Ballarat trainer Archie Alexander has Pappalino in the 2020 Eclipse Stakes

Punters are often wary of imports on debut in Australia but don’t expect Pappalino to produce an upset in Saturday’s Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) at Sandown.

TAB has Pappalino at $15 in early betting on the Eclipse Stakes in which he will take on Group 1 winner Homesman and handy performer So Si Bon amongst others.

However, Ballarat trainer Archie Alexander is using the $160,000 race to get a guide on the form French stayer, which will help decide his autumn plans with the stallion.

“We’re not expecting too much,” Alexander said.

“It’s a very hot race and it’s a little bit short but we’ve got to start somewhere.

“We’ve got to learn about him. Then we can work out what we’re going to do with him.”

Pappalino has been with Alexander for about three months. Alexander said the son of Makfi arrived in Australia with solid form in France but there was still plenty to work out with the five-year-old.

Jockey Damian Lane will ride Pappalino in Saturday’s Eclipse Stakes at Sandown. Photo: APP Image/ Vince CaligiuriSource:AAP

Confusing matters is the fact Pappalino won over 1400m as a two-year-old but was an easy winner over 3000m at his last run at Dieppe in June.

“He’s won over two miles pretty much but he’s also won over a mile so it’s all up in the air,” Alexander said.

“He doesn’t look like a stayer, more like a sprinter miler, so we’ve got no expectations.

“We’re just trying to get him started and work him out.”

Alexander said the wide gate meant jockey Damian Lane would have instructions to go back in the Eclipse to give Pappalino the chance to make ground in the straight.

While Saturday’s race is a sighter, Alexander did not rule out Pappalino making the grade as a Melbourne Cup horse next spring.

“I don’t think we’re going to see the best of him for the first bit until we get him acclimatised but the next year, we can look at it (the Melbourne Cup),” Alexander said.

Originally published asArchie unlikely to Eclipse punters

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