Borda says Aston Dee Bee can match it with any dog in the country
ASTON Dee Bee (Barcia Bale x Aston Elle Apr '15) booked himself a spot in this year's Group 1 National Sprint Championship (520m) when scoring a scintillating victory in Thursday night's Victorian Sprint Championship (515m) at Sandown Park.
Trained by Jason and Seona Thompson and owned by Ray Borda, Aston Dee Bee stepped well from box two and took the lead around the first turn.
From there it was a case of times and margins with Aston Dee Bee stretching out to defeat kennel mate Bewildering (Black Magic Opal x Outlandish Feb '15) by 1.84 lengths in a fast 29.18.
It was Aston Dee Bee's 19th win at start 36, having won his past three in a row, with his career earnings now sitting at $86,000.
Borda, who also bred the 36-kilogram powerhouse, said it was a relief to finally see his charge put his best paws forward against some of the state's best greyhounds.
“He is an excellent dog and he has always shown a lot of potential, so it was great to see him put it all together,” Borda told Australian Racing Greyhound.
ICYMI – Aston Dee Bee and Bewildering quinella the Nat Sprint Vic final for @ElGaloSaints and race to grand final at @BrisGreys pic.twitter.com/DJ4JosVQJy
“I was expecting Black Mumbo to lead off box one – I certainly wasn't expecting Extreme Magic (box three) to lead but it all worked out well because he moved off the track a bit and gave him plenty of room.
“From there it was all over and he showed everyone what he is capable of – to run 29.18 on a winter track just proves how good he is.”
Aston Dee Bee will now head towards the group 1 National final at Albion Park, to be run on August 25, which will see the winner of each state final meet in the Sunshine State for a crack at the $75,000 winner's purse.
Borda says he is confident his greyhound can match it with any greyhound he comes up against in the final if he gets a bit of luck in the early stages.
“He is a very tall and long dog – if he were a human he'd be six-foot eight,” he said.
“His first few steps out of the boxes are critical – he needs to get into stride and not be put off balance.
“If he is left alone in the first 20 metres that's when he really accelerates – given clear room he can match it with just about any dog in the country.
“He needs to draw well to be a chance of winning the final. The box he starts from doesn't really worry me, but he needs space around him so he can't be drawn on the inside of anything which wants to get across to the fence.”
Pending a decent draw for the final, Aston Dee Bee is likely to start close to favourite as he strives for his first success at the highest level.
Despite knowing he is a great chance, Borda, whose last group 1 win was in the 2009 Maturity Classic with Aston Trivett, said he won't be going into the race over-confident.
“I learned a long time ago not to make my expectations too big otherwise it leads to plenty of disappointment,” he quipped.
“But it would be great to win. I find it exciting when I win a tier three race, so to win a race like the Nationals would be a pinnacle of my time in greyhound racing – definitely one of the highlights – but the main thing is that he makes it around safe.”
Aston Dee Bee will be joined by Bewildering in the National final as the AGRA Wildcard. Watch out @BrisGreys… ? #VicsDoItBetter pic.twitter.com/Wc5yaTf20Y
— Sandown Greyhounds (@sandowndogs) August 10, 2017
Jason and Seona Thompson will have two runners in the National Sprint Championship, with Bewildering also booking a spot as the highest AGRA ranked greyhound to have made its state final.
The South Australian finalist was also decided on Thursday night, with On Fire (Bekim Bale x Alana Blues Dec '14) stopping the clock in 29.73 over 515m at Angle Park.
The Tasmanian final was run on Monday, won by 50/1 outsider Gold Lenny (Spring Gun x Marananga Moss Jan '15).
The competitors from NSW and WA will both be decided this Saturday night, whilst Queensland will host its qualifier next Thursday.