Day At The Track

Lazarus makes a mockery out of NZ Cup - again

06:51 PM 14 Nov 2017 NZDT
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Lazarus, harness racing
It's Lazarus first and daylight second as driver Mark Purdon relaxes as the horse wins the New Zealand Trotting Cup at Addington on Tuesday.

Lazarus has won the the harness racing $800,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup in emphatic style once again at Addington Raceway in Christchurch.

Lazarus, who won the cup by 10 lengths last year, won easily again, this time by 5-3/4 lengths with enough in the tank for trainer-driver Mark Purdon to give a salute to the crowd before the finish line.

"He's a champion," said Purdon, minutes after the win over Jack's Legend and Tiger Tara. Maxim was fourth.

Lazarus paid just $1.40 for the win and it was a money back $1 for the place.

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‚ÄčPurdon, who trains with partner Natalie Rasmussen at Rolleston, controlled the race from soon after the start, though there was chaos there with Ricky May tipped from the cart of Seel The Deal and Lazarus' stablemate Dream About Me had her chances wrecked in the same collision.  

Lazarus leads the field home once again in the New Zealand Trotting Cup.

Lazarus leads the field home once again in the New Zealand Trotting Cup.


Lazarus had the lead after 200m and was never seriously challenged. Purdon urged him to go 400m out and he put a gap on his rivals. It was all too easy.

Purdon's brother Barry trained the game runner-up Jack's Legend, while Tiger Tara, now trained in Australia, did extremely well after breaking with about 800m to go, recovering to finish third.

Mark Purdon said the key to the race was the start and Lazarus performed brilliantly after some practice at home since his last start. 

Mark Purdon has combined with Lazarus to win the New Zealand Trotting Cup for the second year running.

Mark Purdon has combined with Lazarus to win the New Zealand Trotting Cup for the second year running.


Purdon said he had a look around with 400m to go, and said "let's go", pulling Lazarus' earplugs out and the horse responded.

Lazarus has now triumphed in his last eight starts and his race record stands at 31 wins from 36 starts, for prizemoney of around $2.6 million.

Lazarus' next assignment is the Interdominion series in Perth, where he will tackle his Australian nemesis, Lennytheshark. It starts later this month with the final on December 8.


The Purdon-Rasmussen combination also had double-up success in the Group I Sires Stakes Final, with Chase Auckland keeping his unbeaten record as he marked himself as the horse of the future with a sizzling fast time.

The son of Auckland Reactor paced the 1950m in 2:16.1, slicing 0.4sec of Ultimate Machete's national record last year.

He followed out pacemaker King of Swing and Natalie Rasmussen just had to wait until the straight when the run presented itself and Chase Auckland sped home to win from a game King Of Swing by 2-3/4 lengths.

"He had every opportunity to do it, it turned out perfectly," Rasmussen said.

Chase Auckland

The promising trotter Great Things Happen won the Group I Free-For-All for trainer-driver Gavin Smith.

Mat Kermeen

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