After meeting with disappointment in 2021, local trainer Ian Garland is confident it will be a different story when spectacularly-bred Aston Reina lines up in Friday night’s $22,295 Beanie For Brain Cancer Roses final (425m) at Bendigo.
Last year, Longlea-based Garland had the $1.70 favourite for the Roses in Group-winning speedster Aston Flame, a litter sister to superstar Aston Rupee, but she could only finish eighth.
One year later and Garland once again finds himself with a key player in Friday’s $15,000 to-the-winner Roses in Aston Reina, a Fernando Bale x Aston Miley half-sister to Aston Flame and Aston Rupee.
Aston Reina claimed her fourth win from 16 starts in last Sunday afternoon’s heats with a commanding all-the-way 24.01sec victory, eclipsing the other heat winner, Blackpool Dill, by just .002.
WATCH: Superbly-bred youngster ASTON REINA (B6) showed great early speed in her dominant 24.01sec Bendigo Roses heat victory last Sunday afternoon and will exit Box 1 in Friday night’s final.
“In last year’s final, Aston Flame got absolutely walloped straight out of the boxes and all the way down the back straight,” Garland recalled ruefully.
“Aston Reina will be hard to beat off ‘the red’. It’s a good draw for her.
“She’s generally a consistently good beginner. That’s her forte and she’ll have to use the draw to win the race.
“I reckon she’ll win a metro race, but she just gets ‘the 500’. The 425m suits her better.”
BEANIE FOR BRAIN CANCER ROSES FINAL (425m)
Bendigo Race 7, Friday 9:12pm
1 ASTON REINA (Ian Garland, Longlea VIC)
2 BUTTON (Korie-Lee Heinrich, Heathcote VIC)
3 BLACKPOOL DILL (Renee Kenyon, Lara VIC) ?
4 ROLLIN’ IN IT (Cameron Bahen, Yuroke VIC)
5 MYSTERY CHILL (Cameron Bahen, Yuroke VIC)
6 GLITTERING MIA (Ken Markham, Canyonleigh NSW)
7 MAGIC RIDE (Andrea Bahen, Yuroke VIC)
8 FAIRTRADE MARJEN (David Jensen, Plenty VIC)
9 CHANGE (Gary Hansen, Daisy Hill VIC)
10 BLACKPOOL MAY (Alexis Kenyon, Lara VIC)
Garland will be chasing an ‘Aston’ feature double at Bendigo, with Aston Jonas, the winner of seven from 17, to exit Box 8 in the $14,960 Winter Cup final (660m).
“Aston Jonas is a jet but it’s not a good draw for him,” he said.
“The seven (Greysynd Shock) wants to get up the track and it’ll be hard to get around them.
“He got knocked around at Ballarat (Pink Diamond Champion Distance final) and he didn’t run that well in his heat at Bendigo, to be honest.
“If I put him around Sandown on a good deck, he’d run 29.12sec but he will stay.
“He cracked a metacarpal and missed a few months, so I’ve just got to get him 100 per cent and see if he can match it with the big boys.”
Friday’s Bendigo meeting also features the Mark Hughes Prospector final (425m), carrying a $15,000 winner’s purse, with the inside two runners, Fire Hose (Box 1), trained by Chris Tilley, and Brad Sands’ fastest qualifier Flying Pie (Box 2), looking to hold the key to the race.
MARK HUGHES FOUNDATION PROSPECTOR FINAL (425m)
Bendigo Race 8, Friday 9:36pm
1 FIRE HOSE (Chris Tilley, Sale VIC)
2 FLYING PIE (Brad Sands, Pakenham VIC)
3 UNLEASH COLLINDA (Jason Thompson, Pearcedale VIC) ?
4 MR. BLITZ (Kevin Ross, Mount Glasgow VIC)
5 MASTER OGILVIE (James Shaw, Seymour VIC)
6 ALWAYS A THRILL (Chris Tilley, Sale VIC)
7 DENOMINATOR (Elise Knott, Carnegie VIC)
8 MAGIC TO BURN (Jason Hardy, Heathcote VIC)
9 I’M TALKING (Angela Galea, Sunshine North VIC)
10 BLACKPOOL RYAN (Renee Kenyon, Lara VIC)
Bendigo Winter Cup finalist ASTON JONAS pictured winning at The Meadows.