Tony McEvoy is thrilled with how Cox Plate fancy Alpine Eagle is shaping up for a crack at Australia's weight-for-age championship, but concedew the four-year-old needs a big scalp to get into the field, reports

After his brave sixth-place finish in the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) on September 12, Alpine Eagle got his first look at Moonee Valley on Tuesday morning as McEvoy eyes the 2040m classic.

The Angaston-based trainer said Alpine Eagle was in good order, with the plan to head to the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 3.

"Tremendously," McEvoy replied, when asked how he had come on since the Makybe Diva.

"That was just second-up, I kept him pretty fresh for that race being still at a mile.

"He got close. So I can train him on now, which I have done. He's thrived on it, I couldn't be more pleased with how he's done in the stable, and he looks a picture so I'm happy."

WATCH: Alpine Eagle’s Makybe Diva Stakes run




McEvoy flagged a bright future for the son of High Chaparral regardless of how his Spring Carnival pans out.

"When they're by High Chaparral out of a Zabeel mare, they take a bit longer than the Redoute's Choices - they're quicker thinkers, they're sharper horses," McEvoy said.

"So he's working it out. We're at the top level now. And I think he's doing a tremendous job. What you'll see at four, you'll see better at five."

McEvoy said Alpine Eagle's first look at the famous 2040m stretch at the Valley would likely come on October 2 in the Group 3 JRA Cup - a race the likes of El Segundo (2005) and Maldivian (2007) have won before going on to Cox Plate success in later years.

But if the Friday night fixture is too soon for him, McEvoy will take the Australian Guineas runner-up to the Cranbourne Cup (2025m) on October 11.