IT was a race destined to be his last but even around the home turn harness racing trainer-driver James Rattray wasn’t sure if he was going to win the Tabcorp Len Smith Mile with Beautide at Tabcorp Park Menangle today.
After obtaining a trail in the one-one with the $1.20 favourite, it almost seemed too perfect until the pair were locked away in a pocket heading into the home straight.
Rattray, the usually cool-handed driver, pushed Beautide into the clear where they had to overcome a final quarter of 26.5s to take out the $100,000 Group One.
“There were a ton of thoughts going through my head when I was pocketed,” Rattray said.
“John (McCarthy) was on the outside of us and it had me worried a little bit.
“And for Beautide to run a final quarter of 26.5 is a tremendous effort.”
Queensland’s free-legged pacer Avonnova set the pace in front and went through the first three quarters in 26.2, 31.8 and 28.6s to hold on to second place while Suave Stuey Lombo was a close third.
The mile rate was 1:53.1.
“It’s great to have my mum and Nan here,” Rattray said.
“And Fia (Rattray’s partner) does a lot of the work with Beau, I just steer him.”
Beautide will now spell in preparation for another tilt at the SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile and the TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion next season.