Melbourne Cup hero Aston Dee Bee extended his sensational winning streak to nine with another brilliant display in Saturday night’s Group 2 TAB Warragul Cup Final.
Remarkably, the Seona Thompson-trained and Ray Borda-owned-and-bred superstar hadn’t been able to claim a Group trophy in 45 starts prior to his overdue breakthrough on the greatest stage of all, the Melbourne Cup.
But Aston Dee Bee’s Melbourne Cup triumph opened the feature race floodgates, with the superbly-bred son of Barcia Bale and Aston Elle subsequently adding the Group 2 Ballarat Cup, Group 3 Sandown Shootout and now the Warragul Cup to his resume.
“Forty five years ago someone told me greyhound racing is a game of fluctuating emotions and at the time I said to myself ‘what are you talking about’, but I now know he was right,” said proud owner Ray Borda.
“One day you might feel like going out and buying 10 dogs, and two days later you can be asking yourself what am I doing? “I own a lot of dogs and when you’re in that situation you need one dog to keep your spirits up.
“For instance, on Thursday I had 10 greyhounds racing on different tracks all over Australia, six of which were favourites, but I didn’t have one winner.
“It used to be Aston Bolero that kept my spirits up, but now it’s Aston Dee Bee.”
The winner of five of his eight appearances over 460m at Warragul, including a track record 25.34sec at just his fifth career start, Aston Dee Bee was the fastest qualifier for the $47,000 to-the-winner Cup after a 25.49sec heat victory.
After drawing awkwardly in five, Aston Dee Bee started $2.30 favourite, ahead of his locally-trained litter sister, Aston Miley, prepared by Eddie Lieshout, the $4.30 second elect from box eight.
Aston Dee Bee settled in third position behind fellow Melbourne Cup finalists Aston Miley and Kouta Mayhem and after storming to the front turning for home, he sprinted clear to defeat the strong-finishing Jimmy Newob by 2.36 lengths in 25.53sec.
“I’m so happy he has won a big race like this from a bad box,” Borda said.
“Some people have been saying that he keeps drawing the good boxes and that’s why he keeps winning, but he silenced his critics tonight.” Aston Dee Bee has now won 33 of his 54 starts, including 13 of his last 15, with the two defeats being Group 1 seconds in the Topgun and Adelaide Cup, with earnings in excess of $760,000.
“We’ve got interest from breeders but I want to win a million dollars prize money with him,” Borda said. “We’ve got the Temlee coming up, then the Australian Cup and then the Golden Easter Egg. They are very hard races to win but right now he thinks he’s unbreakable and he believes no one can beat him.
“A very successful former trainer once told me that if a greyhound believes it is unbreakable they are very, very hard to beat, and that’s exactly where Aston Dee Bee is right now.”
Earlier in the night, former NSW middle distance and staying performer Where Art Thou, trained by Steve White, stormed home to claim the $10,000 to-the-winner Endeavour Locksmith Distance Challenge over 680m.
*This article was compiled by Gerard Guthrie and Andrew Copley. Images by Clint Anderson.