Day At The Track

Lazarus rises to the occasion

01:26 PM 03 Dec 2017 NZDT
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Lazarus and trainer/driver Mark Purdon, harness racing
Lazarus and trainer/driver Mark Purdon
Gloucester Park Photo

Harness racing trainer/driver Mark Purdon was all smiles following the win of Lazarus in the ninth and final heat of the 2017 TABtouch Inter Dominion at Gloucester Park last night.

Not only did Lazarus win untouched, he broke local idol Im Themightyquinn’s track record for 2536 metres in the process with a mile-rate of 1:54.5 and qualified for the final in equal-third position on the points table.

Im Themightyquinn set his record of 1:54.7 in a stand-alone Perth heat of the 2013 Sydney Inter Dominion and he will get the opportunity to congratulate Lazarus personally next Friday night when Im Themightyquinn returns to lead the Inter Dominion field onto the track.

Lazarus narrowly beat his stablemate Have Faith In Me who resurrected his career with his best performance since his February 1916 Miracle Mile win at Menangle and he managed to scrape into the $1.1 million final – field below

Horse (owned in)

Points

Rank

 

SOHO TRIBECA (WA)

39

1

 

CHICAGO BULL NZ (WA)

37

2

 

LAZARUS NZ (NZ)

36

3

 

TIGER TARA NZ (NSW)

36

3

 

LENNYTHESHARK (VIC)

32

5

 

SAN CARLO (VIC)

29

6

 

GALACTIC STAR NZ (WA)

29

6

 

SHANDALE NZ (WA)

22

8

 

VULTAN TIN (WA)

21

9

 

HAVE FAITH IN ME NZ (NZ)

19

10

 

OHOKA PUNTER NZ (WA)

19

10

1st Emergency

MAJOR CROCKER (VIC)

19

10

2nd Emergency

DEVENDRA (TAS)

19

10

3rd Emergency

Some idea of the authority of the win by Lazarus can be taken from the rates of Chicago Bull 1:56.0 and San Carlo 1:56.3 in winning their respective heats last night.

Mark Purdon first came to Perth in 1986 when Western Australia played host to that year’s Inter Dominion Young Drivers Championship.

Purdon represented New Zealand while the North Island representative was David Butcher and Anthony Butt represented the South Island.

Mark Purdon will be chasing a third Inter Dominion Pacing Championship win as a driver after his success with Mark Hanover in 1991 and Smolda last year. Mark Hanover was trained by his father and brother Roy and Barry Purdon.

Mark has also driven three Inter Dominion Trotting Championship winners in Pride of Petite (1996) and I Can Doosit (2011 and 2012).

Anthony Butt won the 2009 Inter Dominion for pacers with Mr Feelgood and has won a trio of Inter Dominion Trotting Championships with Lyell Creek (2000) and Take A Moment (2001 and 2003).

David Butcher was at the reins of Elsu when that stallion took out the 2005 Inter Dominion.

Mark Purdon is making his third attempt at winning a Perth Inter Dominion.

He sent the boom stallion Auckland Reactor to Perth in 2012 in the care of his fellow 1986 Young Driver’s Championship competitor Anthony Butt.

Auckland Reactor won each of his three heats in 2012 however a wide draw and the presence of WA champion Im Themightyquinn saw him unplaced in the final.

Purdon was back in Perth in 2016, on a reconnaissance mission for this year’s attempt with Lazarus, with Smolda and a superb training exhibition and equally top-class drive in the final saw him take out a heat and final with Smolda.

Alan Parker

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