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Aston Rupee’s shock retirement

Owner/breeder Ray Borda says the surprise retirement of tennis star Ash Barty on Wednesday was the catalyst for his shock decision to call time on the career of the world’s fastest greyhound, record-breaking Victorian sprinter Aston Rupee.

“It did influence me,” said Borda.

“I was tossing up whether to keep going for the Golden Easter Egg – I was 50/50 – and then last night when I was listening to Ash Barty, I just reflected that she’s retiring while she’s ahead and it was very important to me that Aston Rupee went out on top too.

“I’m also very involved in thoroughbred racing and they retire their sires at a very young age to set them up for a great stud career.

“If your dog can run 29.20sec at Sandown, you give them 80 starts because you’re chasing prizemoney, but Aston Rupee could run half a second faster, so 42 starts is quite a long career.

“He’s the most complete dog I’ve ever had and he’s definitely the fastest – his times will tell you that.”

“The main reason I retired him was that I was getting three or four enquiries from breeders every day. Some people will take straws while they’re racing but I believe they’re either racing or breeding.

“He’s right at the top of his game, he’s injury-free, he’s healthy, he’s bred in the purple and he’s virile. I think it’s time.”

Aston Rupee, which was trained by Glenn Rounds, was drawn to contest Saturday night’s Group 1 Golden Easter Egg heats at Wentworth Park.

Instead, the superbly-bred son of US sire KC And All and Aston Miley, a litter sister to 2017 Melbourne Cup hero Aston Dee Bee, retires with 23 wins from 42 starts, $605,335 in prizemoney, two Group 1 victories in the Topgun and Temlee invitationals, and a scintillating 28.79sec Sandown Park 515m track record.

WATCH: ASTON RUPEE (3) smashed Sandown Park’s 515m track record when clocking a sensational 28.79sec on September 9 last year.

“They’re all different but he’s the most complete dog I’ve ever had and he’s definitely the fastest – his times will tell you that,” said Borda.

“The biggest thrill was breaking the record at Sandown. It would be fair to say Sandown is regarded as one of the premier tracks in Australia, so to see him do what he’s done there has been great.

“He didn’t just break the record either – he broke it by two or three lengths – and listening to James Van de Maat’s call, he basically predicted he was going to break the record on the first corner.

“Some people were saying he was only a Sandown dog, so he goes to The Meadows and wins the Australian Cup Consolation in 29.39sec, just one-hundredth of a second outside the record.”

With demand from breeders already high, Borda announced Aston Rupee will be standing at service fee of $3750.

“I think the most amazing part about him was that in his 42 starts he didn’t have one injury, not one,” said Borda.

“I believe Australian breeding is all wrong. We breed for speed, not toughness, and Aston Rupee was very tough, which comes from the American side.

“Something else we noticed, was like the best AFL footballers, he always kept his feet. He probably should’ve come down three or four times, but he always stayed on his feet.

“You don’t breed from brilliant individuals, you breed from families that keep producing and his family, with Aston Dee Bee, Aston Miley, going back to Reg Kay’s line, just keeps throwing winners.”

Aston Rupee’s last win was a near-record 29.385sec victory in the Australian Cup Consolation at The Meadows on February 26.

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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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