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Wonderful Wizard

Young tyro Aston Wizard produced a simply spellbinding display in a heat of the Group 1 Silver Chief (525m) at The Meadows on Saturday night.

Trained at Devon Meadows by Glenn Rounds, Aston Wizard left G1 Melbourne Cup finalist and G2 Ballarat Cup winner Western Envoy mesmerised, powering away over the final 200m for a five-length victory in a magical 29.64sec.

WATCH: Aston Wizard (5) scores a captivating Silver Chief heat win at The Meadows on Saturday night.

Aston Wizard, who only commenced his race career in early October, notched his fifth win from 11 starts.

Rounds is a reserved type, but even he was effusive in his praise of Aston Wizard – and rightly so!

“This dog has a huge motor… He’s always been very fast,” Rounds said. “He just needs to learn how to race and put it all together.”

Indeed, it’s been a meteoric progression for this son of Fabregas. However, he did show his enormous potential winning his first start, at Ballarat over 450m, in 25.06sec. He followed up with a slick 29.33sec Sandown 515m success at his sixth start.

“He trialled 29.80sec a couple of weeks prior to the Silver Chief series… But he didn’t know what to do when he ‘fell out’ of the boxes here last week,” Rounds said.”

Rounds added that Aston Wizard was “a lot more authoritative in his decision-making” in the Silver Chief heat.

“He’s just a baby, but he showed himself right up. It was an outstanding run,” he said. “He’s probably going to be a dog to go over more ground, but it’s all in front of him.”

Aston Wizard is owned by leviathan South Australian owner Ray Borda, who purchased four pups from a litter out of Cairnlea Ellie. They were bred by the late Peter Hubbard and his wife, Jan, in association with AFL Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley.

“I met Ray (Borda) many years ago when Stan Wardle was training Brookside Red for him,” Rounds said. “We touched base again around 5-6 years ago, but it’s only been the past 12 months where I’ve started training for him.”

Rounds didn’t need too much persuasion from Borda to take on the ‘quartet’, as by all reports from the rearer, Sale’s Barry Harper, “they broke-in special”.

Hopefully, the ‘magical powers’ of this ‘Wizard’ will keep us transfixed for some time to come!

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About Peter Quilty - Has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.
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