A HOT start to Nirvana In Fire’s career has the precocious youngster on target for a crack at the country’s richest prize.
The colt carried its trial form over to race day after recording a tidy front-running performance to bank the $6250 winning purse of Wednesday’s New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance Pearl Series Race at Pukekohe.
Nirvana In Fire is eligible for next month’s Karaka Million and will have another chance to secure a berth in the race with past years indicating around $10,000 in stakes earnings to be the entry level.
“We’ve got a few dollars and we’ll have to look for some more pretty quickly,” said part-owner Andrew Scott, who trains the chestnut with Lance O’Sullivan.
“He needs to get familiar with Ellerslie so we’ll pick out one of the races at the carnival there for him.”
Nirvana In Fire won the start under rider Michael McNab to lead and, despite cornering a little awkwardly, the horse comfortably held another debutante in Scorch at bay in the run to the post.
“He was a bit green turning for home, but it was encouraging the way he got away and he’s certainly going the right way.”
Nirvana In Fire had showed good improvement from its first trial, where the horse ran third at Te Awamutu, to the galloper’s second last month at Cambridge where he also beat Scorch.
“He got caught wide there and had to do it quite tough to get outside the leader,” Scott said.
“He had an excuse to have run third or fourth, but he hit the line really well, he’s built to run early and everything is indicating that he’s a fast-running type.”
Nirvana In Fire’s pedigree backs up that opinion. The horse is a son of Showcasing from the family of the Group One Railway Handicap winner Alynda.