Alta Blues Warms Up in Style

Big three-year-old Alta Blues is still learning to race, but he has been most impressive in scoring convincing victories at his past two outings.

The inexperienced Alta Christiano gelding warmed up for his assignment in the opening event, the 2130m Retravision For All the Electrical Stuff You Love Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, with a commanding performance at Gloucester Park on Tuesday afternoon.

Driven by Gary Hall Jnr, Alta Blues started from barrier five and settled down in seventh position before starting a three-wide move after about 500m. He then raced without cover as Tahi set a solid pace after a slow lead time of 38sec. Alta Blues took the lead 400m from home and won by just under two lengths from Red Hot Lady, rating 1.56.1 after final quarters of 27.7sec. and 28.6sec.

Champion trainer Gary Hall Snr was delighted at the gelding’s performance, saying: “He’s capable of running a couple of seconds faster, and that run will top him off for Friday night when (from barrier four) it looks like he will have to sit on the outside of the leader Be My Rock.

“He’ll probably run home in 54.8sec. and he still mightn’t be good enough.”

There is no doubting that the Greg and Skye Bond-trained Be My Rock will take plenty of catching from the No. 1 barrier, but I lean towards Alta Blues, who rated 1.55.7 when he won by three lengths from Power And Grace over 2130m after racing three wide early and then taking the lead after 900m two starts ago.

Be My Rock, to be driven by Ryan Warwick, was a smart winner from Gold Horseshoe and Donegal Art Chokin over 2185m at Pinjarra two starts ago. He then was restrained from barrier seven and finished strongly when a close-up third behind Alta Engen and Here Comes Sharkie over 1684m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon.

Henley Brook trainer Mike Reed will be pinning his faith in his duo of Power And Grace (barrier two) and Caveman (five). Power And Grace (Michael Grantham) was eleventh and last in the middle stages before finishing strongly with a three-wide burst from sixth at the bell when second to Alta Blues two Fridays ago. That followed his win at Gloucester Park ten days earlier when he covered extra ground after starting out wide from barrier eight.

Caveman has won easily at his three appearances in the country after resuming after a spell. “Caveman has been winning hard on the bit and he has come back (after a break) a lot better,” said reinsman Shannon Suvaljko.