James to take Ignatius to new heights

11 April 2018 | Shane Yates for Tasracing
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James Rattray burst to prominence on the National scene with his association with the all-conquering Tasmanian Champion pacer Beautide.

As trainer-driver of the family bred and raced star, twice named Australian Horse Of the Year for his dual Inter-Dominion and Miracle Mile successes, the spotlight was on the well-travelled young man from Longford.

While brother Gareth was racking up Drivers Premiership after Premiership here in Tasmania, James was furthering his family gained knowledge of the industry he loves overseas, honing his skills and expertise.

His return to Australia was well timed as a young Beautide was emerging on the scene and their highly successful association has become Tasmanian folklore and no doubt enthused aspiring young harness fans to become involved in the industry.

James is determined to scale to those dizzy heights again with his current three-year-old superstar  Ignatius.

Bred by the Rattray Family trust and raced by brother Todd's partner Lyrae Graham, the Roll With Jo-Ashkilini three-year-old took another step toward the summit with a victory on Tuesday at Menangle in New South Wales.

The bay gelding ( pictured) notched up its tenth win from 11 career starts, as the $1.20 favourite, with a seemingly effortless performance winning by 7.8-metres in an electric mile-rate of 1:54 without moving out of second gear.

"I'm very happy with the way he's going, that was his fifth straight win this season after capping off his two-year-old campaign with a victory in the NSW Breeders Crown Two Year Old Final," said James.

"He did all I asked of him today, we went to the front a thousand from home and he rolled away from his rivals turning for the run to the judge winning in good style."

Ignatius means the fiery one and like his illustrious former stable star, Beautide knows when to fire up come race day.

"He's very similar to 'Beau' in many ways, he's got a lovely character until he hits the track then he goes for a buck and a jump, I know he's on when he does that, he's not there to take any prisoners that for sure," laughed James.

With Ignatius scoring 10 wins from 11 starts, James has his eyes set on the upcoming feature Classic's.

"We've mapped out his campaign for the season and we are aiming him at the rich Breeders Challenge here at Menangle and the Breeders Crown later in the season."

All Tasmanian harness followers will be watching his performances closely, one fact we know for sure Ignatius is in good hands for the climb ahead in a bid to reach the summit.