Superstar sprinter Aston Rupee underlined his claim to the mantle of Australia’s fastest greyhound when winning back-to-back Group 3 Speed Star match race series on Wednesday night at The Meadows.
Trained by Glenn Rounds, Aston Rupee won the G3 Bill Collins Memorial Speed Star (515m) at Sandown Park on June 2, clocking a near-record 29.06sec.
On a cold and at times windy night, not conducive to the flying times usually associated with the Speed Star concept, the well-bred son of KC And All and Aston Miley was $1.60 favourite to add The Meadows edition to his ever-expanding resume.
Aston Rupee lined up in the third of four two-greyhound duels and after beginning sweetly it was a one-act affair as he defeated Mepunga Blazer by three lengths in 29.590sec.
“It was beautiful to watch. He was nice and smooth in his action and just did what he needed to do,” Glenn Rounds told Sky Racing’s Gareth Hall post-race.
“He’s sorted himself out with the more racing he’s done lately.
“We’ve been consistent with him and he’s got right into a pattern and it seems to have been really good for him.
“There’s some big things in front of us with the dog and the next couple of months is going to be a big part of his life.”
After running third overall to Aston Rupee in Sandown’s Speed Star, Correy Grenfell’s dual G1-winning veteran Tiggerlong Tonk went one better, finishing second after taking out his match race in 29.798sec.
Punters revel in the ‘two-out’ Speed Star scenario and that was once again the case with warm favourites also victorious in the 600m and 725m events.
Most pundits expected the 600m series to be decided in the intriguing third match between Jason Thompson’s middle distance newcomer Collinda Patty and Kel Greenough’s Zac’s Entity, which had started only twice, clocking a flying 29.25sec on debut at Sandown.
After sensationally breaking former superstar Dyna Double One’s long-standing Sandown Park 595m record at her middle distance debut, Collinda Patty was the even-money ‘All In’ favourite.
Collinda Patty opened up a decisive lead which the game and strong-finishing Zac’s Entity wasn’t able to overcome, with the daughter of Zambora Brockie and She’s A Collinda scoring by one length in 34.367sec.
Mepunga Warrior, trained by Jeff Britton, wasn’t able to usurp Collinda Patty in the final match race but his 34.412sec effort secured second place.
“We’re very happy with her since she’s gone over the 600m,” said Holly Thompson, daughter of champion trainer Jason and Melbourne Cup-winning wife Seona.
“From her first start at Sandown she made a big statement and I think she’s one of the dogs to watch.
“This is just the beginning for her over the distance and I think she’ll make a good career of it.”
While Jeff Britton had to settle for second in the 600m series with Mepunga Warrior, he won the 725m event with exciting staying prospect Mepunga Ruby, a Fernando Bale x Mepunga Rosie litter sister to Mepunga Warrior.
Mepunga Ruby was the $2.20 favourite and her 42.595sec success in the opening match race wasn’t bettered, with kennelmate Hank The Hustler giving Britton the ‘quinella’ when clocking 42.792sec in the final clash.
“She’s very fast; she’s full speed from start to finish,” said handler Craig Solkhon.
“She’s not one that runs home strong, she has pace the whole way through.”
The overall winners in each distance earned $20,000 for their efforts, while each match race victor banked $5000.
G3 Speed Star (525m)
1. Aston Rupee ($2.70) 29.590sec
2. Tiggerlong Tonk ($5.40) 29.798
3. Weblec Blazer ($12.90) 29.803
4. Paddy Wants Pats ($49.40) 29.930
5. Lala Kiwi ($9.40) 29.944
6. Qwara Bale ($7.80) 29.985
7. Aston Cade ($56.20) 30.094
8. Chop Scotch ($29.90) 30.330
G3 Speed Star (600m)
1. Collinda Patty ($2) 34.367sec
2. Mepunga Warrior ($7.30) 34.412
3. Zac’s Entity ($5.80) 34.428
4. Gypsy Wyong ($7.40) 34.528
5. Fernando Frank ($13.20) 34.639
6. Captain Dynamite ($39.90) 34.955
7. Run Like Jess ($11.10) 35.013
8. Shadow Mist ($18.30) 35.018
G3 Speed Star (725m)
1. Mepunga Ruby ($2.20) 42.595sec
2. Hank The Hustler ($4.40) 42.792
3. Five Star ($8.30) 42.810
4. Empress Tears ($24.70) 42.834
5. Major Sacrifice ($9.50) 42.902
6. Drako Bale ($8.70) 42.905
7. Rock On Jimmy ($36.30) 42.971
8. Knicks Bale ($19.60) 43.039
The content on this page was accurate at the time of publishing. If you notice any inaccurate content on this page or anywhere on the website, please report it here