Day At The Track

Ignatius Tasmania's latest rising star

02:30 AM 26 Jun 2017 NZST
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Tasmania said goodbye to Beautide last month when the dual Inter Dominion winner bowed out through injury but at Menangle yesterday a new harness racing star emerged who could one day emulate the feats of the retired champion.

The Todd Rattray-trained Ignatius ($3) powered his way to am emphatic win in the Group 1 NSW Breeders Challenge final over 1609 metres defeating a star-studded line-up and he did in record time.

Ignatius came off the back of the leaders in the home straight and unleashed a scintillating turn of foot to run down the favourite Sicario to record a winning mile rate of 1.51.3 that set an Australasian record.

It was the trainer's first Group 1 win and one that he will never forget.

"It hasn't sunk in yet but I'm sure it will in a day or so," Todd Rattray said.

"We knew this colt had plenty of ability but you never know for sure until they get amongst the very best and today he showed us that he is special.

"He had a good run in the race and James (Rattray) did a great job to put him in the right spot and when he let down in the straight he was explosive.

"To win in record time is a bonus and now we have to consider where we go with him.

"The Breeders Crown series is a possibility but we'll see how he pulls up from this run and make some decisions in the coming week."

Ignatius is owned and raced by the trainer's life partner Lyrae Graham who picked the colt from a group of weanlings that were roaming a paddock at the Rattray family property at Longford.

Ignatius had his first start at the end of April for a win in Hobart and he won his next two that included the Sweepstakes final before heading to Sydney for a heat of the Breeders Challenge in which he finished a game third.

The colt didn't travel well to Sydney which contributed to his loss in a heat but he recovered quickly and that was reflected in his Breeders Challenge semi-final win.

Ignatius' record stands at five wins and a third from six starts for stake earnings of $110,000.

Peter Staples

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