Latest News

  Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

After Alta Intrigue broke down with a bowed tendon for the third time champion trainer Gary Hall reluctantly conceded that his career had ended.

But the seven-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding made an almost miraculous recovery and his comeback campaign over the past 15 weeks has produced three wins, five seconds and four fourths, culminating with a superb victory in the $50,000 group 2 Retravision Binshaw Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night.   

“He kept on breaking down, and one day I had a look at him in the paddock and saw that his legs looked pretty good,” said Hall. “So, I decided to give him one more go, but I didn’t have the heart to charge the owners training fees. So, I leased him on halves, and it has been beneficial for me.”

Alta Intrigue, a winner at four of his 26 New Zealand starts, has now had 27 starts in Western Australia for six wins and ten placings to take his earnings to $200,918.

He arrived in WA in August 2017 and his first seven starts in the State resulted in three wins and two placings before he bowed a tendon for the first time. This forced him out of action for 16 months, from June 2018 to October 2020.

Alta Intrigue then managed five starts for three placings in his first comeback campaign before he was off the scene six months. He has been injury free since resuming racing early in May this year.

Regarding the gelding’s prospects of developing into a candidate for the rich Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups in the summer, Hall said: “You wouldn’t think so, but it would be nice if he was a to. It was a good run tonight, and if he keeps improving anything is possible.”

Alta Intrigue, a $6 chance, was given a perfect passage in the one-out, one-back position by Gary Hall jnr after Alta Engen ($21) charged forward from barrier eight in the first circuit to race outside the pacemaker and $1.45 favourite Al Guerrero.

Alta Engen was challenging hard for the lead in the last lap while Hall was biding his time and did not ease Alta Intrigue three wide until just before the home turn. Alta Intrigue sustained a spirited burst and got up in the final stride to beat Al Guerrero by a nose, with Alta Engen a head away in third place.

Alta Intrigue, by Mach Three, is out of former Ameran pacer Samantha Q, who earned $130,597 on north American tracks before being sent to New Zealand as a broodmare.