competitive in the autumn, you need to be a lot more forward than he is at the moment.
“I am just going to bring him up and he might just stay in Adelaide for this campaign and go off again for the spring.
“None of those decisions have been made, I will get the horse a bit fitter and we will make some calls on where we should go.”
Alpine Eagle absolutely savaged the line to take out the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) at Caulfield on February 28 last year and he stamped himself as a potential superstar with an outstanding performance behind Wandjina in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington.