Rounds is rapt in Rupee’s potential

\"\"Caption: Glenn Rounds with Aston Rupee after success in the Country Championship

By Andrew Thomson 

Veteran Devon Meadows (Victoria) trainer Glenn Rounds knows a good dog when he sees one and he has a soft spot for Aston Rupee.

But, it hasn\’t always been plane sailing.

Rounds said he took his young 34kg black KC And All-Aston Miley dog to Warragul for a trial before he began his racing career, which now spans eight starts for five wins and three placings.

\”He ran the record at Warragul over the short before he started. I think he ran 22.02. (Paua Of Oscar holds the 400m trip mark at 22.07),” he recalls.

\”I\’ve never had a dog do that – break a record before starting to race. It was a half-field maiden. He won it pretty easy. The other trainers looked at the clock.

\”There\’s a few people who blew up. I\’ve never had a dog break a record like that before.

\”I looked at the clock and didn\’t know what to say – and then it was on.

\”I was gobsmacked and the mood changed. I was called all sorts of things.\”

Rounds said fellow trainer Steve Whyte stepped in and defended him.

\”Steve said \’he didn\’t know what the pup was going to run\’. That took the heat out of it.\”

Aston Rupee debuted at Warrnambool in a stunning 24.95 seconds, took out his third career start at Sandown in 29.25, backed up with a 24.98 win at Ballarat, ran an unlucky third in the relocated Ballarat Derby when dragged down as he was hitting the front and then saluted at Shepparton in 25.06.

But, his standout performance was a win on Australia Cup final night, taking out the Country Championship in 29.47, about a length-and-a-half off Allen Deed\’s 29.37 record.

Group one specialist Tommy Shelby won the cup in 29.86, more than six lengths slower.

“Yeah, he\’s got a bit of ability,” Rounds said.

\”He does need that bit of room to wind up, but most of them do, especially when you\’re up in company, in the deep end of racing.

“You need good draws and things to go your way, but he has got a lot of pace.

“He is a hot pup, it\’s all in front of him. It\’s that word potential. His racing career is all in front of him.

“You just hope he can get to those lofty heights. It could be his year next year. When you think about it, it was Shima Shine, Simon Told Helen and Tiggerlong Tonk coming through 12 months ago.

\”The next next batch comes through. He\’s been pretty sound and you just hope he gets his chance.

\”He\’s got a lovely nature. He\’s a lovely dog with plenty of personality. He\’s very outgoing and happy. The good ones usually are.\”

Rounds and partner Judy Hayley (who passed away in February 2012) trained Classic Capri 20 years ago.

The gun bitch ran second in a Melbourne Cup and came back to win the race 12 months later.

\”She was pretty phenomenal. I\’ve got 12 in work pretty much all the time now,\” he said.

\”Racing does have its moments, but I don\’t answer to a boss, my work is at home, but it is seven days a week.

\”The highs and lows of racing take a toll. There\’s not much worse than losing dogs through injury.

\”You take the blows in the racing game. The setbacks can be tough.\”

Rounds will take Aston Rupee through the Launching Pad before focusing on future targets.

\”He\’s always shown a bit. Ray Borda rang me saying he had a pup that broke in super and he thought he had something special,\” he said.

\”He\’s been spot on. I met Ray many years ago when Stan Wardle was training for him at Pearcedale. Brookside Red won an Adelaide Cup and we met back then.

\”It was the early 1990s and Ray had a pup out of Mancunian Girl. He asked me to train a couple a few years ago, but I had my own bitches, was breeding and was training the pups.

\”I\’ve let the bitches slide now. I don\’t have a bitch on the place.

\”Ray asked me twice. The second time I said \’all right\’ and we\’ve gone from there.

\”Ray is not a seller, but I\’ve had a couple for him and won races and then he\’s taken them elsewhere.

\”He\’s got a good quality of dog. Ray\’s terrific. It\’s not about money for him because his costs are enormous.

\”He\’s got a real good batch of dogs going around and six or eight brood bitches that will produce good stock for the next decade.

\”He deserves all the success he has,\” he said.

In other news, Golden Square (Bendigo) trainer Dallas Massina is having a lot of fun with her talented sprinter Lalina.

The Barcia Bale-Nallak blue bitch has had 21 starts for 13 and five placings, including a win at The Meadows the same night as Aston Rupee in a slick 29.83.

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