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Rounds sets ‘Sale’ for Provincial Plate

Glenn Rounds knows what it takes to win the Melbourne Cup and his exciting blueblood Aston Onyx, impressive winner of three of his four starts, is bred to win the great race.

His sire, Black Magic Opal, won the 2013 Melbourne Cup, while his dam, Secret Spell, contested the 2015 Cup Final, where superstars Dyna Double One and Fernando Bale fought out an epic finish.

“It would be nice to think he might be there next year,” quipped Rounds, who combined with late partner Judy Hayley to win the 2001 Melbourne Cup with Classic Capri.

But while the 2019 Melbourne Cup has come around too early for the lightly-raced Aston Onyx, there’s every chance he’ll be strutting his stuff next Friday (November 29) on what is widely regarded as Australian greyhound racing’s greatest stage.

On Sunday evening at Sale, Aston Onyx, which is raced by prominent owner Ray Borda, who won the 2017 Melbourne Cup with Aston Dee Bee, will tackle the second of two heats of the TAB Provincial Plate (520m), to jump at 7.51pm.

Heats will also be held at Geelong, Bendigo and Cranbourne, with the winners advancing to the $25,000 to-the-winner final to be held at Sandown Park on Melbourne Cup night.

Aston Onyx looks ideally placed on Sunday, having won his first two starts at Sale over 440m in a maiden heat and final, running best of meeting time on both occasions, while he also has the added advantage of box one.

“We’ve steered him towards this race,” said Devon Meadows-based Rounds.

“It’s a pretty nice race and really suits him being restricted to Vic-bred greyhounds with no city wins.

“He’s stepping up to 500m for the first time and hopefully he can get the job done on Sunday.

“He went good in a couple of early trials at Sandown and it would be nice to be in a race on Melbourne Cup night.

“He’s got box one but he’s got to step. He won’t want to miss the start and get shuffled back.

“He has been jumping good but he missed the start at Warragul last start. He got motoring again but then another dog basically pulled up in front of him and that was it.”

While Rounds is optimistic about having a key runner in one of the support races on Melbourne Cup night, he also has three runners targeting the heats of the main event tonight in Curt Lee (heat 5, box 7), Waging War (heat 6, box 3) and Campini (heat 7, box 5).

CAPTION: Glenn Rounds with Melbourne Cup hopeful Curt Lee.

WATCH: Aston Onyx (2) obliterates his opposition at Sale in a Best of Night 24.76sec at just his second start.

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Gerard Guthrie
About Gerard Guthrie - One of Australia's leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)
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