Three-year-old colt Alpine Eagle will continue on his Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) path after impressing trainer Tony McEvoy with his runner-up performance in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) on Saturday.
Alpine Eagle was one of 14 runners in the Flemington feature race two days ago and despite a late challenge after coming down the outside couldn’t steal the all-the-way win from Gai Waterhouse’s Wandjina, however the very green colt was a fast finishing runner-up just a half-neck away.
“He ran enormous, his sectionals were brilliant and Douglas (Whyte) said only his immaturity beat him,” McEvoy told TVN.
“He’s a very exciting horse. You’d think he’s going to get better with time.”
Douglas Whyte rode Alpine Eagle in the 2015 Australian Guineas, in which the colt continued to build speed, running home his final 600 metres in 32.70 seconds, his final 400 metres in 22 seconds, and his last 200 metres in 11.41 seconds.
The hoop believes that with a little more work, the colt will be a force to be reckoned with.
“He was getting home two to their one. He’s just six months away from being the proper horse he could be,” Whyte said.
“He’s just a bit immature, but he’s going to be the real deal.”
The $500,000 South Australian Derby will run at Morphettville on May 9.
Alpine Eagle will enjoy a three week freshen-up at McEvoy’s Murray River property before continuing his 2015 South Australian Derby preparations in the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas (1600m) on April 11, followed by the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (2000m) on April 25, both running at Morphettville.
The colt has finished in the first three in all six of his career starts. He made his debut in black-type racing on February 28, winning the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) by a short half-head in a strong finish before running second in the Australian Guineas.
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