Day At The Track

Lazarus can nab full set of major wins

07:12 AM 29 Aug 2018 NZST
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Lazarus,Harness racing
Lazarus
Dean Gillette Photography

Lazarus has a rare chance to complete a historic full set of major race wins after securing a perfect draw for Sunday's C$615,000 Canadian Pacing Derby.

The champion Kiwi pacer has drawn barrier two in his second North American start, which is scheduled for 1.50pm (NZ time) on Sunday and after his bullying win in the Dan Patch in Indiana two weeks ago he has opened a $1.45 favourite with the NZ TAB.

The Dan Patch was Lazarus' first start for his new United States owners after being sold for $4 million in the hopes he can win some of North America's biggest races and become a dual-hemisphere stallion prospect.

The Dan Patch victory, in which Lazarus overcame barrier nine to lead for most of the race, saw the hype around the six-year-old go sky high and with Sunday's field not much stronger, Lazarus will only need to maintain that performance level to probably win again.

Although trotting races are held in many parts of the world, the pacing gait is the focal point of the harness racing industry in only four countries - New Zealand, Australia, United States and Canada.

If Lazarus wins on Sunday, he will have won a group one race or equivalent level race in all four of those countries inside 10 months.

So while Kiwi pacing heroes such as Cardigan Bay and Young Quinn have tasted serious success in North America before, Lazarus' effort might be the first clean-sweep in such a short-time frame.

Such is the interest in the superstar, Trackside television plan to have 20 minutes of lead-in from the Woodbine track before the race.

Closer to home, Dream About Me looks set to start favourite in Friday night's Maurice Holmes Vase at Addington as the countdown to the New Zealand Trotting Cup starts to get serious.

Thefixer downed Dream About Me in the first open class race of the season last Thursday but that was under handicap conditions with Dream About Me off 30m.

On Friday, they meet under free-for-all conditions and with Dream About Me expected to derive enormous benefit from last Thursday she could well head the market.

Both Thefixer and Dream About Me have been touted as possible Victoria Cup raiders in mid-October as that Melton classic is unlikely to have the depth of previous years and could be a lucrative target for the stablemates before they return to Addington for the New Zealand Cup in November.


Michael Guerin

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