Aston Dee Bee dazzles in TAB Melbourne Cup

Aston Dee Bee secured his place in greyhound racing folklore after a brilliant victory in the $600,000 group 1 TAB Melbourne Cup last night.

The hulking 36kg speedster took full advantage of his inside draw, railing powerfully through the first turn to take a lead he wouldn’t relinquish, charging to the line 3½ lengths clear of the fast finishing Chasin’ Crackers in 29.36 to claim the world’s richest greyhound race.

The win was an emotional one for trainer Seona Thompson, who struggled to hold back the tears after the race.

“I can’t believe it, I’m just really proud, proud of the dog, proud of the whole family who worked so hard just to get him to the track,” she said.

“I’m so happy for Ray (Borda, owner), he was in dogs before I was born and this is his first Cup. My dad and step mother are here tonight, as I said it’s a big family effort, everyone helps. My sisters and everybody, I’m sure they’ll be bawling their eyes out wherever they are tonight.

“It’s not something I thought would ever happen to me, I never thought I’d win a Melbourne Cup and thanks to this boy I have. We pre-trained him, we had him since he was broken in so he’s been at home since he was young. He’s just a delight at home, he’ll be with us forever now.”

An emotional Seona Thompson speaks to Sky Racing’s James Van de Maat after Aston Dee Bee’s brilliant TAB Melbourne Cup win

Having won 10 of his previous 14 starts with those four placings being at group level, Aston Dee Bee’s win came as no surprise to many punters. He was sent to the boxes the $2.40 favourite after qualifying fastest with a brilliant heat win in 29.12 and was unbeaten in four starts from box 1 at Sandown Park.

“I don’t think you can be too confident in a Melbourne Cup, but what he did is what I hoped he would do. I knew he could begin and that he could hold his spot. He’s racing so well, he’s a big strong dog he’s jumping out of his skin.

“When I get home tonight and watch the replay I’m sure it will start to sink in.”

His breakthrough victory at group level – he had been placed in six of his previous eight attempts in group company – improved his record to 27 wins from 48 career starts and elevated his career prizemoney to $631,025.

Thompson’s second finalist, Bewildering, powered home for fourth after overcoming trouble at the first turn. Thompson also trained Out Of Range and Poke The Bear to victory later in the evening to complete a winning treble.

Aston Dee Bee wins the TAB Melbourne Cup

In the night’s support feature, Fanta Bale became the third greyhound in history to reach the $1m prize money mark with a brilliant win in the group 1 Bold Trease.

The darling of Australian greyhound racing began cleanly but was put under pressure for the first lap by Petunia Monelli and Champagne Sally. However she soon stamped her authority on the race passing the stating boxes for the final time, powering away to claim her seventh group 1 title and take her career prize money to $1,094,170. Fernando Bale hold the record for the most prize money earned by an Australian greyhound at $1,293,110. Click here for full wrap

Fanta Bale is now likely to head to Wentworth Park for the heats of the group 3 Summer Cup on Saturday 2 December.

Fanta Bale joins the million dollar club by winning the Bold Trease

A huge crowd piled into Sandown Park for greyhound racing’s showcase event with patrons treated to an unexpected light show when a major electrical storm struck the area causing the second half of the card to be delayed.

Click here for full results from last night’s meeting.