Allez Eagle ready for another big task

Exciting Cambridge three-year-old Allez Eagle is certainly going to now about being thrown in the deep end if he gets to the Gr. 1 $400,000 Sothys NZ 2000 Guineas at Riccarton next month.

The highly regarded son of Guillotine faced a tough maiden debut when taking on Allez Rose and Cosmic Cube at Te Rapa on October 4 and he lived up to the expectations of trainers Tony Pike and Mark Donoghue when scoring by a length and a half.

Now Allez Eagle faces an even bigger task when he returns to Te Rapa tomorrow for the Gr. 3 $70,000 James and Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes. He will not only clash again with A’La Rose and Cosmic Cube, he will meet a couple of the early season stars, Bounding and Spellbinder, as well as some other very promising three-year-olds.

“It’s not ideal to be having his second start in this race. His inexperience could easily beat him,” said Pike. ”But if he’s not up to running at least third or fourth he’s not going to be competitive in the 2000 Guineas.”

Pike and Donoghue won last year’s James and Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes with Sacred Falls and Pike rates the event as one of the best three-year-old races on the calendar.

“It’s become one of the outstanding lead-ups for Christchurch,” said Pike. “Each year it’s getting stronger and stronger. Take last year for instance, Sacred Falls beat Rollout The Carpet with Fix third, Pure Elegance fourth and Waterford next. It was really strong form and this year should be no different.”

Sacred Falls went on to win the Gr. 1 Sothy’s NZ 2000 Guineas, Rollout The Carpet and Waterford fought out the Gr. 1 NZ Bloodstock 1000 Guineas with Fix third. Fix then went on to win the NZ Bloodstock Filly Of The Year series, while the ill-fated Pure Elegance had won the Gr. 3 Gold Trail Stakes.

Leith Innes is returning from riding Sacred Falls at Moonee Valley yesterday to continue his association with Allez Eagle, who has pleased Pike and Donoghue with his work since his impressive debut.

“He had a good gallop in company last Saturday morning and he worked nicely again this week,” said Pike. “We’re happy with him.”