Bad Luck Stands Between Aston Rupee and Shootout

BAD luck is all that stands between the Glenn Rounds-trained Aston Rupee and Shootout glory at Sandown Park this Thursday night.

Mick Floyd

9 November 2021

Bad luck is all that stands between Aston Rupee and Shootout glory on Thursday night.

The race dubbed the ‘Speed Championship of Australia’ is tailor-made for the two-time Speed Star hero.

The four-dog format allows each greyhound to showcase their true speed and to put it bluntly, there is no faster greyhound in the country – and in all likelihood, the world – than Aston Rupee.

Aston Rupee has always been a fast dog.

His 29.25 at his Sandown debut – which was his third career start – was the third fastest time in that class, and his 29.47 four starts later at The Meadows was the third fastest ever at the Broadmeadows circuit.

FIELDS AND FORM SANDOWN PARK THURSDAY NIGHT

But with experience – and a carefully crafted racing program – Aston Rupee has improved his box manners which has made him the sport’s premier prospect.

He slashed two lengths off Hard Style Rico’s track record when running 28.790 at Sandown in September, and he franked that gallop with a 28.894 effort on his return to the track five weeks later. 

So fast were those runs that even if the forecast weather hits Springvale on Thursday night and it takes a couple of tenths off times, Tiggerlong Tonk’s 29.034 race record is in grave danger.

Coincidentally, Tiggerlong Tonk was the last greyhound to defeat Aston Rupee at Sandown Park.

The defending champion is racing as well as he has across his storied 93 start career and showed in last Saturday’s Topgun that he is still among the nation’s elite sprinters. 

He’s won in under 29.20 on six occasions at Sandown Park – a record he shares with Fernando Bale.

While Tiggerlong Tonk is better suited at Sandown Park, a venue where he has won 13 of his 30 starts including the Group 1 Harrison-Dawson and reached last year’s TAB Melbourne Cup final, it can be argued Aston Rupee is also better suited to the View Road circuit.

It’s hard to see him turning the tables on Aston Rupee this time out, especially with Aston Rupee again drawn beneath him.

 

As for the other Shootout runners, Lakeview Walter showed he is close to returning to his best with a strong win in the Group 3 Silver Bullet last time out.

He has twice run 29.15 at Sandown Park – the second of those runs when finishing runner-up to Aston Rupee in his track record run.

McCooly’s Lad boasts a 29.09 and a 29.11 win at the track – set almost 12 months apart due to injury issues – but like Lakeview Walter, lacks the early speed to be prominent early.

It’s often said there’s no such thing as a sure thing in racing; that they’re not machines; that it comes down to the best greyhound on the day.

And while all that is true, Aston Rupee is as close to a good thing, as close to a machine; and the best greyhound on any day as we’re likely to see.