Trainer Tony McEvoy has underlined the 2016 Caulfield Cup (2400m) as the major target for rising five-year-old Alpine Eagle when he returns to competition in the Spring Racing Carnival.
Alpine Eagle has produced a number of standout results through a short but impressive nine start career so far, but the entire’s last 12 months have been hampered by injury; resulting in only three appearances through the last 14 months.
Having made a hit-and-run appearance for fifth in the Group 3 RA Lee Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville on May 21st, McEvoy told AAP the High Chaparral entire has returned to the stable, and will be set on a tradition path towards the 2016 Caulfield Cup when he resumes.
“He was a bit ring-rusty,” McEvoy said of the horse’s run in the RA Lee Stakes.
“The way the race was run, it was run five and a half seconds outside the (track) record time and it turned into a real sprint home and he was just flat-footed. I thought it was OK for his first run back after a long break.
“He’s back in the stable. He just had a month to himself and he’s done well and I’ll just build him up now towards some staying races in the spring.
“He’ll kick off in those traditional 1400-metre races I’d say and I’ll just bring him through a traditional stayer’s program heading towards the Caulfield Cup.”
Trialling well in the lead-up to his competitive debut, Alpine Eagle immediately stamped himself as one to watch when first appearing for success in the Wolf Blass Wines Maiden Plate (1117m) in May 2014 before immediately returning to the paddock.
Making only one appearance for third in the Albert O’Cass OAM Memorial Plate (1300m) that spring, Alpine Eagle undoubtedly found career-best form to date during his three-year-old campaign through the 2015 Autumn Carnival.
Taking out a pair of minor South Australian races over 1400m and a mile respectively, the entire out of Zephyria made a successful transition to black type racing with success in the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m), before savaging the line for a close second behind Wandjina in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m).
Returning in spring for second in the Listed Penny Edition Stakes (1400m), Alpine Eagle suffered a cracked pedal bone when sixth in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) on September 12th and was subsequently ruled out of his remain Spring Carnival targets.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best early 2016 Caulfield Cup odds, for which Alpine Eagle can be taken at a quote of $34 for success.