View the nominations for the 2016 Bill Ritchie Handicap. The Bill Ritchie Handicap will be run on Saturday 17th September at Royal Randwick racecourse.
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Alpine Eagle’s disappointing performance in the Group One Makybe Diva Stakes has prompted his trainer to try something new.
The five-year-old will run on Saturday in either Melbourne or Adelaide with Tony McEvoy hoping the seven-day back-up can switch him on.
McEvoy has entered Alpine Eagle for Saturday’s Group Three Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield and the Listed Penang Trophy (1800m) at Morphettville.
“I’m going to back him up, either in the Naturalism or a race in Adelaide,” McEvoy said.
“He didn’t give me what I expected there on Saturday, for whatever reason.
“I thought a quick run might be good for him.”
Alpine Eagle finished 11th in Saturday’s 1600m weight-for-age Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington, won by Palentino.
“It was disappointing. He got too colty,” McEvoy said.
He said they couldn’t find anything wrong with Alpine Eagle after the race and he’s hoping the quick back-up will suit.
“He’s feeling well but he’s not concentrating on the job at hand.”
The Naturalism Stakes carries a ballot exemption for the Caulfield Cup to the winner, which McEvoy admitted was a temptation.
The race has attracted 28 nominations including six individual Group One winners.
Ciaron Maher has the past two VRC Oaks winners, Set Square and Jameka, heading to the Naturalism while Ranvet Stakes winner The United States is the highest-rated horse among the nominations.
The United States finished second in last year’s Naturalism won by Magnapal who is again entered.
Trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young have nominated Australian Derby winner Tavago for the Naturalism and Saturday’s Hill Stakes in Sydney.
Busuttin said they would wait until after the horse galloped on Tuesday before deciding whether he ran on Saturday or waited for another race.
“We’ve thrown nominations in as a precaution. He may not even run this weekend. We may wait until next week in the Underwood,” Busuttin said.
“We’re going to give him a gallop tomorrow and go from there.”
Singapore-based Glen Boss will make a flying visit to ride Tom Melbourne in the Naturalism.