Fast Times has confirmed he is a chaser on the rise and enters the Maturity with 13 wins in his 19 career starts. This is his 2nd Victorian campaign after tackling the Launching Pad Series at Sandown back in March where he made it through to the semi-finals only to be eliminated by Oronsay after returning the worst run of his career. A heat and semi winner of the Richmond Riches the Tony Brett trained dog entered the final well fancied from box 1 but after jumping well was soon crossed and had to settle for 2nd. Fast Times secured his maiden Group 1 victory when taking out the Winter Cup at Albion Park prior to heading to this series. The son of Barcia Bale can sweep the Maturity following a heat win when leading all the way from box 7 and then a semi-final win from box 1. Box 8 should suit as he looks to emulate his sire who also swept this series.
The Jeff Britton trained Mepunga Blazer faces the biggest test of his career to date however his two runs in the heats and semis have confirmed that he is ready to take the biggest step in his career. The son of Barcia Bale had won twice at The Meadows leading into the Maturity Series and a win in the final would see his career prizemoney almost triple. In the heats he was quickly away, however did not find the front but was too strong turning for home to take the victory. In the final he jumped brilliantly and his opening split has only been bettered by Lightning Frank in 2017. He then kept the speed on all the way for a commanding best of night run that easily saw him record the fastest of the 4 semi-final winners and the only chaser to break 30 seconds with his 29.64 run. Box 6 looks awkward, but his only run wearing the green rug resulted in victory here at The Meadows.
The well-named Opal Nera is the second of the Tony Brett trained runners and from box 2 will be looking to display his brilliant early speed and try to find the rails first. He looks a progressive type that came into the series with 5 wins from 12 starts and has managed to build that to 7 wins following wins at both stages of the Maturity. Jumping from box 5 in his heat, he was soon out on front and was never in danger to score a 1.14m victory. That run was his first look at The Meadows and his first run in Victoria. In the semi-final, he was in the blue rug and although not cleanly away, was soon into stride and by the time the field turned into the back straight he had found the front where he stayed to take the win and book his ticket to the final. This will be the first time that he has jumped from box 2 in a race.
|Date:||Saturday 29th July 2017|
|Race Time:||21:00 AEST|
|2016 Winner:||Kilty Express|
|2017 Maturity Classic Odds|
Held at The Meadows, the Maturity Classic is a Heat/Semi/Final series conducted across three consecutive Saturday’s. There were 9 heats conducted on Saturday July 15, with the first 3 placegetters along with the five fastest 4th placed runners from each heat progressing to the Semi-Finals held on July 22. Following the 4 Semi-Finals, the top 2 from each have progressed to the final.
All 3 races in the series are run over the 525m distance with the Group 1 Final to be run on Saturday July 29 with the race restricted to dogs that were whelped on or after April 1 2015. The 2017 Final will offer $145,000 in total prizemoney, with the winner to receive $100,000.
First held in 1970 when taken out by Phantom’s Heir at Melbourne’s Olympic Park, the 2016 Final was taken out by the Raymond Drew trained Kilty Express that jumped from box 6 and made the final after placing 2nd in both his heat and semi-final. Other winners include El Grand Senor, Brett Lee, Eureka Man and Temlee.