Aston Dee Bee added yet another feature win to his burgeoning resume with a thrilling victory in the group 3 Shootout this afternoon.
Sent out the short favourite for the winner-takes-all feature, Aston Dee Bee stepped cleanly from box 3 to lead through the first turn after Shadale won the break from box 7. Quick Jagger trailed the four dog field entering the back straight, but the last-start Sale Cup winner soon weaved between Shadale and Black Mumbo to set off in pursuit of the recent TAB Melbourne Cup winner.
Turning for home, Quick Jagger switched to the rail and the two black dogs raced neck and neck the length of the straight, Aston Dee Bee prevailing by a half head in a thrilling finish.
While the judges were quick to semaphore a victory for Aston Dee Bee, winning trainer Seona Thompson wasn’t confident.
“I thought the 9 had got him right on the line, so I was very relieved to see the 3 go onto the board,” she said.
“I hoped he’d go to the front like he did. Quick Jagger is a super strong dog coming off a Sale Cup win, (his trainer) Chris Halse has done a fantastic job to get the dog to where he is, he’s a phenomenal dog. To hold him off at the line by a half-head, I’m very happy.”
Aston Dee Bee finished 2017 with a flurry and in taking out the first group race of 2018, has now won seven races on end. His Shootout victory was his 31st in 52 career starts and 15th win in his last 19 starts. With the $25,000 winners cheque elevating him to 8th place on the all-time prize money earners list, ‘Nero’ now finds his name among some of the sport’s greatest chasers.
“He is and I think deservedly so,” Thompson continued.
“He’s a super dog and hopefully he can keep rolling along, but they’re not machines, they’re animals and while he’s doing a wonderful job, as long as he gets around safe that’s all that really matters.”
Thompson originally had two entries in the Shootout but was forced to scratch Bewlidering after he succumbed to a hock injury, gifting Quick Jagger a start in the race. Fortunately the injury wasn’t severe and the dual Speed Star winner should soon be back on track.
“He’s quite good, he won’t be off for too long. Hopefully I can get a trial into him in the next week or two and see how he goes from there.”
Aston Dee Bee will now be set for the heats of the group 2 Warragul Cup on Friday 5 January.
Click here for full results from today’s meeting.
The 2018 Shootout was the 20th edition of the race and has seen some of greyhound racing’s greatest chasers join its illustrious honour roll. Conditions for the race have evolved in that time but throughout its history it has attracted the fastest greyhounds in the country for what is often dubbed the ‘speed championship of Australia.’
|2017||Aston Dee Bee||29.18|
|2000||Go Wild Teddy||29.83|