THE weight of Tasmania's harness industry will seemingly rest on the shoulders of James Rattray on Saturday night as he teams up with his stable star Beautide to tackle the $750,000 Group 1 Miracle Mile (1609m) at Menangle in what is a winnable race for the Tasmanian-bred and owned gelding.
Beautide breezed his way into the Miracle Mile field with a track-record breaking win in the $75,000 Group 2 Newcastle Mile (1609m) three weeks ago.
Beautide clocked a mile rate of 1m.52.6 seconds that bettered the previous best of 1.52.8 set by Pay Me Christian in November 2006.
A favourable barrier draw (4 if the emergency doesn't gain a start) on Saturday night gives the son of Beautide the chance to stamp himself as one of Tasmania's greatest of all time.
The gelded son of Bettors Delight-Gorse Bush has gone from strength to strength since he left Tasmania to embark on what was first thought to be little more than a money-making exercise.
Beautide was trained by Barrie Rattray when racing in his home state but when he decided to chase some better prizemoney in NSW it led to his son James and his life partner Sofia Svensson also making the move to look after the horse.
James found stables at John McCarthy's property at Cobbitty near Menangle but when Beautide started to shine the prospects of making it a permanent move quickly became a reality.
Beautide knocked up winning races and all of a sudden he was being spoken about in the same breath as stars such as Smoken Up and Terror To Love, both of which are in Saturday night's SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile.
Beautide has won his past six starts and each time he has impressed both his driver and the most astute harness scribes.
For James Rattray it is a ride he wasn't expecting to come so quickly.
"I wanted to go to NSW and make a go of it but I never dreamed that this horse would be in the Miracle Mile and mixing it with some of the best in Australasia," Rattray said."
The Miracle Mile is race eight on the 10-event card and is scheduled to start at 9.30 pm.
By Peter Staples