High Praise for Alta Blues

Champion trainer Gary Hall Snr lavished praise on Alta Blues after the big West Australian-bred gelding scored a narrow victory in the 2130m Retravision Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Alta Blues, second fancy at $2.60, had a tough run in the breeze outside the pacemaking $1.90 favourite Be My Rock before taking a narrow lead 450m from home and fighting on grandly to defeat the fast-finishing Power And Grace by a head, with Be My Rock wilting to third. The winner rated 1.56.6 over the 2130m and improved his record to six starts for three wins and two seconds.

“He is one of the better three-year-olds I’ve ever trained,” said Hall. “I really like him and I reckon he’s probably better than Chicago Bull was as a three-year-old. Chicago Bull didn’t have the depth that Alta Blues has now.

“But Alta Blues has a lot to learn; he’s not great gaited, but every time he goes around he gets better and better. I think he could develop into a very good horse.

“We’ll see how he pulls up, but he’ll probably go for a month off and then get ready for a few more three-year-old races before the end of the year on his way forward for the Golden Nugget next year.

“I expected him to sit on the outside of the odds-on favourite and win. Junior (Gary Hall Jnr) reckoned Alta Blues never got going until Power And Grace challenged him, and then he just took off again. He’s not the type of horse who will win by two lengths.”