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‘Flame’ to fire in war of Roses

Regally bred Aston Flame, one of the headline acts in Sunday afternoon’s Bendigo Roses heats (425m), might be on the timid side away from the racetrack but proud trainer Ian Garland says she’s certainly no shrinking violet in the heat of the action.

Aston Flame is bred in the purple, being a daughter of Aston Miley, a litter sister to Melbourne Cup winner and exciting young stud dog Aston Dee Bee, and her litter to US sire KC And All also includes potential superstar Aston Rupee and Aston Fastnet.

So far Aston Flame, bred and raced by Ray Borda, is following the family tradition, winning five of her seven starts, and she’ll be striving to enhance that record at her home track in the second of three Roses heats (race 3 at 12.36pm).

“I’m so proud of her,” said Ian Garland, who trains a boutique team at Longlea.

“She is absolutely terrified of people. But she’s fine with us and she’s a chasing machine. She’s so tenacious.”

“This girl was really shy so the breaker, Grant Fullerton, recommended that Jane (wife) and I take her because we only have a small kennel and we’re really hands on.

“She is absolutely terrified of people. You’ve got no idea. Geoff Collins (prominent breeder) knows a lot about the sire, KC And All, and he said there’s one like her in most litters.

“Fingers crossed she’s over the worst of it. But she’s fine with us and she’s a chasing machine. She’s so tenacious.

“The other night at Shepparton she had box four and the three was getting up the track and the five was going to the pegs and I thought she was going to get wiped out, but she just barged them out of the way. It was unbelievable.

“I’ve got a real soft spot for her.”

WATCH: Aston Flame (4) scores a dominant win at Shepparton on Monday night.

Aston Flame will have to contend with box five in her Roses heat, where her opposition includes Anthony Azzopardi’s Diamond Ability, which won the Pink Diamond Maiden Short Course Final last week, but she has home-ground advantage on her side, boasting three from four at Bendigo.

“I think her draw is okay, even though she’s drawn five,” said Garland.

“Anthony Azzopardi’s runner in box four will be heading to the fence.

“She more or less broke in at Bendigo and I would think she’s as fast as anything else in the race but you just need that bit of luck.

“She’s the best dog I have at the moment for sure. She’d be as fast as anything I’ve ever had over 400m. The splits she can run at Bendigo, Cup dogs don’t go any quicker.

“She’d be as fast as anything I’ve ever had over 400m. The splits she can run at Bendigo, Cup dogs don’t go any quicker.”

“Ability-wise she’s as quick as you’re going to get but she’s just developed this habit of missing the start a bit, which is a worry.

“I don’t know about her running ‘500’. Before she won at Shepparton the other night I probably would’ve said no but now I’m saying she might. I’ve given her post-to-posts at both Sandown and The Meadows and she’s gone okay without setting the world on fire.”

In addition to three Roses heats, Sunday’s meeting will also feature three heats of the Prospector for the males, with the key contenders including Jason Thompson’s Rebellious, the winner of six from eight.

The opening Prospector heat will feature Steve White’s Paua Of Buddy, which has won three from four, taking on Angela Langton’s unbeaten Weblec Raider, winner of the Pink Diamond Maiden Final at Bendigo.

The Roses and Prospector finals, both worth $15,000 to-the-winner, will be held next Friday.

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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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