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Alpine Eagle Wins Gr2 Autumn Classic
At Caulfield in Melbourne, dual Derby-winning shuttler & 6-time Gr1 victor High Chaparral (Sadler's Wells-Kasora, by Dashaan) added a Group success when gifted 3YO colt Alpine Eagle (High Chaparral-Zephyria, by Zabeel) scored a stunning 0.1-length win for trainer Tony McEvoy in the $200,000 Gr2 Autumn Classic (1800m) for 3YOs, over fellow 3YO colts Minnesinger (Lonhro-Serenade Rose, by Stravinsky) & Firehouse Rock (Fastnet Rock-Bird of Fire, by Stravinsky). This was the first stakes victory for Alpine Eagle who took his record to 4 wins and 1 placing from 5 starts for $176,800 earnings. McEvoy said he would consider backing up Alpine Eagle in Saturday's Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington, but said he favoured travelling back to his native Adelaide to prepare for the Gr1 South Australian Derby instead. "If he bounces out of this he's still in the Guineas," McEvoy said. "I need to let the horse do the talking. If he's not his normal self in the next 48 hours he will be straight back to Adelaide." He added, "I don't think he's got the mindset at the moment to go to Sydney. I think I would prefer to go the lower road. He wasn't bought for a Derby, he was bought for the Cups." Owned by South Australian winemaker Wolf Blass, Alpine Eagle was purchased by McEvoy for NZ$240,000 at the 2013 NZB Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Cambridge Stud. Alpine Eagle certainly possesses the bloodlines to be a top-class stayer, and is bred on the same High Chaparral x Zabeel cross as Arrowfield's outstanding Australian Derby winner Dundeel.