Alta Intrigue, a seven-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding who has been plagued by injury, made a successful return to racing at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he set the pace and held on grimly to win the 2130m Budget Stockfeeds In Oakford Pace.
Starting favourite at $2.20 and driven assertively by Callan Suvaljko, Alta Intrigue, trained by Gary Hall snr, rated 1.56.4 in beating the $4.20 second fancy Plutonium by a half-head at his first appearance after a 24-week absence.
This was Alta Intrigue’s first win for three years since Gary Hall Jnr drove him to victory at Gloucester Park on May 22, 2018.
“He has had three bowed tendons,” said Hall Snr. “Every time he has come back (after a spell) he has gone sore after three or four runs. However, he is now actually looking better than he ever has.
“I was a little concerned in running tonight with the quick quarters he was running in the middle stages, and I thought he could be found wanting in the final stages. I’m glad he was able to hold on. He is a day-by-day proposition.
“But I’m hoping for the best. The Falcon Strike stood up and raced for four or five years after bowing a tendon. I bought Alta Intrigue from New Zealand in 2017, but he has managed only a few runs here (13 WA starts for four wins and five placings).”
Alta Intrigue won at only four of his 26 starts in New Zealand but showed good promise. As a two-year-old he finished fourth behind More the Better in the group 1 $100,000 Cardigan Bay Stakes, and as a three-year-old he finished third behind Raukapuka and Ultimate Machete in the $250,000 Northern Derby at Alexandra Park.
by Ken Casellas