Alpine Eagle charged home for an impressive second in last weekend’s Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington, and will likely target the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2400m) next, according to trainer Tony McEvoy.
Jumping from the gates well, Hong Kong-based jockey Douglas Whyte settled Alpine Eagle off the pace of the race’s early leaders; receiving an ideal run in transit before displaying a keen turn of foot in the final straight to finish half a length off champion Wandjina.
Reportedly “jaded” following the impressive performance over the weekend, McEvoy told TVN an initial plan to head to Sydney for the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) on Day 1 of The Championships will not be followed, instead underlining the 2015 SA Derby as an option should the three-year-old remain in work.
“There are only two options with him,” McEvoy said.
“Either he’ll go to the paddock or to the Derby.
“He was a bit jaded after the Guineas so I’m going to keep a close watch on him for the next few weeks before we make any definite decisions.”
Posting a commendable race record of four wins and two minor place finishes from just six competitive appearances on course so far, Alpine Eagle immediately stamped his claims as one to watch upon debuting last year; jogging home to win the Wolf Blass Wines 2.y.o Plate (1117m) by close to five lengths on May 14th.
Progressing to third in the Class 1 Handicap (1300m) on August 30th, the son of High Chaparral has returned in typically scintillating form this year; taking out a minor over 1400m at Morphettville before progressing to further success in the Drink Driving? Grow Up Handicap (1600m) and Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) leading into the Australian Guineas.
Set to be contested on May 9th, a final field and barrier draw for the 2015 South Australia Derby is due to be completed and released three days prior.
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