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Lazarus Wins The Inter Dominion Final

Published: December 10, 2017 12:18 pm ET

Last Comment: December 12, 2017 11:04 am ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

New Zealand champion Lazarus captured the $1.1 million TABtouch Inter Dominion final at Gloucester Park on Friday (December 8) before a crowd of some 9,000 fans.

Settled by his trainer/driver Mark Purdon as the field was released, Lazarus wasn’t part of the early charge for the lead, which saw polemarker Tiger Tara

hold the front comfortably from Soho Tribeca before Lennytheshark went to the breeze.

At the end of the first lap, Lazarus left a trailing position to move around the field to sit outside the leader and the race was as good as over.

Three weeks earlier, Purdon’s training partner, Natalie Rasmussen, had sat outside Tiger Tara with Ultimate Machete in the Group One New Zealand Free For All before winning -- and, with all due respect, Ultimate Machete is no Lazarus.

In a masterful exhibition of reinsmanship, Purdon controlled the race. Even when in a position to surge past Tiger Tara with 400 metres to go, he opted to hold his position to ensure that Western Australian champion Chicago Bull remained in a pocket until the field turned for home.

As the field straightened, Purdon lifted the reins and Lazarus surged away from his rivals to win untouched by four metres after the last lap of the half-mile Gloucester Park circuit was covered in 54.6 seconds (:27.4, :27.2).

Chicago Bull finished strongly for second ahead of a tiring Tiger Tara, while the locally-bred outsider Vultan Tin, courtesy of a superb drive by Chris Voak, finished well into fourth place.

Lazarus was heavily supported into favouritism at $1.90, while Chicago Bull was a solid second favourite at $4.10.

The win takes Lazarus’s career record to 40 starts for 33 wins and seven placings, and his career earnings climb to $3,317,139. Of that total, $1,080,685 has come in the past 24 days.

The win was Lazarus’s 14th win in a Group One race, thus taking him past the 13 Group One victories recorded by Im Themightyquinn and Village Kid. Lazarus is now also within striking distance of the stakemoney won records of Blacks A Fake (Australia), Im Themightyquinn and Monkey King (New Zealand).

“He is the best horse I have ever trained,” Purdon said post-race. His sense of relief as Lazarus cruised to the line was evidenced by an uncharacteristic salute at the finish of the race.

Purdon completed a race-to-race Group One double in the $200,000 Retravision Golden Nugget with Ultimate Machete to bring up his All Stars Stable’s 261th Group One success.

The good news for West Australian fans is that while Mark Purdon has now left for New Zealand, for a 26-day stewards inspired holiday following last night’s Golden Nugget final, Lazarus will remain in Perth with the $300,000 Fremantle Cup and $450,000 WA Pacing Cup on January 19 as his targets for renewed clashes with Chicago Bull and Soho Tribeca.

(Australian Harness Racing)

December 12, 2017 - 11:04 amWhat an amazing and beautiful

What an amazing and beautiful horse. So powerful - and it was so nice to see the confidence the driver had to sit on the outside with him the entire race, and never did he have to start whipping the horse, as he just easily did it on his own. He had tons left and probably could have won by many lengths if that was there intention. Giving a horse like this an "easy race" for him allows him to continue to have that "other race" still left in him as they are like any athlete and can only be pushed so far for so long.

I love the speed races we have here in North America but when it comes to the elite stars of our sport it is nice to see the top races from overseas, both trotters and pacers as there is always so much action.

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