Alpine Eagle has impressed trainer Tony McEvoy with the way he handled his first look at Moonee Valley.
Alpine Eagle galloped with stablemate Big Memory and the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained Rising Romance on Tuesday morning.
And McEvoy was delighted with the way the son of High Chaparral finished his work off as he had a half length advantage over his work partners.
The Australian Guineas runner-up sat behind Big Memory and Rising Romance early before joining them on the outside as they straightened.
“He had a couple of horses to follow and to take him into the gallop and they quickened really nicely to my eye from the 400-metre mark,” McEvoy said.
“He stalked them, came off their backs and was brilliant to the line, I thought.”
McEvoy says the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley next month is the race he wants to go to with Alpine Eagle and was buoyed by the way the horse handled himself at the course.
“But of course, if he doesn’t win a Turnbull Stakes, he mightn’t get in (the Cox Plate),” McEvoy said.
“He’s got to win a race now and I know we’re aiming high but he’s there because he’s good enough. If he wins the Turnbull we’ll be in the Cox Plate.”
McEvoy plans to run Alpine Eagle in Sunday week’s Group One Turnbull Stakes (2000m) if the horse makes the field.
The trainer said the four-year-old had thrived since his close-up sixth in the Makybe Diva Stakes.
And while the Cox Plate is on the wishlist, McEvoy is keeping all options open with the horse which is also entered in the Caulfield Cup.
Damian Lane rode Rising Romance and was impressed with her work.
“She switched off beautifully and when I quickened up, she quickened up nicely and she just cruised down to the line,” he said.