Cox Plate hopeful Alpine Eagle will kick off his Spring Carnival campaign in the Listed $100,000 Penny Edition Stakes (1400m) at Morphettville Parks on August 22.
Trainer Tony McEvoy was hoping that last season’s three year old find would be ready to step out this weekend in the Group 2 $200,000 Back To Caulfield P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield, but he will give him another week before returning to track.
McEvoy is happy with the progress of Alpine Eagle even though he had a good blow after his second in a 1000m barrier trial on a heavy track at Morphettville las Friday.
“He put on 45kg during his six weeks in the paddock and he’s bigger and stronger and his trial was simply fantastic,” McEvoy told The Herald Sun
“The trial was 3s quicker than any other on the day and he chased all the way over 1000m on a Heavy 8 but finished off really strongly for third.”
“He had a big blow after that and unfortunately the Lawrence Stakes will just come up too quickly.
“So he’ll head to the Penny Edition and then the Makybe Diva and how he performs will determine his spring destination, although I’m keen on the Cox Plate.”
The Group 1 $400,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 12 is run over the same course and distance as the Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas in which Alpine Eagle ran a brave race back in March when just failing to run down the Gai Waterhouse front runner Wandjina.
Alpine Eagle worked his way up through the classes during the Autumn Carnival and earned his place in the Australian Guineas following is win in the Group 2 $200,000 Race-Tech Australia Caulfield Autumn Classic (1800m) at Caulfield at his previous start.
His early Spring form will determine if McEvoy’s expectations of the High Chaparral four year old are correct and if he is ready to take on the best weight for age horses in the Group 1 $3m William Hill Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
Alpine Eagle is currently listed as a $21 chance in early Cox Plate markets with Ladbrokes.com.au.