In a tragic lead-up to Friday night’s Geelong Gold Cup final, Aston Kimetto, brilliant winner of the race in 2018, has passed away.
Trained by Jason and Seona Thompson and raced by prolific owner/breeder Ray Borda, Aston Kimetto, a regally bred son of US sire KC And All and champion stayer Sweet It Is, only raced 23 times for 11 wins.
Aston Kimetto’s career was cut short by injury but he was a three-time Group winner, with Borda affording him the ultimate accolade.
“Ability-wise he’s the fastest dog I’ve had,” Borda said.
“The best race dog is Aston Dee Bee because he would put himself in a good position whereas ‘Jed’ had to do it the hard way but he was an exciting dog.”
The hulking 37-kilogram powerhouse burst onto the scene when winning the 2018 G3 Warragul St Leger at just his sixth start.
Then, in a performance that had to be seen to be believed, he won the G2 Geelong Cup, coming from a clear last to run down Australian Greyhound of the Year Orson Allen, before repeating the dose in the G2 Ballarat Cup when mowing down Dyna Hunter.
“If he could begin, I don’t know what he would have been,” Borda said.
“It wasn’t that he didn’t have early pace. He stood up in the boxes, looking at the top of the boxes, and did it his whole career, so he was flat-footed at the start.
“Like his mother (Sweet It Is), when you have to thread your way through the field you know that no matter where you are you’re still a chance. With frontrunners they have to lead or that’s it.”
At just four-and-a-half years of age, Aston Kimetto was diagnosed with a tumour in his spine.
“Seona (Thompson) took him everywhere, from one place to the next; he had CT scans and MRIs and Seona and I are satisfied we did everything we could,” Borda said.
Just as his racing days ended prematurely, so too has Aston Kimetto’s promising stud career, with Borda having thrown his considerable breeding weight behind the barnstorming blueblood.
“I’ve used 25 bitches with him, and he had about 45 in total,” Borda said.
“I have five or six of his litters that have broken-in and there are city class pups in every litter.
“Jason (Thompson) has one that he says is as fast as Aston Fastnet (29.11sec Sandown Park winner) at the same stage.
“He’s going to make an impact. He’s thrown chase, size and attitude into his pups and funnily enough they’ve got early pace. It’s just a disaster.
“The best way for him to be remembered now is through one of his sons. Or daughters!
“I’m sure you’ll see an Aston Jed at some stage and you’ll know he can run. I’m not sure what the female equivalent of Jed is – I’ll have to go to Dr Google for that!”
WATCH: Aston Kimetto (3) produces a last-to-first win, defeating Orson Allen (2), in the 2018 G2 Geelong Gold Cup.
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