JAMES Rattray can only smile at the thought . . . could he be as good as Beautide.
Rattray’s superstar three-year-old pacer Ignatius had just blown away his rivals in the NSW Breeders Challenge three-year-old colts and geldings final.
Taking his record to 14 wins from 15 starts, the James Rattray trained-and-driven youngster thrashed his rivals with a 1:51.3 mile to score a 12.4m win over Picard with Mackeral one and a quarter metres away third.
The first challenge for Ignatius occurred when the starter said go.
As predicted, Todd McCarthy and Picard had a dip for the lead and for a fleeting moment looked as if they might actually cross before Rattray got serious and Ignatius held him out before they reached the first corner.
Realistically the race was as good as over there and then as Rattray was able to dictate terms to suit himself, after the 27.1 opening split he backed off the speed with a 29.8 sectional leaving plenty of petrol in the tank for the dash home.
Ignatius turned for home in front before Rattray lowered the handlebars and Ignatius virtually left them standing as he zoomed home to win as he liked with a 54.4s last half.
Picard did it tough and did well to hang on for second while the other eye-catching run of the race was The Bus (Chris Geary) who came from near last to run fourth although nothing could be taken away from the winner . . . who just might turn out to be as good as the Rattray family’s champion predecessor Beautide, a winner of two Inter Dominions and a Miracle Mile.
That might be a big pair of shoes to fill – but at least Ignatius is trying them on for size.
Earlier in the afternoon sensational three-year-old filly Goodtime Heaven earned her stripes with a stunning win in her $100,000 Breeders Challenge three-year-old fillies final.
Unbeaten this preparation, Goodtime Heaven did what many thought might be too great a task, she sat outside the plucky Molly Kelly (Chris Alford) for the entire journey and still had enough energy to grab her in the shadows of the post and score a one-and-a-half metre victory.
Up and coming Victorian reinsman Glen Craven pointed out that he had been making something of an annual pilgrimage to Menangle to drive in the Breeders Challenge series.
Yet this was the first time he would be able to go home with the lion’s share of the prizemoney after snaring an elusive Group One for rookie trainer Courtney Slater.
And Slater herself, delighted at annexing her first Group One, pointed out that she was starting to miss her husband after being away for three weeks with their stable star.
“I can’t wait to get back home now but I have to admit Goodtime Heaven is a magnificent filly and hopefully there are plenty of good times ahead for us with her.”
For further information contact Club Menangle Racing Manager David Wonson (02) 4645 2200