NEW Zealand boom three-year-old Lazarus makes his Australian debut at the Ballarat Pacing Cup meeting on Saturday night.
From the powerful stable of Mark Purdon, Lazarus lines up in the first of three of $20,000 Victoria Derby heats.
The son of Bettors Delight arrives with massive wraps on him and the expectation of being one of the superstars of the upcoming “Summer of Glory” Carnival.
Lazarus is the red-hot favourite to take out the derby heat, 2200m, and go on to claim the group 1 $200,000 Victoria Derby final at Melton on Saturday, January 30.
He arrives with a super record with 10 wins in 12 starts and $488,000 in stakes for the all-conquering Purdon stable, which also has big gun Smolda vying for favouritism in the Ballarat Cup.
Lazarus will clash with smart NSW youngster Born To Rocknroll and Ballarat hope King of Rocknroll, which is trained by Colin Holloway.
King of Rocknroll is still learning what racing and going to the races is all about,.
To help him settle better, Holloway has employed the use of family pony to accompany the gelding to the races, and it is working with King of Rocknroll winning at Maryborough two runs back at just his fourth start.
He faces an enormous task in this company, but Holloway said with the race being on his doorstep it was worth having a crack at it.
Ballarat's Emma Stewart has potentially one of the key players in the Derby, with last-start Hamilton winner Kingofthestars in the third heat.
This year marks the first time since 2009 that the Victoria Derby heatshave been run on Ballarat Pacing Cup night.
MEANWHILE, PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup emergency Classy Western has gained a start in the $120,000 group 1 event on Saturday night.
Five Star Anvil, which finished second in the Shepparton Gold Cup at his latest outing, was scratched on Wednesday.
Saturday night’s 10-race program, which features the first race at 6.33pm, continues the Ballarat and District Trotting Club’s ”Summer Festival” of racing.
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