News

Laz's great draw

By Adam Hamilton

PUNTERS can expect to see the same Lazarus in the Hunter Cup as the one who so dominantly won the Perth Inter Dominion final.

Speaking after his champion drew ideally in gate three for Saturday night’s Hunter Cup, trainer-driver Mark Purdon assured everyone Lazarus had completely recovered from the minor hoof soreness which plagued him straight after the epic Fremantle Cup run on January 12.                                                                        

“He recovered really quickly, quicker than I expected actually. Within three or four days he was back to his best again,” Purdon said.

Asked how close he’d be to his stunning Inter Dominion winning form, Purdon said: “Very close, judging by what’s been showing in training.”

Lazarus opened $1.40 with the Aussie TAB straight after the draw, but was quickly backed into $1.35.

Just how short he should be depends on the tactics of noted front-runner Tiger Tara ($7.50), the horse who led and finished third to Lazarus in the Perth final.

Does Tiger Tara try for an all-the-way win again or take a trail this time? That’s the big question.

Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen also have the enigmatic last-start Ballarat Cup winner Heaven Rocks in the race, but he drew the back row (gate nine).

“On sheer ability there is nothing between he and Lazarus, but Lazarus is so much more of a professional,” Purdon said. “Hopefully Heaven Rocks takes confidence out of the Ballarat win and does it all right again this week.”

Natalie Rasmussen takes the reins on Heaven Rocks just as she did at Ballarat.

Connections of ageing Victorian champion Lennytheshark ($7.50), who is drawn inside the back row (gate eight) will be desperately hoping Tiger Tara holds the lead from one so they can follow him and wait for the sprint lane in the run home.

Defending champion Bling It On is a $16 shot after drawing ideally in gate two, while last-start WA Cup winner Soho Tribeca drew awfully outside the back row (gate 13).

HUNTER CUP DRAW (TAB odds in brackets):

Front row

  1. Tiger Tara – Todd McCarthy  ($7.50)
  2. Bling It On – Luke McCarthy ($16)
  3. Lazarus – Mark Purdon ($1.35)
  4. Messini – Tony Herlihy ($101)
  5. Shadow Sax – Gavin Lang ($81)
  6. Yayas Hot Spot – Jack Trainor ($201)
  7. Mister Wickham – emergency ($301)

Back row

8 – Lennytheshark – Chris Alford ($7.50)

9 – Heaven Rocks – Natalie Rasmussen ($5.50)

10 – Ameretto – Kerryn Manning ($81)

11 – San Carlo – Bec Bartley ($61)

12 – Moonrock – Anthony Butt ($71)

13 – Soho Tribeca – Greg Sugars ($26)

HUNTER CUP DRAW (Aussie TAB odds in brackets):

Front row

  1. Tiger Tara – Todd McCarthy  ($7.50)
  2. Bling It On – Luke McCarthy ($16)
  3. Lazarus – Mark Purdon ($1.35)
  4. Messini – Tony Herlihy ($101)
  5. Shadow Sax – Gavin Lang ($81)
  6. Yayas Hot Spot – Jack Trainor ($201)
  7. Mister Wickham – emergency ($301)

Back row

8 – Lennytheshark – Chris Alford ($7.50)

9 – Heaven Rocks – Natalie Rasmussen ($5.50)

10 – Ameretto – Kerryn Manning ($81)

11 – San Carlo – Bec Bartley ($61)

12 – Moonrock – Anthony Butt ($71)

13 – Soho Tribeca – Greg Sugars ($26)

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