Tony McEvoy was understandably thrilled with the results posted by Alpine Eagle through the Autumn Carnival and has revealed the rising four-year-old will be set for a racing return in August.
Resuming for consecutive successes in a pair of minor South Australian sprints, Alpine Eagle arrived in Victoria for an impressive win in the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) on February 28th before producing another standout performance to finish a close second to Wandjina in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m).
Confirming the son of High Chaparral has returned to work in great order, McEvoy believes the weight gained by the rising four-year-old in his time away from competition will pay dividends in spring.
“I haven’t put any pressure on the horse yet,” McEvoy told Racing Ahead.
“He’s had one small conditioning gallop and he just towed the jockey up the hill like a horse with class should.
“He put on 45 kilograms on during his spell and has put another 11 kilograms on in the first five weeks of his training so that really gives me a lot of confidence the horse has come back better.
“He’s always had a tremendous frame but never had a lot of flesh on the frame, but he’s really thickened-up now. I think there’s more to come but he’ll handle a strong campaign this spring.”
Yet to confirm a specific Launchpad for Alpine Eagle in spring, McEvoy said a race like the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield will likely figure as ideal, and has a plan to set the colt for a tilt at the 2015 Cox Plate.
“About mid-August I reckon he’ll be ready to go to a trial somewhere,” McEvoy said.
“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.
“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 is currently available at 2015 Cox Plate odds of $15 for success with Ladbrokes; sharing the sixth line of betting with the likes of Fawkner and Hartnell.