Racing: Lazarus wins Trotting Cup

By Michael Guerin

Mark Purdon driving Lazarus wins the New Zealand Trotting Cup. Photo / Getty Images
Mark Purdon driving Lazarus wins the New Zealand Trotting Cup. Photo / Getty Images

Lazarus produced one of greatest performances in New Zealand horse racing history to destroy his opponents in today's $750,000 New Zealand Trotting Cup.

The four-year-old hot favourite thrashed New Zealand's best pacers by 10 lengths, rewriting the record book in the process.

Not only was his margin the biggest in the modern history of the race but his time of 3:53.1 took a staggering 1.5 seconds off the national record set just two years ago by his champion stablemate Adore Me.

Lazarus was last season's freakish three-year-old but few four-year-olds are asked to contest the Cup let alone win it. None have won it so emphatically.

Trained by harness racing's power couple of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, Lazarus was driven by Purdon and their win will not have gone down with TAB bookmakers.

They suggested in the hours leading up to the 3200m standing start thriller that a win for Lazarus could cost the TAB book on yesterday's Addington meeting well over $1million.

The ease of the performance and the time quickly raises questions over where Lazarus could one day potentially sit among the all-time greats of pacing.

He is set to return to Addington for the NZ Free-For-All on Friday before coming to Auckland for the Cup at Alexandra Park on December 31.

Tiger Tara was a brave second today, with the winner's stablemate Titan Banner third.

Second favourite Have Faith In Me lost his chance when he galloped with 600 to run.

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