Powerhouse blue-blood Aston Kimetto enhanced his perfect record on one-turn tracks to eight from eight with a barnstorming victory in the Group 2 Ballarat Volkswagen Cup Final (450m) on Saturday night.
A son of former champion stayer Sweet It Is, Aston Kimetto presented trainer Seona Thompson and owner Ray Borda with back-to-back Ballarat Cup celebrations after the prolific combination reigned supreme with Melbourne Cup hero Aston Dee Bee in 2017.
“I knew the dog was a good chance tonight because I wasn’t there,” Ray Borda laughed.
“I’m at a 50th birthday in Adelaide and I’m going overseas tomorrow but I watched the race on my phone and I think I’m the happiest person at the party!
“I’ve just spoken to Jason Thompson (Seona’s husband) from Dallas in the United States. It’s four o’clock in the morning over there.”
Aston Kimetto was the joint fastest qualifier for the $47,000 to-the-winner Cup Final after a 24.96sec heat victory at his Ballarat debut and he was sent out the $4.30 second elect from box three, behind Brooke Ennis’ rails runner Belt Up Bubbs at $4.10.
After a customary tardy getaway, Aston Kimetto was at the rear of the field as Dyna Hunter ($6.90) crossed to the lead and dashed clear.
Dyna Hunter appeared to have the Cup in his keeping but Aston Kimetto stormed home – rekindling memories of his superstar dam Sweet It Is – as he bloused Dyna Hunter by .29 of a length in 24.94sec.
The Wheeler family would be getting sick of the sight of Aston Kimetto as the Ballarat Cup was a virtual carbon copy of his Group 2 Geelong Gold Cup triumph, where he also exited box three and came from last to finish over the top of another Wheeler-raced speedster in Orson Allen.
“When Dyna Hunter was six in front I was thinking to myself that Dyna Hunter is not weak and I was hoping we could run second,” Borda said.
“He’s a frustrating dog because he just can’t begin but he’s very smart in a field.
“Ability wise he’s right up there with any dog I’ve owned but as far as being a race dog goes, it’s two different stories, and Aston Dee Bee had it all.”
Aston Kimetto has now won 10 of his 19 starts and he’s remarkably undefeated in eight appearances on one-turn circuits, highlighted by a hat-trick of feature race successes in the Ballarat and Geelong Cups and Group 3 Warragul St. Leger.
“He’ll head towards the (Group 1) Silver Chief now to try and disprove the theory that he’s only a one-turn dog,” Borda explained.
“He trialled 29.50 or 29.60 at his first look at The Meadows so we know he capable of doing it.”
Aston Kimetto was the third leg of a winning treble for Seona Thompson on the Ballarat Cup card, following the earlier performances of Azkaban in the Eureka Concrete Special Event over 545m and Blistering in the A1 Signage 1-3 wins over 450m.
The Ballarat Cup Consolation went to Anthony Azzopardi’s first reserve My Bro Kade ($5.50), which claimed a narrow 25.25sec verdict over $2.40 favourite Blue Striker.