They say manners maketh man, but they might also maketh the New Zealand Trotting Cup winner.
Lazarus guaranteed himself favouritism for the great race at Addington on November 8, with a muscular domination of the Flying Stakes at Ashburton yesterday, downing stablemate Have Faith In Me to end the latter's challenge to title of their stable's top chance in the race.
Even after being slowly away, Lazarus's huge respect factor saw him easily work to the lead when co-trainer Mark Purdon hit the go button and from there he was perfect, never flinching in a 26.1-second last 400m.
He has the speed, stamina, manners, presence and lead-up of a New Zealand Cup winner.
In contrast, Have Faith In Me gawked around, paced awkwardly and behaved more like a debutante than an Auckland Cup and Miracle Mile winner, his gait so choppy before and after the line you could have feared he had broken down.
But the pair pulled up well, leaving Purdon in no doubt Lazarus is now the better New Zealand Cup hope.
"He is doing things so right and professionally, which gives him an advantage over the other horse," says Purdon. "He was great today after being a bit slow from that inside draw and I just hope he draws the front line in the Cup because he would be a hard horse to get past."
On yesterday's performances it is hard to see Have Faith In Me coming from behind Lazarus to beat him.
Lazarus moved into $1.90 Cup favouritism, with Have Faith In Me at $4 and with yesterday's huge third placegetter Field Marshal not in the Cup, it is very hard to make a case for those behind the quinellemates being serious threats at Addington.
Lazarus and Have Faith In Me will head to the Cup trial tomorrow week, while their stablemates Smolda and Titan Banner face Franco Nelson, Messini and Tiger Tara in Monday's Kaikoura Cup.
As good as Lazarus was his fellow 4-year-old and stablemate Dream About Me was just as impressive winning her comeback 35 minutes earlier in a fast time, with Purdon suggesting she will take on Lazarus for the first time in the New Zealand Free-For-All in November 11.
The other star of the show yesterday was Monbet, who settled back, was three wide but able to work into the one-one at the 600m and cruised past Harriet Of Mot for a win befitting the Horse of the Year.