‘Fire’ Primed for Levin Classic


Spring Heat | Trish Dunell

Te Akau Racing’s G1SP Age of Fire (Aus) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}), never off the board in five career starts, appears poised to collect in the 1600-metre G1 Grant Plumbing Levin Classic at Trentham on Saturday. A A$400,000 Inglis Easter yearling purchase in 2016, he broke his maiden at Riccarton Park on Oct. 7, before completing the trifecta behind Prom Queen (NZ) (Super Easy {NZ}) and Dec. 26 last out winner Sensei (Aus) (Dream Ahead) in the G3 John Grigg S. switched to Ashburton on Oct. 21. The Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards trainee helped complete a Te Akau exacta when he found only stablemate Embellish (NZ) (Savabeel {Aus}) too good in the first Classic on the Kiwi calendar, finishing 1 1/4 lengths behind in the G1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas on Nov. 11. The $2.90 favourite squeaked out a nose-victory in an 3-year-old conditions race at Ellerslie on Boxing Day when last seen, with G1 Manwatu Sires Produce S. runner-up Belle Du Nord (NZ) (Reliable Man {GB}) third.

Spring Heat (Aus) (More Than Ready) is second choice at $4.40 and is one of a quartet of distaffers in Saturday’s contest. A winner at second asking at Hastings in November, she saluted by 2 1/2 lengths in the G3 Bonecrusher S. going 1400 metres at Ellerslie on Dec. 9, with The Great Southern (NZ) (Jimmy Choux {NZ}) third. The Australian was a close fourth over dead ground as the favourite in the G2 Eight Carat Classic there going this trip on Boxing Day.

The G3 Eulogy S. went the way of Savvy Coup (NZ) (Savabeel {Aus}) on Dec. 16 for trainers Michael and Matthew Pitman.

Previously third to Age of Fire in the Guineas Trial at Riccarton Park on Oct. 7, the bay won a 3-year-old feature three starts later on Nov. 15 and was second in a Dec. 9 1400-metre race at Trentham before the Eulogy.

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