Equine Forrest Gump off shark hunting in Perth to prove he’s best on both sides of Ditch.

Now for the real challenge.

It might sound a strange thing to say about Lazarus considering he just bolted away with New Zealand's richest harness race by 5 lengths at Addington Raceway in Christchurch yesterday, turning Cup Day into Cup deja vu.

The margin wasn't as graphic as his 10-length race record stunner last season but that was because it didn't need to be.

Twelve months ago Lazarus was made to work early in the Cup, forcing him to a winning time that left his rivals gasping.


Yesterday, he strolled to the front effortlessly, ending the $800,000 New Zealand Cup as a contest and only really extending from the 400m mark.

With stablemates Heaven Rocks galloping early and Dream About Me cruelly knocked out of the race before she had taken a stride, it was left to Jack's Legend and Tiger Tara to pick up the juiciest crumbs from the champ's table.

So Lazarus became the 15th dual winner of the Cup and if he stays healthy he will attempt to become the fourth three-time winner next season.

You wouldn't bet against him.

But before then, Lazarus will head to Australia in search of the Australasian champion tag that not everybody believes is his.

One defeat last season, a below part third to Lennytheshark in the Miracle Mile, has been enough to convince plenty of pundits across the Tasman the Aussie hero is just as good if not better than Lazarus.

Australians can be harsh judges of New Zealand equine talent, wanting consistent proof on their tracks, viewing anything they don't see with their own eyes with skepticism.

Lazarus won't care, he is a horse and all he likes to do is eat and run. An equine Forrest Gump.

But his owners will care, pride aside, because being a beautiful black son of Bettors Delight out of a Christian Cullen mare, Lazarus could be the most commercial stallion prospect produced in this part of the world, with an earning capacity of $5 million a season.

To make that dream come true though, he needs to go shark hunting, to end once and for all the debate over who is the best pacer in the southern hemisphere.

His first serious clash with Lennytheshark should be in the A$1.1 million Inter Dominion Final in Perth next month, the flights to which are tomorrow so Lazarus won't defend his NZ Free-For-All title on Friday at Addington.

Then could come the Hunter Cup in Melbourne and that Miracle Mile in Sydney again.

Win two out of those three against Lenny and his Aussie mates and Lazarus will be crowned the king.

Win all three, sweep the table in Australia and Lazarus becomes the pacing version of Winx, obviously not as big a deal but worth more money because of the bag of gold between his legs.

Watching Lazarus cruise to his Cup double yesterday such future assignments may look a breeze but the Inter Dominions, over in the Perth heat, won't be easy.

Four races in 14 days on tighter tracks where gate speed can be crucial will be a new, stern test for the Kiwi who can fly.

And Lennytheshark has been dynamic this season in Australia, he is more than a worthy adversary. To best him at home will be incredible difficult. To do it three times - maybe impossible.

If Lazarus wants to go from being a champ to THE champ, he will have to earn it.

Mighty Lazarus
•Record: 36 starts, 31 wins, five placings, $2,678,947.
•Highlights: Two NZ Cups, Victoria Cup, three Derby wins, Harness Jewels, Sires' Stakes Final, Chariots Of Fire, NZ Free-For-All, Taylor Mile, Messenger, Sales Series Pace (twice).
•Next stop: Perth Inter Dominions are potentially a A$3.5 million Australian campaign.