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Ken Casellas | Photo: Gloucester Park Harness Racing

A fast start from barrier three and the ability to withstand a strong early challenge from Pradason paved the way for Alta Rhett’s narrow victory in the 2536m Fly Like An Eagle Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Alta Rhett, the $3.30 favourite, was well rated by Nathan Turvey and he won by a half-neck from the $3.50 second fancy Fanci A Dance, with $19 chance Pocket The Cash running home strongly from tenth at the bell to be a half-head away in third place.

Alta Rhett is trained in Bunbury by Sarah Wall, whose husband Chris races the six-year-old in partnership with the gelding’s breeder David Stringer.

Turvey has formed an excellent association with Alta Rhett, having driven him to eight of his 12 victories. The son of Alta Christiano has also been placed 25 times from his 82 starts, and Friday night’s win boosted his earnings to $148,202. Now he looks well and truly on track to emulate the performance of his dam Justlikechocolate, who raced 48 times for 13 wins and 19 placings for stakes of $188,937.

“Alta Rhett is not just a frontrunner,” said Mrs Wall. “He can run it both ways, and he can certainly sit and sprint. He is a very honest horse, and he was tired a long way out tonight, but he just keeps trying.”

Enjoying his first visit to Gloucester Park was Chris and Sarah Wall’s four-year-old son Rory, who is looking forward to further trips to the city to watch Alta Rhett in action.