EXCITING youngster Ignatius will continue his steady build up to feature races when he competes at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Friday night.
One of last season’s top freshmen, with five wins and a third from six starts, the son of Roll With Joe missed the recent Derbys due to an interrupted campaign.
Originally set for last month’s Victoria Derby, Ignatius became unwell, forcing trainer Todd Rattray to abandon his plans.
Although he returned with a pair of lower class wins in Tasmania last month, the gelding was also forced to miss New South Wales’ Blue Riband.
Transferred to Rattray’s brother, James, a fortnight ago, Ignatius trialled impressively at Menangle today, giving the horseman confidence ahead of his upcoming assignment.
“He’s feeling terrific,” James said. “He trialled today in good time and went along really well.
“He hasn’t raced for a month, but that hit out will sharpen him up for Friday night.
“Although he’s drawn wide in barrier seven, he’s going to be very hard to beat.”
Regarding My Sweetchilliphilly as the main danger, Rattray also believes Brads Luck will make his presence felt.
A solid fifth in last weekend’s New South Wales Oaks, My Sweetchilliphilly has drawn two, with Brads Luck to begin from six.
“My Sweetchilliphilly did well during the Oaks series and has a good draw,” James said. “Brads Luck has won his last two starts and seems like a handy type.”
With his Breeders’ Challenge title defence the main priority this season, Ignatius will tackle suitable local targets during the next couple of months.
“After this week I will map out a program for the Breeders’ Challenge,” James said. “After a few starts he may even have a freshen up before he is wound up for the Challenge.
“He’s also eligible for the Breeders’ Crown in August at Melton, and there is the Queensland Derby in late July, so the options are there if he is going well enough.”