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Rupee a mint Maturity edition

Glenn Rounds says he wouldn’t swap joint series favourite Aston Rupee for any other runner in the G1 KCR Pet Transport Maturity Classic (525m), which kicks off with eight mouth-watering heats at The Meadows on Saturday night.

In fact, Rounds, who is based at Devon Meadows, wouldn’t swap the potential superstar full-stop.

“I wouldn’t swap him for anything else in the series,” said Rounds bullishly.

“I wouldn’t swap him for any other dog in Australia, to be honest with you, but that’s just my opinion.”

Usually, one to let his greyhounds do the talking, Rounds has good reason for making an exception with Aston Rupee, which shares favouritism with fellow excitement machine Koblenz, winner of his last 11 starts, at $6 in TAB’s ‘All In’ Maturity market.

Bred in the purple, Aston Rupee is a son of US sire KC And All and Aston Miley, a litter sister to 2017 G1 Melbourne Cup winner Aston Dee Bee, bred and raced by Ray Borda, and has created a huge impression in winning nine of his 17 starts.

Aston Rupee is contesting his first G1 series, with his greatest success to date being an electrifying 29.06sec win in the G3 Speed Star series at Sandown Park last month, while he also ran a close second in the G3 Launching Pad, also at Sandown.

He’s only raced once at The Meadows, but ominously – even frighteningly – for his Maturity rivals, he clocked a near-record 29.47sec (BON) in the Country Championship final on Australian Cup night, with WA champion Tommy Shelby winning the G1 feature in 29.86sec.

WATCH: Aston Rupee (7) sets The Meadows alight on Australian Cup night, clocking a near-record BON 29.47sec.

Drawn in box two in heat four (Race 7, 8.38pm), Aston Rupee is a dominant $1.50 favourite.

“The dog’s fine and he’s drawn well,” Rounds said.

“An inside draw at The Meadows is what you want because it’s very hard to get across there with the short run to the corner.

“I don’t think he’ll need to run what he ran at The Meadows last time. It’s a winter track and if you prepare the dog right the clock takes care of itself.

“We got mucked around a bit because his program had been to go to the (G1) Vic Peters up in Sydney and then come back home for the Maturity. I was going to trial him at Wentworth Park but then COVID hit NSW and they called the Vic Peters off.

“I ran him at Sandown last Thursday and he finished third but was lucky he didn’t get skittled in a roughhouse race.

“He just needs to box well and put himself in a forward position and he’ll run very well.”

Aston Rupee’s litter brother Aston Fastnet, trained by Jason Thompson, is also prominent in ‘All In’ betting at $12, while sister Aston Flame, prepared by Ian Garland, is a $41 chance.

Four tyros occupy the second line of betting at $8 – Do It, Qwara Bale, Shima Classic and NSW star Jungle Deuce.

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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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