Ignatius is on fire for Chariots
IF you are thinking about taking the short odds for Ignatius to win Saturday’s $200,000 Chariots Of Fire trainer James Rattray has two pieces of good news for you.
The part-time Tasmanian pacer was a crushing winner over Chase Auckland in the Cordina Paleface Adios at Menangle on Saturday night, surging to $2.50 favouritism in the TAB’s predraw market before barriers are finalised today.
That Ignatius could sit parked and pace a 1:50.2 mile should surprise nobody as he indicated last season that he has the potential to be the next big thing in Australasian pacing.
But with Chase Auckland being NZ’s best three-year-old last season to sit parked and out tough him confirms Ignatius has already gone to another level.
Yet trainer-driver Rattray says the muscular gelding can only get better for the Chariots.
“He only had two trials in Tasmania before coming back to me and then one here and last week’s race,” says Rattray.
“So he will be able to go faster next week, he has to be improved by that. He will need to be because it is going to be a better field but he is starting to remind me of Beau more and more.”
Beau is Beautide, Rattray’s former two-time Inter Dominion winner and Miracle Mile hero, who was a near unstoppable tank around Menangle, with the big track also seeming to bring out the best in Ignatius.
And that is where the second confidence-boosting assessment from Rattray comes in for punters ahead of today’s draw.
While some rivals would be shattered to draw poorly or wouldn’t have the gate speed to use an inside marble, Rattray says Ignatius is versatile enough that he can win from almost anywhere on Saturday.
“We saw him sit parked and beat Chase Auckland but he doesn’t have to tough it out, or he gets a good draw he has the gate speed to use it. “So we have options.” As strong as Ignatius was and clearly deserving of favouritism the Chariots looks one of the deepest in its history.
Chase Auckland will improve with Saturday’s run while Ashley Locaz has already been a freefor-all winner at Menangle and Poster Boy was brilliant winning at Melton on Saturday night.
Picard can probably be forgiven for his defeat after leading in the Newcastle Mile as the rain-soaked track tuned the race on its head.
His stablemate Majordan galloped out and lost all chance, with Yaya’s Hot Spot shocking punters to earn the first spot in the $1million Miracle Mile on March 2.