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Borda’s bold Melbourne Cup call

The world’s fastest greyhound, Group 1 TAB Melbourne Cup favourite Aston Rupee, is only one step away from fulfilling a brave prediction from leviathan owner/breeder Ray Borda.

“When Ray asked me to train Aston Rupee he said this to me, ‘I’m giving you my next Melbourne Cup winner’,” trainer Glenn Rounds revealed.

“That’s what Ray said when Aston Rupee was about 16 months old.”

Borda raced 2017 Melbourne Cup hero Aston Dee Bee, which was trained by Seona Thompson, with Rounds ironically preparing runner-up Chasin’ Crackers.

Aston Dee Bee’s litter sister Aston Miley  also contested that Cup final but is now better known as the mother of TAB’s $2.50 Cup fancy Aston Rupee.

If Aston Rupee wins the $500,000 to-the-winner Cup he’ll become just the second sprinter after champion Bombastic Shiraz in 2003 to land the ‘Triple Crown’, after also winning the G1 Topgun and G3 Shootout.

“When Ray asked me to train Aston Rupee he said this, ‘I’m giving you my next Melbourne Cup winner’.”

Aston Rupee holds Sandown Park’s 515m track record at 28.79sec and is the only sprinter to break the fabled 29 seconds barrier twice.

However, Devon Meadows mentor Rounds rates the superstar’s spine-tingling 29.47sec heat victory last Friday as good as any of his 19 wins.

“It was huge. It was the equal of any run the dog has produced in his career,” Rounds said.

“Being fast is only part of it. This dog is never beaten. I’m very proud of him.

“He’s come from behind before but some occasions are more important than others. There aren’t many bigger occasions than a Melbourne Cup heat and for him to hook three-wide and win like that was a phenomenal effort.

“He’s a special animal.

“What separates him is his personality and temperament.

“Other people don’t get to see it but we see it at home all the time. He knows he’s good!”

WATCH: Aston Rupee (3) storm home to win his Melbourne Cup heat in 29.47sec in a performance trainer Glenn Rounds described as equal to any in the superstar’s phenomenal career.

Aston Rupee had to overcome adversity in his barnstorming heat victory and he was again handed no favours in Sunday morning’s box draw when he was allocated four, although Rounds was taking a positive spin.

“I think the box is pretty good, the way the race looks,” he said.

“Being drawn on the outside of Koblenz (Box 3) he needs to jump and go with Koblenz early and hopefully he’ll get into a decent position going into the corner.

“He needed to begin no matter what box he drew. Even if you’ve got ‘the red’ you’re not going to be able to miss it and win a Melbourne Cup.”

Rounds is hoping to celebrate his second Melbourne Cup triumph, having combined with late partner Judy Hayley in 2001 with Classic Capri, which had finished second the previous year.

“It was worth $100,000 when Classic Capri won but $500,000 now will probably buy you what $100,000 would back then,” quipped Rounds.

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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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