Alpine Eagle was unlucky to miss his major Spring Carnival targets through injury last year, but is reportedly building well in the lead-up to a likely returned in the Listed Anniversary Vase (1400m) at Caulfield on April 16th.
Alpine Eagle stamped himself as a serious racehorse through an impressive autumn campaign in 2015 and appeared in line for an impressive campaign in spring after finishing second in the Listed Penny Edition Stakes (1400m) and sixth in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).
Having completely overcome a cracked pedal bone, Alpine Eagle stretched out in a Werribee jump-out on Monday morning and representative for trainer Tony McEvoy, Michael Shepherdson told Racing Victoria the team were pleased with the four-year-old’s performance.
“We’re very excited to have him back to the track,” Shepherdson said.
“He had a little jump-out at Werribee this morning, Mark Zahra rode him.
“His recovery was really good, nice and sound, and just a good opportunity to stretch his legs a little bit and have a good day out.”
McEvoy has not decided how many runs the son of High Chaparral will have this time, but a Spring Carnival campaign geared towards Group 1 feature races is the ultimate goal.
“Not too sure (how many runs he has this prep), I guess we’ll be guided by how he goes,” Shepherdson said.
“Definitely the spring’s the main goal, but how much we do with him this prep depends on how he recovers and how he’s going.”
Alpine Eagle won the Wolf Blass Wines Maiden Plate (1117m) by close to five lengths on debut in May 2014; resuming in spring for a solitary start and third in the Albert O’Cass OAM Memorial Plate (1300m).
Winning a pair of minor races over 1400m and a mile respectively upon return in 2015, Alpine Eagle made a successful transition to black type racing when taking out the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) on February 28th before running a close second to Wandjina in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m).
Nominations for the 2016 Anniversary Vase are due by Monday, April 11th.