Trainer Tony McEvoy has been understandably thrilled with the class and results posted by Alpine Eagle through a short but impressive racing career so far, and has confirmed he will including the four-year-old in nominations for Sunday’s featured Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.
Stamping his claims as a colt to follow through an impressive three-year-old campaign in autumn, Alpine Eagle returned this time for a close second in the Listed Penny Edition Stakes (1400m) at Morphettville on August 22nd; progressing to a credible sixth in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) most recently on September 12th.
While yet to contest a race over a distance of 1800m, McEvoy is relishing the thought of the High Chaparral entire reaching the 2000m of the 2015 Turnbull Stakes, but told AAP he will also include the horse in nominations for Friday’s Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley on the chance he does not gain a position in Sunday’s feature.
“The Turnbull is the race I want to run him in but there’s a chance he mightn’t get in,” McEvoy said.
“I’ll have him in the JRA Cup on Friday night just to look at that, but if we can get a start in the Turnbull, that’s his race.
“Out to 2000 metres – this is his time.”
Finishing outside the first three only once in eight competitive starts so far, Alpine Eagle debuted to racing for success in the Wolf Blass Wines Maiden Plate (1117m) in May 2014 before immediately returning to the paddock.
Again returning for a solitary start in spring last year, Alpine Eagle won each of a Morphettville minor over 1400m and the Drink Driving? Grow Up Handicap (1600m) upon resuming this year.
Making a successful transition to black type racing in delivering a talented field defeat in the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m), Alpine Eagle undoubtedly posted a career-best effort to date when charging home to second behind Wandjina in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) on March 7th.
Turnbull Stakes nominations are due by midday today, while a final field and barrier draw will be completed and released on Wednesday.
Alpine Eagle has been set for the Cox Plate this time, and remains tied on the sixth line of betting at a $15 quote with Ladbrokes Australia.