Purdon claims slice of history

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    LAZARUS following his Inter Dominion win - Photo Jodie Hallows

    CHAMPION horseman Mark Purdon grabbed a slice of history with his Inter Dominion triumph at Gloucester Park last night.

    By partnering freakish performer Lazarus to glory in the time honoured Final, Purdon became just the second trainer to win consecutive Inter Dominions with different pacers.

    Purdon captured last season’s edition with Smolda, which was retired earlier this year.

    The late Bob Knight is the only other mentor to win consecutive Inter Dominions with different pacers, having prepared Our Maestro in 1988 and Jodie’s Babe in 1989.

    Thanks to Lazarus, Purdon is the first New Zealander to achieve the feat since the Championship’s inception in 1936.

    With Purdon in the cart, Lazarus settled one out, two back from barrier two as Tiger Tara led and Lennytheshark occupied the ‘death seat’.

    Angled three-wide during the middle stages, the five-year-old was sent forward to test the pacemaker from the breeze.

    Forging his way to the front at the top of the home straight, Lazarus sprinted to four-metre win from Chicago Bull, with Tiger Tara a metre-and-a-half away third.

    “What a magnificent run,” Purdon said. “He has done plenty of work and was still so strong in the straight.”

    Rating 1:57.6 over 2936 metres, Lazarus stretched his record to an imposing 32 wins and seven placings from 39 starts.

    Eight months ago Lazarus became the first four-year-old to earn more than $2million, with the stallion’s bankroll now at $3,317,139.

    He sits fifth on the all-time richest list behind Blacks A Fake ($4,575,438), Im Themightyquinn ($4,567,456), Smoken Up ($3,607,985) and Monkey King ($3,332,513), with a distinct possibility Lazarus could top the table and pass $5million by the time he is retired.

    Lazarus has surpassed Lennytheshark as the southern hemisphere’s richest stallion.

    Should Lazarus win his remaining targets this season – the Fremantle, Western Australia and Hunter Cups and possibly the Miracle Mile – he will be second to Blacks A Fake.

    “He’s a champion and I don’t call many of them champions, but this horse is,” Purdon said. “It was a great feeling, when you’ve got a horse like this it comes with a lot of pressure too — it’s a relief.

    “My father (Roy) who is 90 said Lazarus is the best horse he has seen and Dad’s obviously seen a lot of champions in his time.

    “We will stay in Western Australia for the two Cups, then head to Melton for the Hunter Cup.

    “The Miracle Mile is also there, but I’m not certain if he will go in that as yet…we’ll see how he is after the Cups.”

    • PAUL COURTS

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