Alpine Eagle is currently available at 2015 Turnbull Stakes odds of $6 and trainer Tony McEvoy has revealed that he is keen to see the enigmatic galloper ridden further forward in the Group 1 event at Flemington on Sunday.
Alpine Eagle started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign in the Listed Penny Edition Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville on August 22 and he was settled at the tail of the field before he worked home strongly to finish second, while he was caught back in the field and wide in the early stages of the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).
There is very little natural speed in the 2015 Turnbull Stakes field at Flemington on Sunday and McEvoy told Racing Ahead that he is keen for jockey Mark Zahra to take up a forward position on the son of High Chaparral in the early stages of the race.
“We wanted to be more forward the other day, but it is just didn’t quite work out and he ended up second last,” McEvoy said.
“I am hoping we won’t be giving them too big a start.
“We have tried to the last two starts, but it has been very difficult.
“I don’t really want to be giving them 10 or 12 lengths coming into the straight there.
“He has drawn poorly again, but the horse is well and he deserves to be in the race.”
Alpine Eagle was well-backed in the lead-up to the Makybe Diva Stakes and he loomed as a winning chance at the top of the straight, but he could finish no better than sixth.
McEvoy said that Alpine Eagle was forced to do plenty of work throughout the Makybe Diva Stakes and he believes that the four-year-old has taken a great deal of fitness benefit from the run ahead of the Turnbull Stakes this weekend.
“We got a little bit further back than we wanted to and he was nine wide having to do all the bullocking work and nobody was taking him into the race or doing anything for him,” McEvoy said.
“To finish a couple of lengths off those horses was great for his first run at weight-for-age.
“I am very pleased with him, he has continued to improve as he goes into his prep as I expected he would and we want him peaking in October, so I couldn’t be more pleased with the way that he has come along.”
Alpine Eagle and Royal Descent are both currently available at 2015 Turnbull Stakes odds of $6 and they are locked in a battle for favouritism from Godolphin-owned Hartnell ($7), early market mover Amralah ($7.50) and Makybe Diva Stakes runner-up Rising Romance ($8.50).