IT takes a special horse to win a Breeders Challenge final.
And it takes a superstar to win three in successive years.
Not that anyone would argue that former Tasmanian pacer Ignatius is anything but a superstar after the son of Roll With Joe won the NSW Breeders Challenge 4YO colts and geldings final at Tabcorp Park Menangle today.
Ignatius has now won well over $400,000 in prizemoney since the Rattray stable moved the horse to be stabled with James Rattray in the NSW Southern Highlands.
And the lion’s share of that has been won through the prestigious Breeders Challenge series.
Amazingly, Ignatius will now be eligible to make an even-more historic move by chasing a five-year-olds Breeders Challenge feature, also worth $100,000 and due to be run in the Riverina next season.
“It’s been a tough week, so this is a nice way to end it,” said Ignatius trainer-driver James Rattray after the four-year-old ‘out-toughed’ his rivals to wear down Bright Energy, with Sicario third in a slick 1:51.6.
“The semi-final was a tough run for him (Ignatius finished third to Summit Special and Bright Energy which was enough to make the final).
“But he came through it OK and it’s on to Qld now – and we’re looking forward to that.”
The race looked to be between the ‘big three’ a long way from home after Bright Energy led, Sicario raced up to take the death chair, before handing up that position to Ignatius.
It then became a war of attrition as Ignatius and Bright Energy cut at each other for most of the race and turning for home the might ‘Iggy’ stuck his big head out and refused to buckle, scoring by a head with six and a quarter metres to Sicario, who just couldn’t get into the finish.
Meanwhile the $100,000 four-year-old mares Breeders Challenge final was taken out by the Sam Dimarco-trained Black Silhouette after another masterly drive by Len Smith Mile winner Todd McCarthy.
Fired up out of the gate, Black Silhouette found the front before McCarthy elected to take a trail on Goodtime Heaven (Glen Craven).
Turning for home Todd got busy and extricated Black Silhouette from behind the leader to wear down Goodtime Heaven in the straight to score by a half neck in a fast 1:51 mile. Rocknroll Pearl was third a further three and three-quarter metres back.
Owned by former HRNSW director Marissa Dimarco, Black Silhouette took her earnings past the $150,000 mark in scoring her 12th win from just 46 starts.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION TELEPHONE CLUB MENANGLE RACING MANAGER DAVID WONSON ON 0438-398-251.