Cambridge trainer Paul Mirabelli will head south to New Plymouth with a more welcoming storm on Saturday.
His promising juvenile filly Firestorm will target the Group 3 Taranaki 2YO Classic (1200m) at just her second start.
The daughter of Satono Aladdin impressed when winning over 1000m on debut and Mirabelli has been pleased with her subsequent progress.
He said this weekend’s distance is well short of her best, but he expects her to be competitive against an even line-up of fillies, which includes Listed Welcome Stakes (1000m) winner Sky On Fire and runner-up Rubicon Crossing, who also posted the same result in the Listed Wellesley Stakes (1100m).
“She trialled up well before her first start, so we were expecting a forward performance from her. It was great to see,” Mirabelli said.
“She has gone from strength-to-strength and she is a lot fitter now and a lot more experienced. We are really happy.
“My filly is definitely a staying filly of the future. She is going to be looking for 2000m-plus at quite short notice.
“There appears to be a lot of purposely bred short course horses in the race that have got form on the board.
“It is going to be a case of whether her natural, raw galloping ability can take on the speed of those other horses.
“I am sure she can because she is a really good galloper, but I do think she is going to be at her best when it comes to an Oaks (2400m) sort of distance.”
This will be Firestorm’s first big trip away from home and Mirabelli expects her to handle it in her stride.
“She is really quiet, half of the time you don’t even know she is there,” he said.
“I don’t think the trip is going to be any problem and she has to go away at some stage, but I think she will travel fine.”
Firestorm will be ridden by veteran jockey Vinnie Colgan from barrier two and is rated a +800-winning chance by online bookmakers.
“Vinnie knows her from last time, so that is a bit of an advantage. I think barrier two will be good if the rain doesn’t come, and I think the forecast Is improving,” Mirabelli said.
Firestorm will be accompanied on the trip south by stablemate and best mate Charmingaffair.
The seven-year-old mare will be first-up in the Stella Artois 1400 and Mirabelli has big plans for the daughter of Cape Blanco later this year.
“She is the other filly’s best mate, so she is going with her,” he said.
“She is having a fresh-up run and we are hoping we can get to the Great Northern Hurdles with her this year.
“She has done a little bit of jumping and she jumps really well. We thought we would like to get her quite fit early on and then try and get a win on the board as early as possible.
“She will stay all day and it doesn’t matter if it is a Good 2 or Heavy 11, she often just gives her best.
“We aren’t expecting much on Saturday, we are just looking for a day out and getting a bit of fitness.”