Vinnie Eagle soaring towards Sydney

Exciting Cambridge two-year-old Vinnie Eagle showed at the Cambridge trials yesterday he is poised to continue his unbeaten record at the Auckland Christmas Carnival.

The Australian-bred son of I Am Invincible made his first public appearance since winning his debut at Ruakaka on September 14 when contesting a juvenile 800-metre heat and his seven and a half-length win left trainers Tony Pike and Mark Donoghue convinced he has improved further.

“He’s a different horse than in his first start,” said Pike. “He’s grown up and learnt a lot. He was super today.

“He was brilliant out of the barriers and raced like a real professional. Sure he had more experience than the others, but he did it so easily. It was a lovely trial.”

Vinne Eagle had also been successful in his only other outing, in a trial at Avondale 11 days before his debut victory, and he is now headed for Ellerslie on New Year’s Day. The mission is the Gr. 3 $70,000 Barneswood Farm Eclipse Stakes (1200m).

Bought for A$65,000 in Sydney by Pike on behalf of Australian client Colin Keane , Vinnie Eagle is eligible for the $A250,000 2YO Inglis Classic, a restricted Listed 1200 metres at Rosehill on January 18.

“Provided he goes well at Ellerslie he’ll go over for the Inglis Classic,” said Pike. “That has been the plan all along We won’t know whether he’s up to the Australian two-year-olds until we try, but he deserves a crack.”

Leith Innes will ride Vinnie Eagle in his Ellerslie assignment, but a new rider will have to be engaged for the Sydney race. “It clashes with Levin Classic day at Trentham so Leith will be riding there,” saud Pike. “I’ll get in touch with James McDonald and see if he’s available.”

Vinnie Eagle, who is from a half-sister to the Group One winner Nashville, was one of five winners the Pike – Donoghue stable had its local trials today from seven starters. “They all went well,” said Pike.

The winners also included a Choisir – Rogan’s Gem filly who was bought for $130,000 by the Chris Waller stable and has been syndicated.

“She’s a gorgeous filly and the plan is to try and get her to the Karaka Million,” said Pike. “She’ll run at Ellerslie over Christmas then have another run on January 11 there. It’s going to be tight trying to get her to the Karaka Million but it’s worth trying.”