THE Tasmanian racing industry celebrated one of its greatest weekends on record when Longford-owned pacer Beautide easily won the $750,000 Interdominion final at Menangle in New South Wales yesterday.
Less than 24 hours earlier, North-West Coast-owned greyhound Buckle Up Wes gave his rivals a galloping lesson to win the group 1 $350,000 Australian Cup at The Meadows in Victoria.
Beautide produced an outstanding performance to defeat the best pacers in Australasia and give Tasmanian racing arguably its biggest boost since Piping Lane won the 1972 Melbourne Cup.
In winning the Interdominion, Beautide took his career stake earnings to $1.24 million and he became the first horse in 12 years to take out the Miracle Mile-Interdominion double in the same season.
Beautide is raced by Tasmania's leading harness racing trainer Barrie Rattray and his family trust and is trained in Sydney by his 28-year-old son, James.
Rattray also bred the horse.
The Rattray name has been synonymous with Tasmanian harness racing for more than three decades and yesterday's win is the pinnacle of a long involvement started by Barrie's father, Wayne.
Beautide went into the Interdominion final as favourite but was easy in the betting at race start time.
However, his trainer-driver James Rattray drove him positively from the outset from his second row draw.
Beautide settled in the one-out two-back position travelling comfortably.
When Rattray saw the three-wide train starting 1500 metres from home he immediately eased Beautide out to lead that charge. After landing in the death he allowed Smolda to go around him, but when that horse pushed on to lead, Beautide was again left to face the breeze.
But Rattray was content to let his charge travel outside of Smolda to the top of the home straight and when he asked his charge for the supreme effort, Beautide raced clear and left his rivals in his wake.
He hit the line well clear of Seal N Print that rattled home along the rails with For A Reason coming from well back to finish a distant third.
Beautide was bred by Barrie Rattray who trained the horse until nine months ago when he opted to send him to his son James who had just established stables at Cobbitty near Menangle.
Barrie was trackside when Beautide became the seventh Tasmanian horse to win the Interdominion and become one of only nine to take out the Miracle Mile-Interdominion double in the same season.
Tasmania's last Interdominion winner was Thorate in 1990.