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‘Happy little Vegemite’ has a ‘rose in every cheek’

Just prior to Aston Profit’s 105th race outing, RSN (Racing & Sport 927AM) racecaller Victoria Shaw had the good fortune to interview Liam Sharp of Avalon’s ‘Team Sharp’.

And, as luck, or more factually, good race preparation would have it, Aston Profit went on to win her 105th start at Geelong on January 20.

Further evidence of how greyhounds just love to run!  No matter their age. I hope you enjoy the attached interview (the first of a two-part series) with the Sharp family, who simply have come from nowhere to being one of the most successful kennels in Victoria.

What underpins their success on the racetrack and further, into a greyhound’s life after racing, is first and foremost their love and nurturing of their dogs in all aspects of their greyhounds’ lives.

ASTON PROFIT (Mar ’19 Barcia Bale x Aston Tara)
Starts – 105: 32-22-19     Prizemoney: $99,770
Breeder-Owner: Ray Borda
Trainer: Jessica Sharp

A ‘happy little Vegemite’, after start 105, is ‘growing stronger every single week’.

“She’s very affectionate and loves her food. At the end of the day, she’s a ‘happy little Vegemite’.”

How often do you see a greyhound head into a GRV Vic Bred Series final with the second-fastest qualifying time (22.47sec), and a run of success that included career victories at start numbers 98, 99, 100, 101 and 104?

Not to mention Aston Profit took out the Vic Bred final at Geelong, which was her 32nd win from 105 starts, on January 20.

And if you think for one moment the current run of success for Aston Profit is some kind of race form anomaly, think again! You should also note she also had the best PB (22.48sec), over 400m, in the race.

And if you need any further convincing that this girl is ‘on fire’, Aston Profit also had the fastest first split time (8.26sec), which was recorded in the heats.

Some remarkable statistics for a beautiful greyhound which, according to ‘Team Sharp’ – “just loves to race”.

Shaw caught up with Jessica and Jason Sharp, as well as their 21-year-old son Liam who regularly accompanies the family’s greyhounds to the racetrack.

For the record, Liam’s sister and brother – Mia, 16, and Dylan, 20 – are involved with the family kennel as well.

All three Sharp children, now young adults, are great ambassadors for greyhound racing thanks to their unquestionable love for greyhounds, as well as their parents’ whole-life approach to the greyhounds in their care.

From whelping, pre-training, racing, re-homing, greyhound holiday stays and doggie manicures, the Sharp’s look after absolutely every aspect of a greyhound’s life with such passion. Little wonder Aston Profit approached her 105th race start as keenly as her very first race victory on New Year’s Day in 2021.

VS: Congratulations… What an extraordinary achievement to win at start 104, 101, 100, 99 and 98. What do you think, looking back on her career for Aston Profit, has been the most memorable day or night at the races with her?

LS: I think her 100th start was a highlight. The racecaller really put on a great call and got really excited and it was such a special feeling, and even other people came up giving her pats and wishing us well done, as I was handling.  That was pretty special, I think.

WATCH: ASTON PROFIT (B2) wins at her 100th start, at Ballarat, on December 14. (Racecaller – Travis Noonan)

VS: That was the illustrious Trav Noonan, and I’ve had a listen to the call and I think he did a wonderful job too. He punched her run out going to the line as well, certainly agree with you there, and winning at Ballarat too, it’s not an easy circuit, is it?

LS: No, I put down Geelong as the hardest circuit, but it (Ballarat) is a hard provincial circuit.

VS: Aston Profit has now had 104 starts and shortly lining up for her 105th start at Geelong. She has had 31 wins so far, 22 seconds and 19 third placings. She also ran in a Healesville Cup heat back in 2021, finishing behind incredible greyhounds including Tiggerlong Tonk, Dream Wizard and Dynamic Prince. And if we cast our memory back to her very first victory, which was start number six for Aston Profit, back on New Year’s Day of 2021 at Geelong (from box five, over 400 metres, in 23 seconds). How did you feel going into her first victory? What was going through your minds as she was being loaded into the boxes?

LS: Just hoping that she would win, I suppose. Every dog that we box, we always hope that they are going to win, and go around safely, that is the main thing.

VS: That was the first of four victories in a row for Aston Profit. Her first win came at start number six then she posted four in a row in quick succession, which is terrific, winning the next three of her race starts at Cranbourne over 311m. When you were looking at her on the Cranbourne circuit, what were your hopes for her then?

LS: She has always had good early box speed and she always hits the front, or up around one or two, so we thought she would be a real Cranbourne specialist. Obviously, when the track closed down, we had to start stretching her out a little bit further and get her out over 400m. She has even gone a little further than that, but she has struggled over the 450m and so on. Her early box speed has made her a good race dog.

“She just loves to do her job and get out and race, and she loves to be out in front; that’s her go.”

VS: Is there a degree of excitement when you are heading to the races, or when you arrive at the track, or get up in the morning? Talk us through a typical day with Aston Profit, what does she do first thing in the morning?

LS: Just at the kennels, she likes to work. You have to be careful that she doesn’t overwork; she does like to run a bit. She has always got the same partner and he slows her down a bit, which is good. She is always happy and loves a pat whenever I am with her – just even walking to the empty out yards, she is rubbing up against me because she wants a pat from me. She’s very affectionate and loves her food. At the end of the day, she’s a ‘happy little Vegemite’.

VS: Fantastic to hear! Now, looking ahead to her 105th start, do you think going into this event she will be as keen? She may perhaps like to overwork and is super excited and enjoys her racing, but has she got that same degree of excitement as we look ahead to her 105th start?

LS: Yes, she does, she’s just a pure professional. She is pretty quiet in the kennel block, and she just loves to do her job and get out and race, and she loves to be out in front; that’s her go. She’ll be keen as mustard for that race on Friday night.

Pawnote: In Part 2 of a heart-warming interview, Victoria Shaw focuses on welfare, family background and breeding in relation to Aston Profit.

WATCH: ASTON PROFIT (B7) wins at her 105th start, at Geelong, on January 10. (And called by Travis Noonan again)

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

About Peter Quilty - Peter Quilty has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.
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