Cox Plate hopeful Alpine Eagle will step up his Spring Carnival preparation when he barrier trials at Morphettville on Friday.
Alpine Eagle worked his way up through the grades during the Autumn Carnival to record a hat trick of wins with his victory in the Group 2 $200,000 Race-Tech Australia Caulfield Autumn Classic (1800m) at Caulfield on February 28 before running a close second to Wandjina in the Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 7.
Trainer Tony McEvoy then sent the High Chaparral colt for a spell and is very pleased with the way he returned to the stable to start his four year old season.
“He’s put on quite a bit of weight and you can really tell he’s gone from three (year-old) to four,” McEvoy told AAP.
“He’s strengthened and thickened up. I’m very happy with him.”
Alpine Eagle galloped with stalemate Big Memory in between races at Morphettville last Saturday and McEvoy will decide after Friday’s trial when he will resume for the Spring as he heads towards the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
Either the Group 2 $200,000 Back To Caulfield P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 15 or the Group 1 $400,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 29 could be Alpine Eagle’s kicking off point.
“Sometimes they can get a bit quicker between their three-to-four-year-old days and that will determine to me how far I run him over,” McEvoy said.
“At the moment I’m thinking 1400m and either of the PB Lawrence or the Memsie.
“Gut feel, but the Cox Plate is the race I’d like to get him to.”
Alpine Eagle has earned $266,800 in prizemoney for his connections from four wins, a second and a third from six race starts.
In early Cox Plate betting with Ladbrokes.com.au, Alpine Eagle is marked at $17 with brilliant Hong galloper Able Friend and weight for age star Contributer heading the market order at $9 each.
Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Criterion and Gai Waterhouse’s Doomben Cup winner Pornichet are also well in contention at $10.