My Hard Copy (6) noses out a gallant Lazarus in the Fremantle Cup. Photo: Gloucester Park/Scott Hamilton Media.
Despite putting up arguably the biggest performance of his career, Kiwi champion Lazarus came up narrowly short of winning Friday night’s A$300,000 Fremantle Cup in Perth.
He was posted parked three-wide for the entire 2536-metre journey in the hands of Mark Purdon but knuckled down and hit the front 100 metres out, only to be pipped by local pacer My Hard Copy on the line.
It was an out-of-this-world run that had many experienced commentators declaring it the greatest losing performance they’d ever seen.
Purdon was left posted on his own after Chicago Bull, driven by Gary Hall Jnr, refused to hand up the parked position outside Bettors Fire, who led.
Chicago Bull, stablemate of the winner, fought on doggedly to finish third.
The trainer of both horses, Gary Hall Snr, said after the race that he didn’t want Lazarus to find a position of dominance as it would effectively mean race over for his charges.
“I didn’t want a repetition of the Inter Dominion because Lazarus just dictated the terms.
“We decided to make a race of it tonight and I thought Chicago Bull went terrific.
“I know Chicago Bull and Hard Copy aren’t as good as Lazarus, but at least he is beatable.”
My Hard Copy was driven by one of Hall’s sons, Clinton, who had previously won two WA Pacing Cups with the millionaire pacer.
The son of America Ideal was purchased out of Ray Green’s Auckland stable as a juvenile in 2012 by longtime Hall client Steve Chapman and his family.
“[Clint] drove him brilliantly,” said Hall Snr.
“[My Hard Copy] has done me proud; he’s a great little horse.”
Purdon and partner Natalie Rasmussen’s other chance in the race, Ultimate Machete, finished on strongly in the race for fourth after sitting in the one-one position behind Chicago Bull throughout.
Earlier in the night, the stable’s other Perth representative, Piccadilly Princess, finished fourth from a second line draw.