Chance to see a champion at Club Menangle

Champion: New Zealander Lazarus will feature in the Miracle Mile at Club Menangle this Saturday night. Picture: Simon Bennett
Champion: New Zealander Lazarus will feature in the Miracle Mile at Club Menangle this Saturday night. Picture: Simon Bennett

He is considered the Winx of harness racing.

The Donald Bradman of trotters.

The Usain Bolt of pacers.

And on Saturday night, those at Club Menangle will get the chance to see the undisputed king of harness racing, Lazarus, strut his stuff.

The New Zealand horse will be one of ten trotters hoping to take out the 2018 Miracle Mile – the richest sprint race in Australasia.

A third place finish in the group one Canadian Club Sprint at Club Menangle on Saturday may have seen some punters jump off the Lazarus bandwagon.

But trainer Mark Purdon said he was still confident the champion – who has two New Zealand Cups and an Inter Dominion victory to his name – could bounce back.

“We had a bug go through here (before Saturday’s race) so everyone was well-aware of the issues we faced. The whole team was below par,” he said.

“It (the Miracle Mile) is going to be a hard race.

“We’ve drawn the outside so he’s going to need to be at his best and to have a bit of luck.

Champion: New Zealander Lazarus will feature in the Miracle Mile at Club Menangle this Saturday night. Picture: Simon Bennett

Champion: New Zealander Lazarus will feature in the Miracle Mile at Club Menangle this Saturday night. Picture: Simon Bennett

“But he will still go in as one of the favourites.”

And there’s good reason that Lazarus is still considered one of – if not – the horse to beat in the $750,000 race on Saturday night.

Out of 44 starts, he has been first past the post on 35 occasions.

He has also never failed to place.

Should he – as expected – take out the Miracle Mile, he will be only the third Australasian harness racing horse to surpass $4 million in prize money.

A 2018 Miracle Mile victory would also see Lazarus become the first horse to claim the grand slam after already winning the New Zealand Cup, Inter Dominion and Hunter Cup, this racing season.

“He’s amazing,” Purdon, who spends about five months living in Australia each year, said.

“He’s got all the qualities you need to make a great race horse.

“He’s the best horse in harness racing in the last decade.”

Purdon said if the glitz and glamour of the Miracle Mile race night wasn’t enough to entice locals to Club Menangle, the possibility of seeing Lazarus – who will likely only have one more racing season before going to stud – should be.

“If you want to see a champion, come out here to Club Menangle on Saturday.”

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