Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Seven-year-old Alta Intrigue appreciated a considerable drop in class when he won the 2536m Hoist Torque Australia Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday afternoon.
The New Zealand-bred gelding, prepared by Gary Hall snr, had been performing soundly against stronger opposition, including Hampton Banner, Wildwest and Bletchley Park, and he was the $2.30 favourite against inferior rivals. Alta Intrigue started from barrier five and Maddison Brown sent him forward in the early stages to get to the front 550m after the start.
This left Typhoon Banner, the $2.90 second fancy in the breeze. Alta Intrigue dashed over the final 800m in 55.6sec. and he won by a half-length from stablemate Nota Bene Denario ($10) who finished strongly after trailing the pacemaker.
“He is going really good now,” said Hall. “He had leg issues a couple of seasons ago, but there are no problems now.”
The leg problems resulted in Alta Intrigue being off the scene for 28 months — from June 2018 to October 2020. He has raced consistently this season, with his 29 starts producing six wins, seven seconds and two thirds. A winner of four races in New Zealand, Alta Intrigue has raced 41 times in WA for nine wins and 14 placings.