Nilma North trainer Ashlee Terry hopes to be on ‘cloud nine’ with Pyrocumulus in the Mepunga Oaks final (450m) at Warrnambool on Thursday night.
Pyrocumulus – named after a “fire cloud” phenomena – clocked a 25.38sec heat win last week. It was just over two lengths slower than fastest heat winner Quintana Bale (24.24sec), who is one of five finalists for Andrea Dailly.
It was also her third win from her past five starts – including Ballarat (25.02sec) and Sandown (29.45sec).
“It’s a tricky race… She has the potential to lead, and is strong, but lacks a ‘middle section’,” Ashlee said. “I’m happy she’s drawn out wide (Box 6) – she likes to use the track.”
Ashlee says Pyrocumulus’ main attribute is her box speed as she “comes out ‘under the lids’”. But adds that she “needs to put a couple of lengths on them early to win the final”. “If she can get a nice break, she’s a good chance… But I never go into any race confident.”
Pyrocumulus (Sep ’18 El Grand Senor x Maja Mahi Mahi) is impeccably bred on Group 1 lines. Her sire was the 2010 Australian GOTY and 2010 Victorian GOTY, and Ashlee trained her dam who won the 2015 Sapphire Crown. It was Ashlee’s first, and only, G1 winner.
“We knew she had ability, but she was a maiden for a while,” Ashlee said. “But once she ‘broke the ice’, she just kept improving. “She was very immature and still is very ‘puppy’ like… She’s very much a ‘girl’s’ dog.”
WATCH: Pyrocumulus (1) stages a courageous Mepunga Oaks heat win at Warrnambool last week.
Pyrocumulus, owned by Ashlee and her partner Nathan Rooney, has won eight races (with eight seconds and three thirds) from 27 starts and $23,860 in prizemoney.
A strong supporter of Vic-bred events, Ashlee is chasing a $7500 first prize, plus $1000 GOBIS bonus, and a free ‘straw’ to stud dogs Mepunga Blazer and Mepunga Cruzer.
Pyrocumulus is affectionately known as “Jordan” at home – named after Collingwood superstar Jordan De Goey.
And Ashlee will have a little ‘Magpie’ of her own in a few weeks. Ashley and Nathan – a West Coast Eagles supporter – are expecting their first child, a girl, on February 11.
Bred by the Middle Tote syndicate – comprising identical twins Hays and Chase Bailey, and Johnny Aitken – Pyrocumulus is out of Maja Mahi Mahi’s first litter. She is also a sister of smart sprinters Golden Boy, Coco Nova and Made Me Blind.
Maja Mahi Mahi has a second litter (7 dogs/3 bitches – whelped June 20, 2019) in pre-training by Barcia Bale, and a third litter (5 dogs/2 bitches – whelped March 29, 2020) by Fernando Bale. And she is expected to whelp her fourth litter, a repeat mating to Barcia Bale, within a few weeks.
The Mepunga Oaks is Race 8 at 7.31pm. Thursday night will also see heats of the Lightning Frank Derby.
The content on this page was accurate at the time of publishing. If you notice any inaccurate content on this page or anywhere on the website, please report it here