Day At The Track

Champion pacer downs Kiwi favourite

08:00 AM 11 Feb 2019 NZDT
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Ignatius,Harness racing
Ignatius

Tasmania’s champion pacer Ignatius took another giant step in his quest for Chariots Of Fire glory by winning Saturday night’s Group 2 Paleface Adios Stakes at Menangle.

Ignatius scored one of the most sensational victories of his illustrious career to assure himself a berth in the $200,000 four-year-old Group 1 Classic.

Despite again having no luck with the barrier draw, starting from barrier nine in a field of 10, James Rattray went forward in the early stages and found cover out three-wide on the track before running to the death at the thousand-metre mark.

With quarters of 28 seconds and 29 seconds behind them, Ignatius applied the blow torch to the race favourite Chase Auckland ($1.75) as they thundered through the third quarter in 26.7 seconds.

Turning for home James called upon his champion for the supreme effort and just as he has done throughout his career Ignatius responded.

The Lyrae Rattray-owned four-year-old (pictured) showed all of his courage and superstar qualities to take the lead and stave off the challenges down the never-ending Menangle home straight to win by a half-neck in his career-best time of 1:50.2 seconds.

“He went great, his two runs back this campaign have been enormous, he seems to have pulled up well from last night and is keen to get out into the paddock this morning,” said James.

“He went to the post strongly and felt comfortable when holding off the challenges over the last 400-metres, I couldn’t hope for him to be in better shape, the Chariots Of Fire has always been his target and he will be right in the finish, we are due for a good draw so fingers crossed for that to be this week.”

The amazing victory was the 17th of a 21 start career for the Roll With Joe-Ashkalini gelding.


Shane Yates

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