Terrible weekend for two of the best
By Michael Guerin
It was a terrible weekend for two of New Zealand’s best harness horses.
Former Horse of the Year winners Lazarus and Monbet both suffered big setbacks and the immediate or even long-term futures of both are in doubt.
Lazarus was a shock last in the Breeders Crown open male pace at Pocono Downs in the United States yesterday afternoon (NZtime) dropping out after leading to miss a place for only the second time in his career in the race won by his arch rival McWicked.
Clearly the champion New Zealand pacer was ailing in some way and it will now be interesting to see whether his connections continue his campaign, bring him back for next season or if he is retired to stud.
It wasn’t a total disaster for New Zealand-breds at the Breeders Crown though with former Kiwi mare Shartin taking out the mare’s open pace to cement her crown as North America’s queen of pacing.
While Lazarus’s connections will mull over his options the trainers of NZ’s best trotter Monbet have had that taken away from them as the seven-year-old, who was supposed to return to racing at Kaikoura today, has been sidelined indefinitely.
Monbet has’t raced for two years and trialled last Wednesday but was found to have a splint bone problem that will require an operation as doubts loom over whether he will ever make it back to the track.