Day At The Track

MacDonald says Lazarus will be world's best

08:00 AM 29 Aug 2018 NZST
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Lazarus N and driver Yannick Gingras winning the Dan Patch Stakes
Dean Gillette Photography

LAZARUS’ dominant debut US win certainly didn’t surprise former world champion driver James MacDonald.

In fact, MacDonald is already strongly tipping a repeat dose in the $600,000 Canadian Derby at Woodbine Mohawk on Sunday morning NZ time.

“This race is no harder than last time. I’d expect the same result. He’s drawn better and should be fitter. McWicked would be the danger again if he can get the right trip,” he said.

“Lazarus earnt so much respect last start the way he won. If Yannick wants to press for the front or gets headed and wants to re-take, he’s got that respect now.”

So where will another win this week sit Lazarus on the scale of North America’s best pacers, which is essentially the world’s best?

“These are the best of the best he’s facing this week. There might be a few others here and there, but it won’t get harder than this,” MacDonald said. “If he keeps going the way he is, he will be the best over here.

“The sky is the limit for him knowing Yannick (Gingras, driver) told me he should keep getting better as he gets fitter and adapts more to the style of racing.”

MacDonald’s opinion of Lazarus was in high demand at home given he had the opportunity to watch the megastar win the Perth Inter Dominion in the flesh while he contested some invitational driver races at Gloucester Park last December.

“I told everyone I’d never seen a horse do what he did in that final, sit parked and run past them like he did,” he said.

“I think he was a bit under-estimated when he got here, but not anymore. Not after that first win.

“My only query was how would acclimatise to the shorter speed racing and how fast he could get off the gate, but he answered both those things in that first win.”

Adam Hamilton

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