Is Fremantle Cup won before it’s run?

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    LAZARUS in full flight - Photo Jodie Hallows

    CAN exhilarating pacer Lazarus be beaten in Friday night’s Fremantle Cup at Gloucester Park?

    According to most punters, the answer is “no” as money continues to flow for the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen-trained stallion.

    Posted at $1.40 after drawing barrier five in the prestigious feature, Lazarus has been the centre of most Fixed Odds betting, with TAB lowering his price to $1.30.

    “Just as they did going into the Inter Dominion Final, punters want to back Lazarus,” TAB’s Andrew Georgiou said.

    “We’ve had several large bets come in, all for Lazarus at this stage.”

    Widely-regarded as a freak, Lazarus is Australasia’s undisputed King of the Pacing.

    The best of his crop since his freshman debut, the son of Bettors Delight stallion has made a seamless transition from age-restricted events to open company during the past 12 months.

    With an imposing record of 34 wins and seven placings from 41 starts, Lazarus has already captured two New Zealand Cups, the Victoria Cup, Chariots Of Fire, Victoria Derby, Four-Year-Old Bonanza, Harness Jewels, Sires’ Stake Final, Northern Derby, New Zealand Derby and New Zealand Free-For-All – all Group Ones!

    And of course, the five-year-old blitzed his rivals in last month’s Inter Dominion Final at Gloucester Park.

    If Lazarus is to be beaten, which of his rivals is most likely to achieve the feat?

    Based on TAB Fixed Odds, Lazarus’ stablemate Ultimate Machete is the leading candidate.

    Undefeated from three Perth runs, Ultimate Machete’s starts were against four-year-olds, with the entire stepping up to open company this time around.

    Before heading across the Tasman, the son of Bettors Delight captured the New Zealand Free-For-All against all-aged rivals.

    Drawn well in barrier two, Ultimate Machete is on the second line of betting at $7.

    Runner-up behind Lazarus in the Inter Dominion, Chicago Bull is sitting at $9.

    The defending Cup champion, Chicago Bull has drawn four, which is bound to see his gate speed to come into play.

    Amazingly, Soho Tribeca – the one time Inter Dominion favourite – is listed at $21 after drawing the outside of the front row.

    • PAUL COURTS

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