By Adam Hamilton
IF you’re a fan of the NZ Cup, then make sure you tune in a race at Penrith in suburban Sydney on Thursday night.
One of Australia’s most exciting young pacers Ignatius kick-starts a campaign which will see him tackle the NZ Cup and then the Auckland Inter Dominion.
“We’re very keen on the NZ Cup, especially with the Inters starting just a couple of weeks later,” trainer-driver Jimmy Rattray said.
“Plus, Gareth (Rattray, Jimmy’s brother) gave him a few standing-start runs back in Tassie and he really handled it well.”
Ignatius won his Chariots Of Fire lead-up then drew poorly in the big one itself and finished down the track. He’s been freshened since.
“He’s been working well at home, pleased with a strong trial win in 1min53sec and change last Tuesday and he’s ready to go,” Rattray said.
“The problem we have at Penrith is the draw. Inside the back around that tight track could be tricky.
“But the time I took him to Penrith he went as good as he ever has in any race, anywhere. It was an amazing win, so I know he loves the little track.”
Ignatius has opened $3 second elect on the Aussie TAB with the older and in-form Ellmers Image $2.80 favourite from outside the back row.
This Renshaw Cup is a ripper with other class runners including Brent Lilley’s recent Kiwi import Sicario (gate five, $5) and Kevin Pizzuto’s Harness Jewels hopeful Picard (six, $5).
Beyond Penrith, Ignatius will head to the one-time Grand Circuit race – the $65,000 Group 2 Treuer Memorial – at Bankstown on April 26.
“Then it’s into the Breeders Challenge series before we decide on whether to take him to Queensland for their winter features or rest him and focus just on NZ. He could do both,” Rattray said.
“He really enjoyed that little freshen-up after the Chariots and it’s exciting to have him back racing again.”