Day At The Track

Radical deal will see Lazarus back from US

05:05 AM 08 May 2019 NZST
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Lazarus,Harness racing
Lazarus
Gloucester Park

Pacing great Lazarus is going to stand at stud in New South Wales in one of the most radical deals in the history of harness racing.

But while he will be based in Australia for his Southern Hemisphere breeding career, New Zealand breeders will still have the cheapest access in the world to the recently-retired pacing hero.

Lazarus was the dominant pacer in Australasia until sold to United States thoroughbred breeding giant Taylor Made Stallions last year and he went on to become the second best free-for-all pacer in North America during a short campaign there.

He is serving a full book (140 mares) in the United States at US$10,000 and after negotiations with several leading Down Under stud farms he will stand at Yerribee Stud in Wagga, New South Wales.

But that isn't the radical part of the Lazarus deal as his Southern Hemisphere breeding rights haven't been purchased by a stud or individual but by Club Menangle, who run the Menangle harness racing track.

The deal sees Club Menangle buy Lazarus's Australasian breeding rights for life which would see them keep profits until their initial investment is paid back and then any service fees after that will be split with Taylor Made.

The move will stun harness racing insiders, who often shy away from thinking outside the square, but looks smart business on two fronts.

Not only should Lazarus be popular at stud and looks certain to end up making Club Menangle money but his presence in NSW will give them a glamour stallion prospect at a time when state bosses there are trying to reinvigorate the local breeding industry.

That will also boost the depth of all NSW racing series and Club Menangle are certain to give the champion Lazarus huge exposure.

He will stand there at an initial fee of A$10,000 plus GST but be available to New Zealand breeders at the slightly cheaper fee of $10,000 plus GST.

Just as importantly, Lazarus will be paid up for the New Zealand Sires' Stakes stallion eligibility scheme so his New Zealand foals will have the same local opportunities as foals sired by stallions based in New Zealand.

Club Menangle chief executive Bruce Christison says he was thrilled to get the deal signed.

"The Club sees this as both an investment for ourselves but also in the breeding industry in NSW," said Christison.

"And we believe the breeding incentives already put in place by HRNSW combined with the Lazarus name will ensure this is an outstanding success."

Lazarus is expected to arrive in Australia in August.

 

Michael Guerin

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