Lazarus rises again
Champion pacer Lazarus rose to the occasion while "hype horse" Heaven Rocks ran last, turning New Zealand Cup markets into confusion after the five-horse $50,0000 Canterbury Classic at Addington on Friday night.
Harness racing’s all-conquering All Stars stables of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, despite running the top three in the Classic (Have Faith In Me and Dream About Me filling the minor placings), were left shocked by the run of Heaven Rocks.
He was the pre-post race favourite and had also headed Lazarus in the pre-post NZ Cup market.
Driver Rasmussen said it felt as if the giant-sized pacer had broken down. A post-race veterinary examination found the horse to be lame in the near front leg. The five-yearold pacing giant was vetted again yesterday and found to have a greasy heel.Lazarus lifted his earnings past the $2.2 million mark for owners Glenys and Phil Kennard, Trevor Casey and Kevin Riseley, after leading out, trailing Have Faith In Me from the 1300m.
Co-trainer and driver Mark Purdon, who would have preferred an extra week to fit Lazarus for a return to racing, asked him for just enough to win, scoring by a head.