It would be a remarkable story should Alcopop taste Group 1 victory this spring.
The seven year old gelding was dismissed as nothing more than a footnote on the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup nominations but he could defy all doubters on the back of some fantastic early form.
He ran an eye catching fifth at Morphettville first up over a trip of just 1200m, true to form next start he came out an won over 1400m.
Since then he’s arrived in Melbourne and at Moonee Valley last start it was only Rekindled Interest that stopped him from winning the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes over 1600m.
His next start is tomorrow in the Caulfield Stakes and trainer Jake Stephens is thrilled with the way his campaign is shaping up.
“He looks great…hopefully the month between runs won’t hurt him and he’s fit enough and hard enough,” he said.
“He had a good hard gallop at Strathalbyn on Tuesday, we’ve kept him ticking over well.”
Alcopop is now a very realistic entry for all three upcoming majors but it will be a case of how he handles tomorrow’s run as to where he may go from here.
“More how he pulls up from tomorrow, whether or not we back up that’s the biggest question,” he said.
If he were to back up it would be for the Caulfield Cup, a distance he has no issues with, the Melbourne Cup though is potentially a different story.
“He gets the 2400m no problem but the 3200 is yet to be seen,” Stephens said.
As for tactics tomorrow, from barrier three they have the option of probably sitting a little closer than they normally do and that could be handy in a field with not a lot of genuine speed.
“We’ll see how the races earlier in the day pan out and if threes any track bias but we’ll probably try to push him a bit further forward and have him around midfield from that barrier,” he said.
“That turn of foot he’s shown he can do off a really hot speed as well but if they don’t go hard we’ll obviously want to be up a bit closer.”
Alcopop is one of a few top liners to come across from South Australia this spring including fellow Cup’s contender Southern Speed.