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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

Alta Engen, an outstanding four-year-old, upset the brilliant three-year-old Jumpingjackmac when he rewarded his trainer-reinsman Aiden de Campo for a split-second change of tactics by edging out his star rival by a head in a thrilling group 3 Kersley Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Jumpingjackmac, the $1.12 favourite from barrier five, worked hard out three wide for the first 850m before getting past $26 chance Bettor Copagoodone and into the lead. Alta Engen, the third favourite at $22.70, was then in tenth position after de Campo had restrained him at the start from the No. 6 barrier.

De Campo explained that he had planned to drive Alta Engen quietly before relying on a late finishing burst.

“I wanted to sit him up before asking him for a strong sprint over the final 400m or 500m,” he said. “I wanted to sit him up because I had driven him quite tough at a lot of his runs.

“But the way the race panned out I had to change my mind and go forward a thousand metres from home and put him into the race at the bell — and he was good enough to stick on late and get the job done. For Alta Engen to win I needed things to go wrong for the favourite.”

Alta Engen revealed sparkling speed to charge forward three wide 950m from home to move alongside Jumpingjackmac 150m later. The two star young pacers then were locked together in a titanic struggle in the final circuit, with Alta Engen prevailing by a head in a desperate finish.

Alta Engen rated 1.55.8 and improved his record to 24 starts for 13 wins, six placings and $133,609 in prizemoney.

Jaspervellabeach ($23) maintained his splendid form in finishing third after racing wide early and then in the breeze for a lap before gaining the one-out, one-back trail for the final lap.

De Campo continued in winning vein at Bunbury on Saturday night when he trained and drove Dominus Factum ($1.14) and Rockstar Rebel ($16) to victory.