PACING great Lazarus will stand at stud in New South Wales in one of the most radical deals in the history of harness racing.
While he will be based in Australia for his Southern Hemisphere breeding career, New Zealand breeders will also have the same access to the recently-retired pacing hero…and the same racing opportunities for his stock.
Lazarus was the dominant pacer in Australasia until sold to the US thoroughbred breeding giant Taylor Made Stallions last year and he went on to become one of the best free-for-all pacers in North America during a short stint there.
He is serving a full book (140 mares) in the US at US$10,000 and after negotiations with several leading Down Under stud farms he will stand at Yirribee Stud in Wagga.
But that isn’t the radical part of the Lazarus deal as his Southern Hemisphere breeding rights haven’t been purchased by a stud or an individual but by Club Menangle.
The deal sees Club Menangle buy Lazarus’s Australasian breeding rights for life, which would see them keeps profits until their initial investment is paid back and then any service fees after that will be split with Taylor Made.
The move will stun harness racing insiders, who often shy away from thinking outside the square, but looks smart business on two fronts.
Not only should Lazarus be popular at stud and looks certain to end up making Club Menangle money, his presence in New South Wales also gives them a glamour stallion prospect at a time when state bosses are trying to re-invigorate the local breeding industry.
That will also boost the depth of all New South Wales racing series and Club Menangle are certain to give the Lazarus huge exposure.
He will stand there at an initial fee of A$10,000 plus GST but be available to New Zealand breeders at the slightly cheaper fee of NZ$10,000 plus GST.
Club Menangle chief executive Bruce Christison was thrilled to get the deal signed.
“The club see this as both an investment for ourselves but also in the breeding industry in New South Wales,” Christison said.
“And we believe the breeding incentives already put in place by HRNSW, combined with the Lazarus name, will ensure this is an outstanding success.”
Lazarus is expected to arrive in Australia in August.
Lazarus won some of Australasia’s biggest races from the Inter Dominion, the New Zealand, Hunter and Victoria Cups as well as the Chariots of Fire.
He pocketed A$4,125,988 in stakes as a result of 37 and 12 from 51 starts, making him the highest earning stallion in the Southern Hemisphere.