2014 Group One Maturity Final Preview

The time has come for the 2014 Group One Maturity Champion to be decided. The eventual winner of this age-restricted feature event will join an illustrious list of names on the honour roll. Greyhounds such as Temlee, New Tears, Brett Lee and Hallucinate have won the race. In recent times, it has been taken out by El Grand Senor, Shereen Bale, Barcia Bale and Marcus Joe.

This year’s final is not an easy one by any stretch. Hooksy will start the favourite but there are a number of other chances in the race. Trainer Anthony Azzopardi (who will rug up Shoulders) best summed the race up when he told ARG “it’s not your average Joe race where it’s easy to pick the leader and who will win”.

Here is a look at each of the finalists, including form and trainer’s comments;

Box 1
Race Odds
$8.00
Heat Replay
 
Sisco Rage
Trainer
Darren McDonald
Owner
R Galea
Prizemoney
$45,370.00
Last 10 Starts
5387234622
29 Months   Black   Dog   by   High Earner Sisco Power
Start Slow Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $1,008.00 Rating 97
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
45 10 7 8
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
22% 56%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
6 1 3 0
       
Box 1 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
7 2 1 3
Comments: ARG opinion is – He is drawn where he needs to be but lacks the early speed to go with some of these finalists. He will be flying home at the finish.

 

Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.24 30.00 5.20 5.20
Box 2
Race Odds
$4.40
Heat Replay
 
Shoulders
Trainer
Anthony Azzopardi
Owner
D May
Prizemoney
$19,835.00
Last 10 Starts
1475321122
25 Months   Black   Dog   by   Cosmic Rumble Bit Stressed
Start Good Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $1,653.00 Rating 95
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
12 5 3 1
       
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
42% 75%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
6 2 3 1
       
Box 2 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 1 1 0
Comments: Anthony Azzopardi (Trainer) – “It’s a hard race. It’s not your average Joe race where it’s easy to pick the leader and who will win. He’s got a good chance as the dog in box one is slow early so he should find the fence and get a good run into the first turn. He isn’t without a chance. The dog is feeling well. Hooksy will be hard to beat if he begins.”
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.94 30.20 5.13 5.19
Box 3
Race Odds
$18.00
Heat Replay
 
Take Charge
Trainer
Stephen McKenna
Owner
A Forte
Prizemoney
$48,420.00
Last 10 Starts
2123113432
28 Months   Fawn   Dog   by   Bartrim Bale Witch Fantasy
Start Good Running Rail Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $1,793.00 Rating 94
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
27 10 9 4
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
37% 85%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
7 1 4 1
Box 3 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 2 2 0
Comments: ARG opinion is – Consistent place-getter at The Meadows that has only won one from seven at the track but has been placed on five other occasions. He has early speed so could be amongst the leading pack.
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.20 30.34 5.02 5.10
Box 4
Race Odds
$21.00
Heat Replay
 
Lamia Bale
Trainer
Steve Collins
Owner
Paul Wheeler
Prizemoney
$14,905.00
Last 10 Starts
42711546221

25 Months

  Brindle   Dog   by   High Earner Maple Bale
Start Risky Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $1,355.00 Rating 92
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
11 3 3 1
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
27% 64%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
6 1 3 0
Box 4 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 0 2 0
Comments: Tammy Collins (Kennel Representative) – “She has always had the potential and always trialled well, it has just taken her a while to show that in a race. She is drawn okay as she likes to use the middle of the track. Hopefully she will jump again.”
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.00 30.00 5.06 5.06
Box 5
Race Odds
$15.00
Heat Replay
 
Humphrey Bale
Trainer
Andrea Dailly
Owner
Paul Wheeler
Prizemoney
$60,240.00
Last 10 Starts
1421451731
29 Months   Fawn   Dog   by   Bartrim Bale Pindari Bale
Start Risky Running Rail Finish

Good

Prizemoney Rating $1,673.00 Rating 94
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
36 11 6 4
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
31% 58%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
23 7 5 2
Box 5 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 1 0 0
Comments: ARG opinion is – Been around The Meadows plenty of times and it wouldn’t surprise if he filled one of the placings. He will need to overcome the squeeze draw.
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.96 30.19 5.07 5.15
Box 6
Race Odds
$31.00
Heat Replay
 
Grand Legacy
Trainer
Peter Dapiran
Owner
M Dapiran
Prizemoney
$33,755.00
Last 10 Starts
6314121F31
29 Months   Fawn   Dog   by   El Grand Senor Premier Babe
Start Good Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $1,407.00 Rating 97
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
24 7 3 4
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
29% 58%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 0 1
Box 6 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 1 1 0
Comments: ARG opinion is – Performed at his best last week and obviously needs to repeat that to be chance. He has been done no favours by the draw.

 

Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.17 30.17 5.07 5.07
Box 7
Race Odds
$2.70
Heat Replay
 
Hooksy
Trainer
Tanya Auld
Owner
T Auld
Prizemoney
$95,920.00
Last 10 Starts
1111616132
28 Months   Black   Dog   by   Hondo Black Uno Witch
Start Risky Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $3,837.00 Rating 100
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
25 15 5 2
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
60% 88%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 1 1 1
Box 7 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 1 0 0
Comments: J Auld (Co-Trainer) –“He needs luck from the wide draw at The Meadows.”
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.95 30.17 5.08 5.17
Box 8
Race Odds
$3.20
Heat Replay
 
Mepunga Hayley
Trainer
Jeff Britton
Owner
B Smith
Prizemoney
$61,690.00
Last 10 Starts
1111142411
25 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Bekim Bale Mepunga Harmony
Start Risky Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $3,247.00 Rating 100
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
19 9 1 1
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
47% 58%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
6 4 0 1
Box 8 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 0 1
Comments: Jeff Britton (Trainer) –“She has done everything right her last two races. She is the sort of dog that once she gets on a roll, she goes well and she is on a bit of a roll at the moment. She is drawn a little further out this week and will need some interference on the inside to cross. She did well last week and she has got to be a chance. If she does happen to win, she deserves it as the field she beat in the semi-final was a quality field. Hooksy will be hard to hold out if he gets a crack at them. If he was sitting in box two, he would be hard to beat.”
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.01 30..01 5.08 5.08
1st Res
Race Odds
$26.00
Heart Replay
 
Trail Blazing
Trainer
Tina Womann
Owner
Tina Womann
Prizemoney
$24,015.00
Last 10 Starts
5622412323
28 Months   Red Fawn   Dog   by   Trewly Special Nikita Beriman
Start Good Running Middle Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $961.00 Rating 95
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
25 7 4 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
28% 56%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
9 1 3 2
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Comments: Will need to improve on his best winning time at the track to be a chance.

 

Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.41 30.12 5.12 5.12
2nd Res
Race Odds
$41.00
Heat Replay
 
Wind Whistler
Trainer
Angela Langton
Owner
Champagne Partnership
Prizemoney
$11,050.00
Last 10 Starts
1366111523
25 Months   White and Black   Bitch   by   Premier Fantasy Seminole
Start Slow Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $789.00 Rating 92
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
14 4 3 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
29% 71%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 0 3 2
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Comments: Slow early but has a strong finish. Not likely to be considered a winning chance if she gets a start.
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
NBT 30.29 5.28 5.32

The in-form greyhound is Mepunga Hayley (8). Her trainer Jeff Britton has been enjoying a great run of late with his greyhounds (although he did comment to ARG that he has a few handy ones sitting injured in the kennels) and he rates Mepunga Hayley a good chance in the race. If she shows what she has the last two weeks then she is right up there.

Anthony Azzopardi has based some of his kennel down in Victoria and as Azzopardi told ARG, the move has paid off as he now has a finalist in the Maturity. Azzopardi has experienced some cold and wet weather while down in Victoria, with snow falling at times and as he told ARG he can now relate to the TV show “Life Below Zero”. Azzopardi’s finalist is Shoulders (2) and he has taken to The Meadows like the proverbial duck to water. If he gets the room his trainer predicts he will get, he will take some holding out.

Race favourite Hooksy (7) has drawn wide and his trainer has made no secret of the fact that he doesn’t particularly like the draw. Other trainers in the race have also noted that if Hooksy had been boxed on the inside he would have been hard to beat. However, trainers remain wary of Hooksy and know that if he gets a crack at them he will be difficult to contain.

Humphrey Bale (5) is well versed around the track but he will have to overcome the squeeze draw. A fellow ‘Bale’ dog, Lamia Bale (4), is drawn on Humphrey’s immediate inside. Those involved with Lamia Bale have indicated that she trials well and may just be starting to transfer that to her race performances. She is the fastest semi-final winner and can’t be discounted. Bale dogs have recent good history in this race, winning two of the last four Maturity finals.

Sisco Rage (1) has relished the drop back to the 525 metre trip at The Meadows. He is drawn where he needs to be but will need some luck. He will be flying at the finish.

Take Charge (3) and Grand Legacy (6) will both need some luck to feature. Grand Legacy performed at his best last week but hasn’t been done any favours by the draw.

The race jumps at 9:40pm and is race eight on the card. Be sure to tune in and see who takes home the $100,000 prize.