Healesville plays host this Sunday to one of the club’s richest races as the Victorian Bred Maiden Final (350m) jumps at 12:52pm with Eyes On You vying for a slice of the $10,710 prize money.
Cranbourne South Trainer Ashlee Terry, who first went to a racetrack as a three-week-old baby with her father, who was also a trainer, will this time be on the inside of the fence watching Eyes On You from box 7 in a tightly contested final. From four starts, Eyes On You has notched two wins and a second, impressing viewers with an exciting win in a heat of this series. Still, Ashlee, 24, isn’t placing a lot of expectation on her young dog.
“It’s one of the most even finals that I’ve been in. I just hope he begins well and then luck takes him from there. Originally I said that it would just be nice to make the final, so no matter what happens in the race, I am going to be proud of him,” Ashlee explained.
Making this final is particularly special to Ashlee as she bred Eyes On You, who is a son of Cosmic Rumble and Free Dream.
“Eyes on You is a part of the first litter that I’ve bred, so he and his littermates are very special to me. They’ve been with me since they were babies, so I have a strong attachment to them.”
Living with fellow trainer Andrew Paraskevas, the team breed, own and train almost all of the greyhounds on their property, and Ashlee cherishes the bond she has with her greyhounds.
“It is so rewarding to watch them all grow up when you’ve bred them yourself. They are part of your extended family so you care a lot for them. I love watching them grow and race and then hopefully when they’re finished I can find them their forever homes,” she said.
Ashlee is a huge advocate of the Greyhound Adoption Program, which is celebrating its 20 year anniversary.
“When they finish racing they deserve to be rehomed. It’s nice to see them being spoilt for the rest of their life. It’s really important to make sure that they get an opportunity to get spoilt and live on somebody’s couch,” she said.
In terms of her future, Ashlee wants to continue down the path she is currently on with breeding and training her own greyhounds, with a view to finding homes for them once they finish racing.
“I have always said that if I won the lottery I’d help build another re-homing centre for greyhounds because it’s just that important,” she said.WATCH: Eyes On You (7) wins his semi-final comfortably in 19.51sec.
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