Day At The Track

Hall hopes his snooze will help Lazarus lose

07:56 AM 05 Dec 2017 NZDT
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Gary Hall Jnr. Harness racing Lazarus making a statement at Gloucester Park ahead of next week’s Grand Final.
Gary Hall Jnr.
Gloucester Park Photo
Lazarus making a statement at Gloucester Park ahead of next week’s Grand Final.
Gloucester Park Photo

The King of Gloucester Park has a plan to beat Kiwi champ Lazarus in Saturday's $1.1 million Inter Dominion final in Perth.

And it involves going to sleep and then waking up mid-race.

That is what Gary Hall believes is his only real option in the hottest harness race of the year on a track he has ruled for the last decade.

Hall, who drives predominantly for his trainer father Gary senior, has won three Inter Dominions driving I'm Themightyquinn but his domination of Gloucester Park's major races extends to near-embarrassing levels.

He has driven the winner of the state's premier race, the WA Cup, seven times and thinks nothing of bagging five winners at a metropolitan Friday night Gloucester Park meeting.

And beating the Kiwis is nothing new to Hall, he has won more Grand Circuit pacing races than any other driver, his 22 victories eclipsing Lazarus's trainer-driver Mark Purdon's 20 wins.

But for all his skills, Hall thinks they won't be required for much of the great race after his charge Chicago Bull drew one on the second line behind likely leader Tiger Tara.

"It looks like I will be in the trail and I can just sit there and go to sleep for a couple of laps," says Hall.

"There really won't be many decisions to be made until they start to up the ante over the last 1200m and then I have to work out when I try and get off the marker pegs.

"If Tiger Tara stays in front and horses like Lazarus, Lennytheshark and Soho Tribeca all do some work around each other in those first two laps, then we have a great chance."

But after thousands of spins around the Gloucester Park circuit, Hall admits to having one concern.

"I'm pretty sure Tiger Tara will stay in front but the last thing I want is a tame early section of the race and then horses like Tiger, Lazarus and Tribeca being three abreast starting the last lap with no gap for me because they are so tough they may not stop."

Lazarus is the $2.10 favourite with New Zealand TAB who have Chicago Bull as the $3.80 second pick.

By Michael Guerin


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