Jimmy's Beau goes back-to-back

By Adam Hamilton

The first win was amazing, the second even more satisfying.

That’s how trainer-driver James Rattray described Beautide’s successful Inter Dominion defence at Menangle’s Tabcorp Park yesterday.

If the former Tasmanian pacer’s greatness wasn’t sealed after winning a Miracle Mile and Inter Dominion, it certainly was yesterday.

If possible, he was even more arrogant and impressive than he was on the same track 12 months earlier.

Maybe the field was weaker, but Beautide did all the work left his rivals standing at the top of the long and daunting Menangle home straight.

The seven-year-old son of Bettors Delight bolted in by 14m and posted another scorching mile rate, 1min55.8sec – just 0.3sec slower than he ran last year.

“I don’t know what to say. I’m excited, I’m relieved. I’m proud. We did it … again,” Rattray said.

“I’d the say the biggest thing I feel this time is relief. Last year everything went right. He didn’t miss a beat in the lead-up.

“This time it’s been so different. He missed those races with his couple of small setbacks and there was more pressure on us. The doubters were there and deservedly so.

“Luckily we’ve have everything go right for the past five weeks or so. That’s been the key.

“It all turned around for me when he won the heat (February 14). I thought he was back to his best, but he went out there and proved it to me that night. He felt like the Beautide of old. I looked back at the replay after and loved his last 100m or so.

“He’s really enjoyed being back in NSW at our new place (Exeter) and I thought he’d only improved since the heat, which is fair enough when you consider it’d only been his second race in 11 weeks.”

Rattray said he never really had a moment of doubt  in this year’s race.

“He felt terrific all the way. I was so confident in the run. I had the leader beaten on the bend and knew nothing would catch me the way my horse felt,” he said.

“He absolutely loves this track and the long distances are made for him.

“When I said he go, he just found another gear and the race was over.”

Rattray was so far in front, he had time for a big victory salute over the final 50m.

And the trainer-driver paid a huge tribute to his partner, Fia, and father, Barrie Rattray for their roles.

“I’ve spent a lot of time with other horses in Melbourne and Fia and Dad have been fantastic. They can take lots of the credit for this,” he said.

“It’s just so amazingly incredible to have him turn up two years in a row in our biggest race and run so well.”

Rattray said he strongly favoured keeping Beautide going this campaign for the $100,000 Group 1 Len Smith Mile at Menangle on April 26. It’s a race he won narrowly but impressively last year.

“Today was only his 10th run since winning last year’s Inter Dominion so he we haven’t asked too much of him. I think we’ll keep going to the Len Smith,” he said.

Then comes a quest for a three-peat, but on the other side of Australia with the Inter Dominion moving to Perth for the next three years in a November/December timeslot.

Emerging Victorian pacer Flaming Flutter ran the race of his career for second after having a good run up on the speed for driver Greg Sugars.

Last year’s third placegetter For A Reason filled the same spot again, but was slightly disappointing after a cosy run on the pegs and getting clear in time.

One-time favourite Lennytheshark had the run behind the leader and just battled into sixth spot. He was later diagnosed with an abnormally slow recovery.

Three-time NZ Cup winner Terror To Love put plenty of spice into the race when he blasted off the gate and was taken to the lead by Blake Fitzpatrick.

He went from looking okay down the back straight to struggling on the final bend and wilted to run eighth, almost 25m from the winner.

It’s likely to have been his last race start.