Lazarus Makes A Great Contribution
Back in the early 1980s Sydney owner Russ Lazarus cracked the racing lottery when he bought a share in a potential stayer by Blarney Kiss for a small outlay.
Named Kensei and prepared by Randwick trainer Les Bridge, the gelding went on to win nine races for Lazarus and his five partners capped by his victory in the 1987 Melbourne Cup.
Kensei was also successful in the Tattersalls Cup at Eagle Farm and Grafton Cup, runner up in the AJC Metropolitan and Newcastle Cup and third in the AJC Summer Cup, Tattersall's Club Cup, Chelmsford Stakes and George Ryder Stakes.
The success of Kensei sparked tremendous enthusiasm in Russ Lazarus for breeding and racing which has led to a quarter of a century of enjoyment and brought benefits to the community as well as to his family.
He has served on the NSW Breeders committee, established a family-owned stud Sutton Farm at Scone and races many homebred horses with their names carrying the preflix Sutton.
Sutton Farm became the retirement home for Kensei until his death.
The Lazarus input into local racing was demonstrated last week by the maiden win at Muswellbrook of Sutton Chilli, a 3YO filly prepared on the track by Mack Griffith, followed by the win of the Luke Griffith trained gelding Sutton Brave at the Scone meeting.
Luke is Mack's brother and between them they have won many races for Lazarus in recent years with the likes of Sutton Princess (eight wins; Wellington Boot), stakeswinner Sutton Review, Brisbane winner Sutton Friend and Sutton Miss (six wins).
Last week's winners and Sutton Princess are by the Danehill sire Olympus, while Sutton Review, Sutton Friend (dam of Sutton Chilli) and Sutton Miss are by Danehill's imported close relation Youthful Legs.
Lazarus is a managing shareholder in both sires, both standing at Erin Park Stud at Tamworth.
He is also in the syndicate that imported the good sire Beautiful Crown, now standing at Patinack Farm at Sandy Hollow in the Hunter Valley.
Sutton Brave's win at Scone on Saturday was followed an evening function at the Scone racecourse put on by Lazarus, now close to 80, and his family to thank friends for their support in the 30 years since they moved to Scone.
The night also raised $22,000 for equipment for Strathearn Village, a resident age care centre at Scone.
Another highlight was a presentation by Russ Lazarus to his longtime friend John Clift of a framed photograph of Gunsynd.
Now 87 and retired this year as president of the Tamworth Jockey Club, John Clift bred the great grey Gunsynd on his The Dip Stud on the Liverpool Plains north of the Hunter Valley.
Clift later moved to Kia Ora Stud at Scone where Gunsynd stood during a brief stud career.