Trainer Tony McEvoy has Alpine Eagle primed to run out a strong 1600m when he lines up in the Group 1 $400,000 Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.
The Australian Guineas runner up returned from a spell for a first up second to Riziz in the Listed $100,000 Penny Edition Stakes (1400m) at Morphettville Parks on August 22.
McEvoy was very happy with that effort and is also pleased with the way Alpine Eagle has progressed since and added that he was ready to take on the weight for age horses in the Makybe Diva Stakes.
“I thought the run was full of merit and he has come right on from it,” McEvoy told Racenet.
“I’m extremely pleased with him.
“He’s done a couple of pieces of strong work since and keeps improving.”
“It’s the next level for him now as an older horse but one I think he will get to.”
“The Makybe Diva looks a deep race but we’ve trained him for it, he’s ready for the extra distance and Flemington will suit.
“With normal luck in running I think he’ll be very competitive.”
Alpine Eagle proved to be one of the top three year olds during the Melbourne Autumn Carnival with a win in the Group 2 $200,000 Race-Tech Australia Caulfield Autumn Classic (1800m) at Caulfield followed by a close second to the Gai Waterhouse trained Wandjna in the Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 7.
Alpine Eagle is listed at number nineteen in the order of entry for the Makybe Diva Stakes which will have a final field size of sixteen so McEvoy took the precaution of entering the High Chaparral stallion in the $90,000 Spring Is The Season Handicap (1700m).
If Alpine Eagle fails to gain a spot in the final makeup of the Makybe Diva Stakes field, he will run in the Handicap and won’t miss out on a run heading towards the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
Melbourne jockey Mark Zahra has been booked to ride Alpine Eagle in the Makybe Diva Stakes.
In early Cox Plate betting with Ladbrokes.com.au, Alpine Eagle is marked at $17 in the market order that has the Aidan O’Brien trained Highland Reel at $11 and English galloper Arod at $13 as the top two fancies.