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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

Inexperienced four-year-old Alta Louisa defied death as a yearling when struck down by a severe attack of colic, and she then had to overcome further setbacks before being strong enough to race.

She lined up for her 14TH start when she began from the outside of the back line in the group 3 $30,000 Simmonds Steel The Schrader Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night — and she further enhanced her reputation with a tough, hard-fought victory.

Alta Louisa, trained at Boyanup by Justin Prentice, was a $3 chance and was driven in fine style by Gary Hall jnr. She settled down in ninth position, with $71 outsider Sheza Bromac the surprise pacemaker.

After a solid lead time of 35.8sec. and an opening quarter of 30sec. Hall dashed Alta Louisa forward and she moved to the breeze with 1050m to travel. She got to the front 400m from home and sprinted the final 400m in 28.7sec. to hold on and win by a neck from Born To Boogie, who got off the pegs at the 400m and finished with admirable determination.

“It was a perfect drive by Junior,” said Prentice. “I don’t think that breezing is necessarily her go, but she is obviously versatile enough to race without cover. If the speed (of the race) says that she has to go, then Junior went at the perfect time, and she was good enough.

“We have had a lot of troubles with her. As a yearling she had colic and needed surgery to save her. Later, she had a really bad virus, and had to go out for a couple of months. So, we have had a lot of setbacks with her.

“Now we will just keep her ticking over and run her in suitable races and see whether she will be able to measure up to the better ones later on. I think that when she goes up in class it will suit her because she will be able to be driven quietly, which will suit her. She quick and can sprint.”

Alta Louisa, who was unraced as a two-year-old, is by Art Major and is out of the Mach Three mare Famous Alchemist, who earned $322,869 from five wins in New Zealand and 11 in WA, including the $40,000 WASBA Breeders Stakes at Gloucester Park in May 2014. She shows great promise and should improve considerably on her record of 14 starts for seven wins and four placings for earnings of $64,238.