Lazarus Crowned APG Grand Circuit Champion

19 July 2017 | Chris Barsby

New Zealand superstar Lazarus is the 2017 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit champion.

The four-year-old proved dominant with victories in the New Zealand and Victoria Cups while being placed third in the Miracle Mile in Sydney throughout the season.

Lazarus amassed 240 points.

Points are awarded during the Grand Circuit, 100 points for a win, 60 points for second, 40 points for third, and so on, to last placing.

The eight leg series which commenced back in 1977 is now worth more than $4.4 million and starts in November at Christchurch with the New Zealand Cup followed by the Inter Dominion in Perth, Auckland Cup, WA Pacing Cup, Victoria & Hunter Cups, Miracle Mile before concluding with the Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship.

The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained entire becomes the first pacer since the freakish Christian Cullen (1998/99) to be crowned Grand Circuit champion as a four-year-old.

It was a seamless transition for the son of Bettors Delight from age group racing to open class racing and thrilled fans throughout the season, his combined winning margin from his New Zealand and Victoria Cup triumphs was unbelievable.

He won the New Zealand Cup by 10 lengths while the Victoria Cup was almost a mirror image with a winning margin of 12 metres.

Driven throughout the season by Purdon, Lazarus only contested the three races on the Grand Circuit throughout the year.

Overall, he won 12 of his 15 starts while amassing more than $1.2 million in prizemoney.

Lazarus joins Smolda and Young Rufus as Grand Circuit champions from the All Stars stable.

Amazingly, Lazarus becomes the first outright champion for the stable after both Smolda (Lennytheshark) and Young Rufus (Double Identity) deadheated.

The full list of Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit winners during the season were Lazarus (New Zealand Cup), Smolda (Inter Dominion), Dream About Me (Auckland Cup), Chicago Bull (WA Pacing Cup), Lazarus (Victoria Cup), Bling It On (Hunter Cup), Lennytheshark (Miracle Mile) and Hectorjayjay (Blacks A Fake Qld Championship).

And the Top 5 point scorers were;

Lazarus – 240 points

Smolda – 185

Hectorjayjay – 175

Bling It On – 165

Lennytheshark – 160

Congratulations to the owners of Lazarus – Phil & Glenys Kennard, Trevor Casey and Kevin Riseley.


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