Lazarus rises again

Sunday Star-Times - - SPORT - NZ HAR­NESS

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.

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