If Lazarus is to cap one of the great summers in New Zealand harness racing history, he is going to have to do it the hard way.

That is the reality of tonight's A$750,000 Miracle Mile, the centrepiece of a stunning night at Menangle where Kiwi horses are favoured to win five group ones inside 140 minutes.

The meeting is the strongest held at Menangle since it opened in 2008 but good as the support card is, the Miracle Mile is the race people will remember, especially if Lazarus wins.

After his New Zealand Cup demolition job, a similar display in the Victoria Cup and bullying wins in the NZ Free-For-All, Chariots of Fire and Ashburton Flying Stakes, if Lazarus wins tonight his body of work sits alongside the golden summers of Christian Cullen, Christopher Vance and Chokin. But first he has to win and to do that he may need to add a new string to his bow.


Lazarus is at his most crushing when able to lead and run consistently searing sectionals which deter challengers before rolling into a quick last 800m.

But there is next to no chance of him leading tonight and trainer-driver Mark Purdon admits that if a fast tempo allows him to drive the champ sit-sprint something special could unfold.

"I have never really had the chance to drive him cold before and I think he might love it," said Purdon.

"I am pretty sure Hectorjayjay will lead and if he tries to go slow then I might have to come sit parked.

"But if the pressure is on and we follow the right horse into the race, then he might come out and really sprint."

With Lazarus likely to settle midfield at best in a race where swooping victories are rare, those who take the short odds tonight could be in for some uncomfortable times.

But he is still the best horse in the race and Purdon believes having a week off from racing has helped bring both him and stablemate Our Waikiki Beach on.

"They sprinted up together well on Thursday morning and I am sure they will both be better than in the Chariots two week ago."

Purdon has already had one win going into tonight's meeting, where he trains all five New Zealand favourites.

Auckland Cup winner Our Dream About Me, who has struggled with corns, passed a NSW stewards-ordered vet check yesterday and is almost certain to start in the A$200,000 Ladyship Mile.

"She had a small corns issue and we have been working hard to get her to the race.

"She hasn't missed any real work but it is going to be tough for her without a lead-up race and while she is a great mare, Piccadilly Princess has to be at least as good a chance now."

Purdon favours Vincent from the ace draw over stablemates Ultimate Machete and Motu Meteor in tonight's NSW Derby, while Partyon's inside second line draw in the NSW Oaks may not be as bad as it looks.

She follows out a fast beginner in Takara Truffle and may be able to get a tactical advantage over arch-rival Petacular.

The night's other group one pace looks the trickiest for the Kiwis, with Have Faith In Me and Chase The Dream both coming off hard summers into an even free-for-all tonight.