Alexander retires - Lazarus to qualify

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Waikato trainer Dane Alexander will sign off on a 58-year training career at Alexandra Park on Friday night.

He’ll gear up veteran mare Idealistic, will also be having her final career start just days before turning nine.

Alexander, 82, says the time is right to draw a line under his time as a horseman.

“The old mare has kept me alive for the last two or three years, really.

“But it’s got to the stage where I go out in the morning now and think that I don’t need to be doing this anymore.”

Alexander was first licensed in 1960, when based at Westport, and spent time in Carterton before moving to his current property in Ohaupo in 1970.

A fairytale victory by Idealistic at her 122nd career start is unlikely, according to her trainer.

“She’s probably not quite as good as she was, but we’ve kept battling away the pair of us.

“If she’d drawn one and been able to get a suck along in the trail I’d say she’d have had a fair show, but I don’t know about barrier five.”

Alexander has trained 247 winners but his proudest effort arguably came with a placing when Sedgeford Laddie ran second in the 1992 Rowe Cup, won by Directorship.

“I had a couple of trotters that won a few races and got to the verge of open class, but I never really raced one that was good enough to win a classic race.

“There were a few that could have been, but I sold them to ‘the States’.”

* * * * *

Lazarus to qualify in North America

Champion New Zealand pacer Lazarus will contest a qualifier at The Meadowlands in New Jersey on Sunday morning (NZ time).

After an impressive private trial on that track last week for his new trainer Jimmy Takter, the decision has been made to push the button on the next stage of his preparation.

“I'm thrilled with how the horse worked on his own and he paced the mile as a schooling exercise in 1.51.2,” he told local media after the workout.

Takter will get a good line on Lazarus in the qualifier as he is down to race crack three-year-old colt Lather Up, winner of last month’s US$1 Million North America Cup.

Lazarus, the third-richest Down Under pacer of all time, with over $3.8 Million in earnings, was sold to the Kentucky-based Taylor Made Stallions in April.

He won 35 of 45 starts for previous trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, including two New Zealand Cups, a Victoria Cup and the Inter Dominion Grand Final in Perth.

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