Ignatius heads to Victoria
by Adam Hamilton
There is no more exciting pacer in Australia than Ignatius.
The former Tasmanian three-year-old heads to Victoria for his Breeders Crown assault with 16 wins from just 17 starts. And he’s won his past 13 starts on end.
With the disturbing attrition rate in our open-class ranks, some say Ignatius may already be the best pacer in Australia.
Even trainer-driver Jimmy Rattray admits that attrition rate has turned his mind to “possibly” nominating Ignatius for the Melbourne Inter Dominion series in December.
“I might nominate, but all I’m focused on at the moment is the Breeders Crown. As good as he’s looked this season, these runs in Victoria will be the next step for him when you consider how strong this crop of three-year-olds are. How can you not have enormous respect for Emma Stewart’s horses like Poster Boy and Ride High and there’s plenty of others as well,” Rattray said.
“I’ve been amazed how much he’s just kept improving with every start this season and I think he’s a really special horse, but this Breeders Crown will be a test, no doubt.
“I’m certainly not making any plans beyond the Crown final.”
Rattray is floating Ignatius from Sydney to Keith Cotchin’s stables, not far from Bendigo where the Crown semi-finals will be run on Saturday week.
The Aussie TAB has Ignatius $2.30 prepost favourite for the Breeders Crown final from Ride High ($3.80), Poster Boy ($6), Colt Thirty One ($8) and Duplicated ($9).
If Ignatius conquers the Crown, it becomes a juggling act if Rattray opts to chase the Inter Dominion, which starts on December 1 at Melton.
How long a spell can he give Ignatius after the Crown to then have him primed for the Inter Dominion, but also being mindful of races like the Chariots Of Fire, Miracle Mile and NSW Breeders Challenge in the early to middle parts of next year?