Day At The Track
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Star Tasmanian harness racing pacer Beautide will contest a trial at Menangle today for what will be take two of his return to the racetrack. Beautide was meant to trial at Menangle last week but his trainer-driver James Rattray fell ill on the morning of the trial which forced the horse to be scratched. However, Rattray has fully recovered and he said the horse should give a good account in his trial over 1609 meters today starting from the outside barrier (7). "Missing last week's trial won't have any impact on the horse's preparation it just means he'll have one less trial before his first race early next month," Rattray said. "He is being aimed at the Miracle Mile so he will have at least a couple of starts before he gets there but all indications are that he might improve on what we saw last preparation," he said. Beautide will go around in the second trial today at 4 pm in which he will have strong opposition from the John Tapp-trained Chariot King that hasn't raced for two months and the Gold Ace that has had one run back from a lengthy spell. The interesting runner in the trial is Off The Cuff Lombo that hasn't raced since December 2011 when trained in Western Australia but now resides at the Shane Tritton stables. Beautide is odds-on to win this season's Horse of the Year title given he snared the Miracle Mile-Inter Dominion double as well as closing his season with victory in the Len Smith Mile. The gelding, bred and raised in Tasmania at Barrie Rattray's Karalta Pacing Stables, has won 40 of his 64 starts with 15 minor placings helping his career earnings to almost $1.4 million with most of that accrued this season. Peter Staples

WITH Todd Rattray out of action with a broken left wrist, his father Barrie Rattray has been forced to take on most of the stable drives and he continues to show why he is a multiple premiership winner as both trainer and driver. Barrie was at it again at Devonport on Monday night guiding the lightly raced Who Is Hardeen to victory for long-time stable client Mark Panton. Who Is Hardeen (Art Major-Kathian Princess) began well from his outside front-row draw (6) and Rattray was keen to allow his charge to face the breeze outside of the heavily backed favourite Thai Champ ($1.60), that had no trouble in finding the lead from gate two. The pair matched motors to the home turn and then when the going got tough Rattray showed why he has won 13 driver premierships by getting the most out of his charge without too much exertion. It also was a case of a more experienced horse emerging triumphant over one that was having only his second start. Who Is Hardeen went to the races 12 times last season for three wins and four minor placings while this was his first win this time in but he had been placed twice from four prior outings this time in. Todd Rattray is not expected to resume driving for another month. Barrie was sidelined for a long time with a shoulder injury but from what the stalwart reinsman has delivered recently he is pleased to be back in the cart. By Greg Hayes

TASMANIA'S multiple premiership-winning reinsman Barrie Rattray doesn't spend a lot of time driving in races these days but he proved he has lost none of his prowess in Hobart last Monday night. Rattray partnered his three-year-old Ercole to victory in the degree C Pace over 2090 metres for what was the gelding's second career win but it made it two in succession for the gelded son of Grinfromeartoear. Ercole settled at the rear of the field off a steady tempo but Rattray always had him travelling in his comfort zone. When Rattray made his move heading into the back straight the last time he latched his charge onto the back of Ems Choice for a trail and then eased Ercole four-wide to stake his claim. Rocket Seal (Nathan Ford) led and looked to travelling comfortably nearing the home turn but he was swamped in the home straight. Ebabe collared the leader 200m out then she was quickly collared by Ems Choice but that four-year-old was unable to repel the powerful finish of Ercole that went on to win by over three metres. The winner clocked a mile rate of 2m.01.7 with an overall time of 2:38.13. It made it back-to-back wins for Ercole and while he has been one of the lesser lights from the Rattray stable this season he has paid his way and is likely to continue to do so as he progresses through his grades. By Peter Staples

PACHACUTI produced arguably his best win of the season when he stormed home to win the Red Shed Restoration Barn Pace, a discretionary handicap, over 2579 metres in Hobart on Sunday night. Remember Joe led from the outset and when he kicked well clear turning for home to set up a 15-metre break on his rivals he looked set to cause an upset win. But Pachacuti refused to give in and when he got within five metres of the leader, driver Todd Rattray called on the four-year-old for the supreme effort and under strong driving the gelding slipped into overdrive and got up to win in the shadows of the post. It was a courageous win off a 10-metre handicap and one that pleased his trainer Barrie Rattray. Pachacuti finished second to star NZ three-year-old Bit of a Legend in the 3YO colts and geldings Breeders Crown final at Menangle last season but his form waned so Rattray sent him back to Tasmania. Since returning from NSW where he was prepared by James Rattray, the gelding has won five from six with his only defeat coming in the $30,000 Devonport Cup in which he placed second to stablemate Devendra but lost no admirers with his effort. Listen to what trainer Barrie Rattray had to say about Pachacuti's win and also what he had to say about Beautide's progress. By Peter Staples

RECORD breaking three-year-old Tasmanian pacer Resurgent Spirit had his colours lowered for only the second time when he had to settle for third in a heat of the Globe Derby Stakes over 2200 metres at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston last Friday night. Resurgent Spirit won his first 13 starts to equal Halwes' record of the most number of consecutive wins in Tasmania before suffering his first loss in the Tasmanian Derby in April. Last Friday night the Roger Whitmore-trained gelding was forced to do a lot of work early to retain the lead but as it was his first start for almost two months and coming off a knew injury he was exposed at the business end of the race. Estevao came off a cozy run in the one-out-one-back position to finish powerfully to win by a long neck from Rusty Red Comet that faced the breeze for the duration with Resurgent Spirit weakening into third spot five metres away. Estevao (x Art Major) is a half-brother to this year's Devonport Cup winner Devendra (x Bettors Delight) with the only other of the mare Queen Carey's progeny being Benediction (a full sister to Devendra) that won 19 of her 56 starts including multiple features at two and three. Estevao is owned and raced in partnership by trainer Barrie Rattray and long-time stable client Ian Dunham who also raced last season's Easter Cup-Devonport Cup winner Biggernbettermax. By Peter Staples

Talented Tasmanian four-year-old pacer Pachacuti added another feature race win to his growing list of credits when he outgunned a small but talented field in the Plunkett Family Ascot Gold Cup over 2579 metres at Tattersall's Park in Hobart on Sunday night. Pachacuti is being prepared for another tilt at the Breeders Crown series in Victoria with trainer Barrie Rattray hopeful the Bettor's Delight gelding can go one better than he did in the 3YO series last season. Pachacuti capped his 2012-13 season in Tasmania with a brilliant victory in the $30,000 Globe Derby Stakes in Launceston before heading to Victoria where he made it to the 3YO colts and geldings final of the Breeders Crown by winning his heat and then finished a courageous second to star NZ colt Bit of a Legend in the Group 1 final. Pachacuti won the Horse of the Year crown ahead of his stablemate Beautide that was voted Tasmania's best in the four-year-old and over category. Pachacuti is likely to remain in Tasmania for at least the next six weeks as the Breeders Crown series doesn't get into full swing until August. The heats will be held at Tabcorp Park Melton on August 17. The Consolation will be run at the same venue on August 21 with the final also at Melton three days later. "I guess we'll have to start looking closely at setting dates to travel Pachacuti to Melbourne but I will probably have a better idea of his race schedule leading up to that time by the end of this week," Rattray said. While Pachacuti has continued to improve this time in Rattray also is impressed with the progress of his five-year-old Talk About Dexter that has won three of his past five, the latest in Hobart on Sunday night. Talk About Dexter was sent around a $3.60 chance in the C5-C7 Pace over 2090 metres while his stablemate Rykov Leis was the punter's elect at $2 favourite but the best he could muster was fourth spot to finish over 10 metres in arrears of his stablemate. It was the son of Blissfull Hall's fifth win this season and it probably won't be his last. "Talk About Dexter at one stage looked unlikely to get past trial stage but he has furnished into a very good horse and I am absolutely rapt for his owners Roger and Elaine Topping," Rattray said. "They have been loyal stable clients for a long time and it is so good to see them get a really good one at last," he said. Talk About Dexter has raced 23 times for eight wins and five minor placings for almost $38,000 in stakes. Peter Staples

TALENTED four-year-old Tasmanian pacer Pachacuti is heading to the Breeders Crown series later this year and his trainer Barrie Rattray is confident the gelding can realise the goal. Pachacuti notched his third win for the season in the Col Saunders Memorial Brighton Cup over 2579 metres at Tattersall's Park in Hobart last Sunday night. The four-year-old gelded son of Bettors Delight face the breeze for a short while before rolling to the front and he went on to score comfortably from Our Chain of Command and Biggernbettermax. Pachacuti clocked a mile rate of 2m.00.19 and cruised home his last half mile (800m) in 59.7 seconds. Rattray said Pachacuti was doing everything he expected at this stage of his preparation with the Ascot Gold Cup his next mission in Hobart on Sunday. "The Ascot Gold Cup looks a nice race for him so we'll head back to Hobart on Sunday," Rattray said. "But it isn't going to be easy withy his preparation for the Breeders Crown in August because there aren't many suitable races for him in Tasmania in the weeks leading up to the Breeders Crown heats," he said. Pachacuti produced some sensational runs in the 3YO Breeders Crown series last season wining a semi-final at Ballarat before he finished a game second to boom NZ three-year-old Bit Of A Legend in the Group 1 final at Melton. Since he returned from a stint in NSW with Barrie's son James, Pachacuti has won three of his four starts on home soil. By Peter Staples

LIGHTLY raced pacing filly Fawzia delivered the goods in the fillies' division final of the Big Park Sweepstakes in Hobart on Sunday night. With Todd Rattray in the cart the filly trailed the leader for most of the 1609-metre journey before easing out in the home straight to stake her claim. The leader and race favourite Jokers Wild Card looked to be travelling well nearing the home turn but when her driver Gareth Rattray released the deafeners and went for home it opened the door for Fawzia to issue her challenge. Fawzia moved alongside Jokers Wild Card and eventually gained the upper hand with the judges winning margin 1-1/4 metres on the line. Jokers Wild Card battled gamely while Grace Campbell (Adrian Duggan) worked home nicely for third but over five metres astern. Fawzia (x Sportswriter) is trained by Barrie Rattray who also bred the filly from his former handy race mare Public Persecution that probably never realised her full potential because of her attitude to racing. Rattray said Fawzia also has attitude but thankfully not as many unsuitable traits as her mother. Listen to the audio above to what driver Todd Rattray had to say about Fawzia's win. Peter Staples

LONGFORD harness racing trainer Barrie Rattray expects two-year-old filly Fawzia to have a bright future and she showed she is on that path by scoring an impressive win on debut in a fillies heat of the Big Park 2YO Sweepstakes over 1609m in Hobart on Sunday. Fawzia is by USA stallion Sportswriter from one of Rattray's form start pacers Public Persecution. The filly showed good speed from the mobile but she was unable to cross Safari Sunshine so her driver was content to leave her parked in the breeze. However the filly relished the task and forged to the lead turning for home and went to the line a comfortable winner over her stablemate House Haunter with race leader Safari Sunshine third. The remaining fillies heat was won by Jokers Wild Card from the David Hall stable. Jokers Wild Card (Cardmaster Hanover-Clone) was game in the home straight to edge out Kyleasha that came from the back and Mei Get that also was doing her best work at the business end of their heat. Listen to what trainer Barrie Rattray had to say about Fawzia's win and the performance of House Haunter. Peter Staples

Duncan Dornauf and Dylan Ford share the lead after the first two rounds of the Tasmanian Youngbloods Challenge that began at the Tasmanian Pacing Club meeting at Tattersall's Park in Hobart on Sunday night. The Youngbloods series is for drivers under the age of 23 at the start of the 2013-14 racing season and it has been sponsored by Bullock Consulting for the past 14 years. Dornauf won the opening heat aboard long odds-on favourite Ramplestiltskin for Beauty Point trainer Rohan Hillier with the remaining heat taken out by Ford aboard Ektoras for the Barrie Rattray stable. They both finished fourth in their other heats. Dornauf sent Ramplestiltskin straight to the lead in the opening heat and ensured a solid tempo. The daring tactics paid off with the gelding holding on to score by a narrow margin from I Am Mister Red (Alex Ashwood) with The Matthew Howlett-driver Elsudoku over six metres away third but well in advance of Ford's charge Karoola Town. But Ford made the most of partnering the odds-on favourite in the remaining heat that had only six starters. Ektoras worked hard early from his wide front row draw but eventually found the lead and from there on the end result was never in doubt. Ektoras scored by almost two metres from Helen Wheels (Nicholas Brockman) with Samantha Freeman's charge Cardinal Art only a metre astern. In the case of a race having less than 10 starters in a heat, the drivers who miss a drive will be awarded six points which is in accordance with the rules of the series. The winner is will be determined on a points-score basis with 16 points awarded for first, 12 for second, nine for third, seven for fourth and then a reduction of one point for each subsequent placegetter down to one point for tenth. The Youngbloods series comprises six heats with the next round of heats to be run at Devonport tonight (Monday) and the final two heats will be run in Launceston next Sunday night. Points tally after two heats: 23 - Duncan Dornauf and Dylan Ford. 18 - Alex Ashwood. 16 - Nicholas Brockman. 15 - Matthew Howlett and Samantha Freeman. 10 - Justin Howlett. 9 - Lyarna Graham. 8 - Braden Howlett. 7 - Brady Woods. By Peter Staples

TOP Tasmanian harness trainer Barrie Rattray celebrated one of his most cherished wins when he partnered Devendra to an impressive victory in the $30,000 Raider Stakes at the Devonport Showground tonight. Devendra showed brilliant gate speed to lead which was the first surprise as most pundits expected the favourite Riverboat Jasper to make the most of the pole position and lead. But once Devendra was in front Rattray ensured a steady pace with the favourite on his back and the leader's stablemate on his outside. Two laps from home another Rattray runner Pachacuti (Todd Rattray) set off from the rear to eventually face the breeze and that pair out on a show of strength with neither prepared to wilt. They forge clear with the favourite off the fence to mount a challenge 300 metres out. But it was the Rattray duo that put on a show with Devendra edging out Pachacuti by a head when they hit the line with Riverboat Jasper a game third. It was Devendra's fourth feature race win this season having also won the Burnie Cup, Carrick Cup and Devonport Cup leading up to the Raider Stakes. Listen to what trainer-driver Barrie Rattray had to say about the win. By Peter Staples

LONGFORD-based harness racing trainer Barrie Rattray would love to be at Menangle on Sunday night to watch his star five-year-old Beautide tackle the $100,000 Len Smith Mile but instead he will be toiling away at Devonport where he has a truck load of runners at the feature meeting. Rattray will hitch up four of the 10 runners in the $30,000 Raider Stakes for four-year-olds in Devendra, Divas Delight, Pachacuti and Rykov leis and they are rated amongst the top five chances to win the race. Pachacuti could not have been more impressive in wining his Raider Stakes heat in Launceston last Sunday week and he also was impressive in winning in Hobart at his previous outing that was his first run back in the state after a filed interstate campaign. Devendra has done nothing wrong this campaign and had it not been for a flat tyre endured during a race in Hobart two starts back his form has been outstanding. Rykov Leis has quietly gone about his business in recent months winning twice and placing second three times from his past five starts but his task won't be easy on Sunday night as he starts from the outside of the second row. Listen to shat trainer Barrie Rattray had to say about his Raider Stakes runners and his two-year-olds in earlier races. By Peter Staples  

THE list of potential top liners in the Barrie Rattray stable at Longford seems endless with Estevao the latest to start living up to the potential he showed early on. Estevao, a three-year-old by Art Major from former star Queen Carey, has just started to produce on the racetrack with his win in Launceston tonight (Sunday) his second in the space of three starts. With stable driver Todd Rattray aboard, Estevao began well from gate two and had enough early speed to cross the pole marker Cardinal Art to lead. Rattray said Estevao worked as god as any horse at Karalta Pacing Sables and it has only been in recent months that the gelding had been able to take his work on the training track into his races. "The horse has definitely started to improve at the races because he has always shown us something," Todd Rattray said. "He can work as good as any horse we work him with so he has always had the ability." "I have no doubts he will go on and win more races," he said. By Mitchell Robertson

LONGFORD trainer Barrie Rattray continued his dominance of country cup victories when his four-year-old gelding Divas Delight outgunned his rivals in the St Marys Cup over 2685 metres on the grass track at St Marys on Saturday. Divas Delight emerged triumphant with stable driver Todd Rattray aboard, hitting the line clear of the Zeke Slater-trained duo Class Above Lombo and Babes Boy Bob. It was the sixth win of the season for Divas delight and with six minor placings from the remaining seven starts this season he is proving to be one of Rattray's most consistent stable tenants. Divas Delight (Bettors Delight-Draw Card) is one Rattray's home-grown mob and he joins Devendra that has won the Devonport Cup, Carrick Cup and Burnie Cup this season and he too has an ou9tatanfing record of 12 starts for six wins and five minor placings. Divas Delight and Devendra form part of Rattray's four-pronged attack to tackle the Raider Stakes four-year-old sires stakes feature in Devonport next Sunday night. He also has likely favourite Pachacuti that won his Raider Stakes heat last week in Launceston and the other heat winner Rykov leis that led all the way to win his heat. By Peter Staples    

LONGFORD harness trainer Barrie Rattray has what some might consider a stranglehold on the Raider Stakes final for home grown four-year-olds at Devonport next Sunday week. In Launceston last night two heats of the sires' stakes classic were run and won by Rattray-trained four-year-olds and he also snared the quinella in one of the heats and a minor placegetter in the other to give him four genuine winning chances in the final. Pachacuti delivered a message that he will be very hard to beat in the final by defying a tough run facing the breeze for the last lap to go on and score convincingly over Melolyn and another of Rattray's band of talented four-year-olds Diva's Delight. Pachacuti spent a couple of months at James Rattray's stables in NSW where he failed to flatter in three of his five starts at Menangle. The gelding won a heat of the 3YO Breeders Crown last season and finished a gallant second to super star Bit Of A Legend in the $175.000 final. He was then transferred to James Rattray's care at Cobbitty and was placed at his first two attempts but his form went south and after he galloped away in a 4YO feature race on Inter Dominion day he was sent home to Tasmania. His first-up win in Hobart was solid but he confirmed he was back to his best with this latest victory on Sunday night. Lickyalips led and looked to be travelling comfortably turning for home but when driver Todd Rattray called on Pachacuti to extend he delivered the goods and went on to score by almost five metres from Melolyn that ran home strongly with Divas Delight doing his best work late. Rykov Leis (Ricky Duggan) then led his rivals a merry chase to score a strong win over stablemate Devendra in the remaining heat. Duggan ensured a solid tempo while Todd Rattray was content to allow his charge to travel in the one-out-one-back spot to the 400-metre peg. He had to wait until straightening to get the run three-wide to challenge but when Duggan called on Rykov Leis to sprint he sped clear and had enough in reserve to stave off a late surge from his stablemate. By Peter Staples

THE harness race meeting at the TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night boasts heats of the Easter Cup and the Raider Stakes for four-year-olds. The two Easter Cup heats (races 4 & 5) have produced fields of eight and seven respectively with last year's winner Biggernbettermax off the back mark of 20 metres in heat one while dual Tasmania Cup winner Motu Crusader will have to contend with a back mark of 40 metres in heat two with Our Chain Of Command off 30 metres. Biggernbettermax raced in New South Wales late last year and up to the end of January where he failed to win a race but he was sent back to trainer Barrie Rattray's property in February for another crack at the Easter Cup. The first heat boasts a handy line-up including the promising Dapper Dana that has drawn the pole position but this is his first test in the silk department. Zeke Slater's latest stable tenant The Adriatic has drawn gate two and he could be competitive along with the Keith Toulmin-trained Falco Peregrinus that could not have been more impressive in winning the Westbury Cup at Carrick last month. The second heat should be a battle between the back markers although the Melissa Maine-trained Spot Nine that won the Hobart Pacing Cup in January must be considered an each-way chance despite his poor performances in the Devonport Cup and at his subsequent outing in Launceston. His latest effort when second to Call The Marshall in a discretionary handicap in Launceston was full of merit. The David bates-trained Saab Quality hit the line hard in the Governor's Cup in Hobart last Sunday night so if he steps cleanly from his 10-metre handicap he must be considered a winning chance. Dual Tasmania Cup winner Motu Crusader probably deserves his 40-metre handicap but that mark might be a bit too much in a heat, while Our Chain Of Command has the early speed and then stamina to handle his 30-metre lift. The Raider Stakes heats (races 8 & 9) each boast six starters but the races are filled with talented four-year-olds. Heat one should be a match between Pachacuti that returned to wining form in Hobart last Sunday night and Melolyn that has always shown above average ability and will be fitter for two runs back from a spell for a first-up win and a second last time out. Heat two is a more open affair with Barrie Rattray holding the key with pole marker Rykov leis and Devendra that has drawn gate two and will improve on his eighth in Hobart last Sunday night in which he carried a flat tyre for almost the duration of the race. By Peter Staples

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