The Bus creditable 4th to Ignatius

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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 at Tabcorp Park, Menangle, on July 1.

Ignatius, by Roll With Joe, is too good again for James Rattray, this time in 1:51.3 for the mile in the $150,000 NSW Breeders 3YO Challenge. (Photo by Ashlea Brennan).

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.

Ignatius 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.

Courtesy of Mandy Madern, Menangle