The spring story of Alcopop is one of huge optimism, amazing progress and unfortunately bitter disappointment as he is ruled out of 2011 Cox Plate, 2011 Caulfield Cup and 2011 Melbourne Cup.
When the new season began back in August as always there was early speculation about which horses would be the top players and it’s fair to say Alcopop didn’t feature very prominently.
In fact in early betting markets for any of the races mentioned above you could have got close enough to triple figures for the South Australian gelding that was relatively forgotten.
Even after an impressive first up run over just 1200m and a subsequent win over 1400m in Morphettville his Group 1 credentials, specifically 2011 Cox Plate, barely rated more than a whisper.
That was all about to change when he lined up in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes at Moonee Valley though, his fast finishing second to Rekindled Interest quickly sparking plenty of interest in his own spring.
It was with much anticipation then that he went to the Caulfield Stakes last weekend but he tailed out last of the nine starters leaving his spring in disarray.
He had had a month between runs and trainer Jake Stephens acknowledges he got it wrong.
As a result Alcopop was withdrawn from both the 2011 Caulfield Cup and 2011 Cox Plate and has been sent back home to South Australia.
Once there they are going to try and freshen him up and potentially return to the east coast at the end of the carnival.
It will be a different type of program though as they try to restrict the seven year old to slightly shorter events.
“We’ll check him out over the next few days and decide whether he has a good spell or we continue on,” Stephens said.
“We could look for a race around the 2000m mark later in the spring but nothing over that.
“We’ll just wait and see how he recovers.”
Alcopop was the on course favourite for the 2009 Melbourne Cup where he finished sixth behind Shocking.
Since then though he’s been somewhat out of sorts starting 15 times for just two wins and two second placings.
As yet Alcopop hasn’t officially been removed from the 2011 Cox Plate betting markets however rest assured he will not run.
It could be a good time then to get on one of the other runners knowing that when his name does come out they may shorten even further.
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