RAY Borda said he felt a huge sense of relief when his talented sprinter Aston Bolero broke through for a deserved feature success in Friday night’s Group 2 Bendigo Cup (425m).
Trained by leading Victorian conditioner Jason Thompson, the son of Fabregas and Aston Dream began well from box two, pushing through a tight battle for the lead down the back to kick clear to score by 1.86 lengths in 23.72.
It was the first group win for Aston Bolero, which has been a model of consistency throughout his career, amassing 28 wins and 10 minor placings from 46 starts.
“I’m proud and relieved,” Borda told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“I honestly didn’t think it was going to take that long (for him to win a group race)- this was the eight group final that he made this year.
“You start going into the finals beginning to think what can go wrong this time? It’s a negative attitude I don’t normally have but he had just been so unlucky up until (Friday) night.
“I was riding him the whole way – he was under a lot of pressure but he was able to withstand it and break clear which is what racing is all about.
“The dog just has such natural chase and determination – he is a great little dog.”
Borda was full of praise for Thompson who has put in the hard yards with the greyhound throughout his career.
“Jason is a true professional,” he said.
“I wasn’t just happy for myself, I was also excited for Jason and Seona because they have done a lot of hard work with him.
“I was also pleased for the dog himself because he tries so hard and it was great to see everything come together so he could get the recognition he deserves.”
Borda, who currently has 40 greyhounds racing with various trainers across the country, said Friday night’s victory was a welcome win, with his last feature success being with Aston Trivett in the 2009 Maturity Classic.
It also affirmed Borda’s decision to continue to breed despite the struggles the sport has faced over the past 12 months.
“It’s been a long time between drinks to get another race of this type so it was very rewarding.
“I’ve stayed on track and I am breeding as many as I ever have – I currently have about 160 under 12 months of age and about 17 at the breakers.”
Borda is excited with what the future holds for a couple of his youngsters coming through and is hoping for big things on the track.
“The dogs I have coming through at the moment are what I call ‘my new breed’.
“They are the ones who were taught to go in on the squeaker from three months of age.
“Before you did a good job if you maintained the dog and put a lead on it at 12 months old and sent it off to the breakers.
“Now you have to be playing with them as pups – you can no longer treat them like sheep in a paddock.
“It is a great thing that people have to start handling the dogs and teaching them earlier as it is bringing out a different type of dog.”
The Bendigo Cup marked the end of a massive week for Thompson who took out the Group 1 Peter Mosman Classic with Buck Forty on June 25, while the powerful kennel also snared the 2016 Winter Cup at Bendigo on Friday night with future staying star Burn One Down.