Rattray's New Zealand plans
By Adam Hamilton
Jimmy Rattray is not fazed by the disappointing Aussie raid at the Harness Jewels.
Instead, he’s excited at the prospect of attacking the NZ Cup and Auckland Inter Dominion with stable star Ignatius.
But first comes the NSW Breeders Challenge 4YO series and a possible Queensland raid.
“There’s no shortage of options for him, but I’ve got to work out what’s best given I’m really keen on the NZ Cup and Inter Dominion,” Rattray said.
Ignatius returns from a freshen-up in the free-for-all at Menangle on Saturday night, but it won’t be easy from the outside draw.
“At least it’s 2300m, which helps overcome the draw. He’s really well going into it, but you always need luck from out there,” Rattray said.
“He’s had those couple of runs at the smaller tracks and had bad draws, but it’s good to get back to the big track at Menangle.
“He’s ready to go this week, but the run will top him off for the semis of the Breeders Challenge two weeks later.”
Beyond the Breeders Challenge final on June 30, Rattray said he was weighing-up options in the Queensland Winter Carnival, which could include the Group 1 double of Sunshine Sprint and Blacks A Fake.
“I have to work through whether Queensland fits and, if so, what races, but it’s all about having him right for NZ. He’ll be a five-year-old then and it’s the ideal time to tackle an Inter Dominion,” he said.
“Auckland doesn’t bother me at all, he takes everything in is stride this horse. Going the other way isn’t an issue with him, he does a few laps that way quite often at home and is just a comfortable either way.”
Rattray is the first trainer to public declare his NZ Cup plans, but expect many other Aussies to follow with the ideal timing just a couple of weeks before the Auckland Inter Dominion.