It was a tough night at the office for All Stars at Gloucester Park on Friday when Lazarus may have put up his best performance of the season in being beaten by a narrow margin into second by longshot My Hard Copy in the $A300,000 Fremantle Cup. The winner's time (3.01.8) was close to the Australian record of 3.00.5 set by Laz at the Inter Dominion carnival. My Hard Copy, high class at best also had the advantage of sitting on Lazarus's back for the last lap and still only beat him a head, the last 800m in 56.5. So Lazarus lost the race but certainly no part of his reputation. The mile rate for the 2536m was 1.55.4. Lazarus was three wide in the open close to the leaders almost all the way an impossible position at Gloucester Park.
Ultimate Machete enjoyed a nice run on the back of Chicago Bull (parked) and ironically denied Lazarus when Mark put the pressure on the leaders in the middle stages hoping to slot in behind them. Ultimate Machete filled the gap but was in tight quarters at the turn when he needed some room and Chicago Bull was starting to battle. Natalie ultimately ended up switching to the inside over the final stages. The stewards took issue with "Mate" after the race and a vet clearance will be needed before he can race next week.
Piccadilly Princess did not have the best of luck either from a second row draw Mark making an early move three wide to wrest the lead. He ended up 3 back on the outer and the mare was battling at the turn but held fourth on a 1.56.6 mile rate.
"It was a tough run from Ultimate Machete but he came out of it a little lame. Mark will be assessing that for next week but he was very happy with him going into the race so we will have to cross fingers there. He has quite a lot coming g up too. We pro ably needed a bit more room when it counted but you could not take anything from Lazarus. That was just amazing.
I am on my way to Sydney soon and after the races tonight off to Melbourne.Can't say at this stage whether I am back here next week but both Mark and I will definitely Italy be in Melbourne on the 20th.
JANUARY 14-BARE KNUCKLE makes a stunning Australian debut losing around 40m at the start brilliantly guided through the pace across the top and then bursting on the scene in 1.51.5! PARTYON goes a might race fading late after being last until the 900m and making a big run wide.
JANUARY 13-LAZARUS puts up perhaps the greatest performance of his career 3 wide for almost all the 2560m of the Fremantle Cup go go down by a head to Hard Copy coming off his back. Ultimate Machete a shade unlucky to be fourth but comes out of the race with a foot problem
JANUARY 6- LAZARUS and ULTIMATE MACHETE have easy warm up wins at Gloucester Park