Lazarus takes out 2017 TABtouch Perth Inter Dominion with dominant exhibition

New Zealand champion Lazarus took out the $1.1 million TABtouch Inter Dominion final at Gloucester Park last night before a crowd of some 9,000 fans.

Settled by his trainer/driver Mark Purdon as the field was released Lazarus wasn’t part of the early charge for the lead which saw polemarker Tiger Tara hold the front comfortably from Soho Tribeca before Lennytheshark went to the breeze.

At the end of the first lap Lazarus left a trailing position to move around the field to sit outside the leader and the race was as good as over.

Lazarus cruised to the line with an uncharacteristic salute by Mark Purdon.

Three weeks earlier Purdon’s training partner Natalie Rasmussen had sat outside Tiger Tara with Ultimate Machete in the Group One New Zealand Free For All before winning and with all due respect Ultimate Machete is no Lazarus.

In a masterful exhibition of reinsmanship, Purdon controlled the race and even when in a position to surge past Tiger Tara with 400 metres to go he opted to hold his position to ensure that Western Australian champion Chicago Bull remained in a pocket until the field turned for home.

As the field straightened Purdon lifted the reins and Lazarus surged away from his rivals to win untouched by four metres after the last lap of the half-mile Gloucester Park circuit was  covered in 54.6 seconds (27.4, 27.2).

Chicago Bull finished strongly for second ahead of a tiring Tiger Tara while the locally bred outsider Vultan Tin, courtesy of a superb drive by Chris Voak, finished well into fourth place.

Lazarus was heavily supported into favouritism at $1.90 while Chicago Bull was a solid second favourite at $4.10.

The win takes Lazarus’s career record to 40 starts for 33 wins and seven placings and his career earnings climb to $3,317,139. Of that total $1,080,685 has come in the past 24 days.

The win was Lazarus’s 14th win in a Group One race taking him past the 13 Group One victories recorded by Im Themightyquinn and Village Kid. Lazarus is now also within striking distance of the stakemoney won records of Blacks A Fake (Australia), Im Themightyquinn and Monkey King (New Zealand).

“He is the best horse I have ever trained”, Purdon said post-race. His sense of relief as Lazarus cruised to the line was evidenced by an uncharacteristic salute at the finish of the race.

Purdon completed a race-to-race Group One double in the $200,000 Retravision Golden Nugget with Ultimate Machete to bring up his All Stars Stable’s 261th Group One success.

The good news for West Australian fans is that while Mark Purdon left for New Zealand this morning, for a 26 day stewards inspired holiday following last night’s Golden Nugget final, Lazarus will remain in Perth with the $300,000 Fremantle Cup and $450,000 WA Pacing Cup on January 19th as his targets for renewed clashes with Chicago Bull and Soho Tribeca.