The ‘boy has done some growing up’.
Whiz-kid Aston Fastnet quite aptly ‘came of age’ in a G1 Maturity Classic heat (525m) at The Meadows last week.
The signs of potential stardom have long been there, but Aston Fastnet’s thrilling win over another champion in the making, Koblenz (who was chasing his 12th successive win), indicated a rise to ‘manhood’.
Trained by Jason Thompson, Aston Fastnet spotted Koblenz a few lengths down the back straight and, despite a couple of split-second moments of indecision approaching the home turn, managed to score right on the line in 29.85sec – the fastest of eight heats.
“It was very satisfying; he drove hard to the line. He really knuckled down,” Thompson said. “Down the back, I thought he could run him down, but then turning for home I didn’t as he made a few errors at that point.”
Thompson intimated it was a paradigm shift in Aston Fastnet’s career.
“He came of age… He was very green when he first started racing and needed to find the fence.
“He was a dog I always thought would need 20 runs or so under his belt to show his best.”
And Thompson also believes a recent Brisbane campaign has worked wonders for Aston Fastnet’s development.
“He’s gone on with the job with the benefit of travelling, it’s helped him mature.”
Subsequently, Aston Fastnet (Box 8) provides Thompson with an opportunity for a third Maturity trophy when he lines up in the $100,000 to-the-winner final – Race 8, 8.58pm – at The Meadows on Saturday night.
Thompson has previously won the prestigious age-restricted event with Run’s House (2007) and Aston Trivett (2009).
Aston Fastnet (Box 8) is quoted at $4, behind Qwara Bale (Box 3) at $3.10, on TAB’s fixed odds market. (Amazingly, first reserve Koblenz is $2.80.)
WATCH: Aston Fastnet (4) collars Koblenz (5) in a spine-tingling G1 Maturity heat at The Meadows last week.
“He’s had box eight a few times, including a 29.11sec win at Sandown,” Thompson said.
“I’m confident if he gets the start right, he’ll run straight. And if he gets to the first corner and finds the rail, I’ll be happy.
“However, he’s been frustrating knowing the ability he’s got. But he’s still developing and learning from every race.”
Thompson says Qwara Bale (the only female in the final) has proven herself at Group level and will be hard to beat but adds, “you have to respect them all”.
“I reckon if you ran this race eight times, you’d probably get eight different winners. It’s such a good even field.”
Aston Fastnet is owned by leviathan SA breeder-owner Ray Borda who also owned Aston Trivett.
“I think Aston Trivett was my first Group winner for Ray,” Thompson said.
Aston Fastnet has won nine races from only 20 starts. He finished seventh to star litter brother Aston Rupee in the G3 Bill Collins Speed Star and second to Koblenz in the Pink Diamond Rookie Sprinter final.
And Aston Fastnet (Apr ’19 KC And All x Aston Miley) was bred to be a champion.
Aston Fastnet’s US sire KC And All has been a revelation in Oz and his dam, Aston Miley, is a litter sister of Aston Dee Bee who only had 19 starts for eight wins. She made finals of the 2017 G1 Melbourne Cup and 2018 G2 Warragul Cup – both won by Aston Dee Bee – and 2017 G2 Geelong Gold Cup.
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