Day At The Track

InterDoms - The final field

05:11 AM 04 Dec 2017 NZDT
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Lazarus and Mark Purdon,Harness racing
Lazarus and Mark Purdon
Gloucester Park

A$1.1million Inter Dominion, 2936m mobile
1am Saturday (NZ time)
1: Tiger Tara (1)
2: Lazarus (2)
3: Vultan Tin (3)
4: Soho Tribeca (4)
5: Galactic Star (5)
6: Lennytheshark (6)
7: San Carlo (7)
8: Shandale (8)
9: Have Faith In Me (9)
10: Chicago Bull (1 second line)
Emergencies: Ohoka Punter, Devendra, Major Crocker, The Bucket List.

Kiwi pacing champion Lazarus has scored the barrier draw trainer Mark Purdon wanted for Friday’s A$1.1million Inter Dominion Final in Perth -- but with one slight complication.

Lazarus is set to start favourite for the annual trans tasman pacing grudge match after a track record heat win last Friday night and drawing exactly the marble Purdon wanted.

“I didn’t want barrier one or 10 (second line) or to be too wide so barrier two is perfect,” said Purdon.

But that is tempered by the fact hard-running rival Tiger Tara has drawn the ace and looks the likely leader, a position from where he downed Lazarus in their heat at Bunbury last Tuesday.

And stalking the pair will be local West Australian speedster Chicago Bull, who is the only horse drawn on the second line and looks set to follow Tiger Tara throughout.

This entire Inter Dominion series has been dominated by horses saving ground on the marker pegs, with eight of the nine heat winners leading and the other coming from three deep on the markers.

So not only does it look likely Lazarus will have to race in the running line and cover 10 lengths more than Tiger Tara but then hold off any late charge from Chicago Bull.

Purdon was typically relaxed about the verbal sparring that lies ahead, not even attending the barrier draw function in Perth, preferring to instead work on his horses.

 “I am just taking the horses for a little swim to keep them fresh but Laz getting two was a lot better than any of the other draws,” he said upon learning the draws.

 “I don’t think he would be ideally suited to trailing so I didn’t want 10 and I am not sure he would have had the gate speed to hold the lead from barrier one.

 “But what will happen in the race we will find out on Friday night.

 “All I can control is looking after the horses and they are all well. Laz jogged his win on Friday and I can’t believe he actually broke the track record, he could have gone two seconds faster.

 “He is settled in here now, enjoying his work and at this stage exactly where he needs to be.”
 Purdon and training partner Natalie Rasmussen also have Have Faith In Me in the final, which will be run at 1am Saturday NZ time, with the Australasian mile record holder surprising by qualifying in the last spot after a huge second to Lazarus on Friday.

 “He has improved a lot during the series and it is great to have him in the final in what could be his last race for us,” said Purdon.

 “He is under offer and if he passes all the vet tests he could be sold by Wednesday, but he would still race for his owners, the Dunfords, in the final.”

Rasmussen, who has five Inter Dominion training wins and four driving, is still considering whether to make the trip to Perth to partner Have Faith In Me but she looks more likely to stay home and drive at Alexandra Park, with local reinsman Chris Lewis to partner the stable’s second stringer.

Michael Guerin

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