Feel The Thunder gets his racing moniker from American pop rock band Imagine Dragons and one of their three top songs of the 2010s – “Thunder”.
But will he leave his rivals ‘thunderstruck in the Healesville Super Sprint (1-4 Wins) final over 300 metres on Sunday?
His Cape Woolamai owner-trainer Pasquale ‘Pat’ Derubeis is hoping ‘the rumbling thunder of success’ is coming.
Feel The Thunder (May ’18 Allen Deed x Indi Allen) won his heat in 16.89sec – at $15.90! – last weekend. It was his first win at Healesville at his sixth attempt.
Derubeis, who turned 32 on Tuesday, purchased a then 18-month-old Feel The Thunder for $1600 from the 2019 Bendigo ‘Ready To Race’ Auction.
He’s now started 25 times for five wins, three seconds and three thirds, with $6225 in stakes.
In terms of pedigree, Feel The Thunder is a ‘blueblood’. He was bred by Correy Grenfell of Orson Allen and Tiggerlong Tonk fame.
His dam, Indi Allen (Nov ’13 Turanza Bale x Ucme Typhoon), is an older half-sister of retired megastar Fanta Bale – winner of nine G1s and Australia’s highest stakes earner ($1,365,175).
Indi Allen started on 124 occasions for 14 wins, 21 seconds and 20 thirds and was a multiple winner on both city tracks.
WATCH: Feel The Thunder (8) claims a Super Sprint heat (300m) – at $15.90! – last week at Healesville.
And his sire, Allen Deed, was a four-time G1 finalist – including winning the 2014 Adelaide Cup and contesting the 2014 Topgun. He also holds The Meadows 525m track record (29.38sec), set in January 2015.
A baker by trade, Derubeis has worked at San Remo’s Beachside Bakehouse for 15 years.
His typical day is starting in the bakery at 1am and finishing around 9am.
“Dad (Alf) is a tremendous help with the dogs… He does almost everything; I just wake up after every shift and prepare their breakfast.”
Derubeis says Feel The Thunder is starting to hit his straps, having won three of his past five starts.
But he’s drawn awkwardly in Box 5 in Sunday’s $3000-to-the-winner final.
“The ‘yellow’ won’t suit him, he’ll try to move out to Box 9,” Derubeis quipped.
He added that Feel The Thunder “was a bit shy when I first got him”. “But he’s maturing and coming out of his shell. He’s starting to learn what the caper is all about.”
Feel The Thunder is also “a ladies’ dog”, according to Derubeis. “I’ve handled him on race day around six times, but he’s more settled with a female handler. So, I’ve been letting my partner (Ellisa Franklin) lead him to the boxes.”