Tessanzo lined up in a $16,000 heat of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Championship over 2240 metres and while she was without her regular driverthe Melissa Maine-trained five-year-old toyed with her rivals scoring by over six metres and clocked a slick mile rate of 1.56.9, running home her last half mile (800m) in 56.6 sec.
With the exception of a sixth at her start prior to leaving the state, Tessanzo went into the Melton race with good form comprising two wins and three seconds at her five previous outings.
Rattray was meant to drive the mare but when his flight out of Launceston was delayed slightly and he encountered a traffic jam on the way to the track he had to be replaced in the sulky by.
Rattray arrived at the track just in time to see the start of the race but the end result helped ease the pain of missing the drive.
Tessanzo joined Maine's stable in November last year and has since won three and been placed six times from 13 starts.
Tessanzo won the first race ever held on the synthetic surface at Spreyton Park in Devonport in July 2012 and soon after her then trainer Rod Burgess declared she had the ability to go right through t open class.
Tessanzo will line up in the $30,000 final at Melton on Friday night and Rattray is expected to be reunited with the mare.
By Peter Staples