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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

West Australian-bred five-year-old Al Guerrero went into Friday night’s RAC Members Save 5% Every Day At Retravision Pace with a record of 14 wins — all when leading — and he revealed a different side of his regular pattern of racing when he sat back in the field before finishing determinedly to score a narrow last-stride victory.

Trained at Pinjarra by his part-owner Kyle Anderson, Al Guerrero was favourite at $1.30 from barrier five, and he was not asked to use his normal gate speed because Anderson and reinsman Kyle Harper had doubts about his ability to dash straight to the front.

Instead, Harper was content to allow Al Guerrero to settle down in seventh position, racing one-out and one-back, trailing $126 outsider Crocodile Kid, while smart frontrunner Vivere Damore ($7.50) was setting the pace.

When the pace slackened after 700m Harper wisely sent Al Guerrero forward to race in the breeze. Vivere Damore sped over the final 800m in 57sec. and she just failed to hold out Al Guerrero, who got up in the final stride.

“We weren’t confident that we could find the front,” said Anderson. “A lot of things had to unfold for us to get there, so we thought that in this race we might have to drive him a bit tougher and see whether or not his class would get him over the line. And that’s how it panned out.

“Kyle went back at the start and looked after him, slotting him into the one-one. They went hard early, and Kyle took off and went to the breeze when they backed off. The last 1200m was pretty sharp. It was a ten out of ten drive.”

Al Guerrero now has raced 59 times for 15 wins, 14 placings and $167,250 in prizemoney.