The quest to end New Zealand’s hiatus in Chariots Of Fire dominance is certainly in the right hands.

Kiwis have won 11 of the 29 runnings of the Chariots and landed three on end – Lazarus (2017), Have Faith In Me (2016) and Our Sky Major (2015) – before the hiatus started. No Kiwi has won since Lazarus.

To be fair, the pandemic made things almost impossible for NZ trainers for a few years.

That trio of winners between 2015-17 were trained by the Purdon brothers, Mark had Lazarus and Have Faith In Me and Our Sky Major was prepared by Barry.

Dig deep and you’ll find the Purdon brothers have won six Chariots between them, with Barry’s first three coming in the first five runnings of Australasia’s premier four-year-old feature with Gingerman (1995), Franco Hat Trick (1998) and Holmes DG (1999).

So, it just feels right Mark and Barry Purdon will have three of the 10 Chariots Of Fire runners at Menangle on Saturday night.

And maybe it's destiny one of them ends the hiatus.

Mark has co-favourite Dont Stop Dreaming, while Barry has Its Merlin and Sooner The Bettor.

Standing in their way are some classy Aussies, headed by Jason Grimson’s latest star, Frankie Ferocious.

The former Queensland turned plenty of heads with an electrifying turn of speed when driven with a sit to win the Group 2 4YO Bonanza at Hunter Cup night (February 3) on debut for Grimson.

Last Saturday week and looking fitter and stronger, driver Cam Hart showed another weapon Frankie Ferocious possesses – very good gate speed – to lead throughout in blistering time to win at Menangle.

Hart has already declared Frankie Ferocious as fast as any horse he’s driven.

But it will be another step-up again taking on the likes of Dont Stop Dreaming, who has given us all a clear benchmark of this four-year-old crop with his fantastic second to Leap To Fame in the Group 1 Hunter Cup – harness racing’s Melbourne Cup – on February 3.

Grimson has already upstaged the Kiwis on their own patch in recent months with Swayzee winning the NZ Cup.

Now he’s the main hurdle to them posting another Chariots Of Fire win.

And recent history shows the Chariots Of Fire is a wonderful form pointer to the $1mil Miracle Mile, which is only a week later this year.

Of course, Andy Gath’s Catch A Wave famously won the Chariots/Miracle Mile double last year.

But it runs much deeper.

The past eight Chariots winners have either won or been placed in the Miracle Mile.

It goes back to Have Faith In Me winning the double in 2016.

Lazarus ran third in the 2017 Miracle Mile, Jilliby Kung Fu was second in 2018, Poster Boy third in 2019, Lochinvar Art second in 2020, Expensive Ego second in 2021 and Better Eclipse third in 2022.

As dominant as Leap To Fame has been, this crop of four-year-olds and the unsuitably short mile trip will present his biggest challenge yet in the Miracle Mile.

It’s sure to be a cracker … yet again.

Picture: Dont Stop Dreaming (Club Menangle)