RAY Drew is hoping his exciting sprinter Kilty Express can run the race of his life in Saturday night’s Group 1 Maturity Classic (525m) at The Meadows.
A son of Kilty Lad and Bogie Jewel, Kilty Express has been a model of consistency so far throughout the series, finishing second in both his heat and semi-final.
On both occasions he has broken the elusive five second barrier to the first mark, a feat which is sure to put him in contention for the feature.
To claim the $100,000 first prize, Kilty Express, $4.80 with Sportsbet, will have to overcome box six against an ultra-talented field including Allen Kempo (box one), Ultimate Magic (box five) and Rippin Hayne (box eight).
However, Drew says he isn’t overly concerned about the tricky draw.
“He has done quite well, everything we have asked of him he has been able to achieve,” Drew told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“He has won two at The Meadows from only a handful of starts…we are very pleased with the way he is going.
“He is a dog who likes to get out in front and go, so I am not overly worried about the box, two weeks ago he finished second running 29.95 off box six.
“Hopefully he can jump like he has been throughout the series. If he can lead to the first turn and there is some trouble behind him then he will be right in it.”
A winner of nine of his 25 starts to date, Kilty Express is owned by the Bluelion syndicate and was formerly trained at Lovely Banks by leading mentors Brett and Kelly Bravo.
Earlier in the year Kilty Express made the move to Drew’s Dennington-based kennel where he has won or placed in 12 of his 16 appearances, having also qualified for the Group 2 Warrnambool Classic where he finished fourth behind Jeff Britton’s One For Me.
“The offer came along to train him earlier this year and so we said yes,” Drew explained.
“He came from a big kennel, but is the type of dog probably better suited to a smaller kennel because he likes a bit of attention.
“He only turned two back in April so all going well he should have plenty of racing left in him, but we are very happy with how he is going at the moment.”
Qualifying for a group 1 final is a feat most trainers can only dream of, with Drew and his son Dustin elated to have qualified.
“We are so proud of him making the final, we have only ever been in one group final before this bloke came along and that was the Great Chase a couple of years ago at The Meadows.
“We are very excited for the race and we are hoping he goes well – he just needs a bit of luck in running – I am sure he will do his best.”
The Group 1 Maturity Classic is race eight on the card at The Meadows on Saturday night and is set to jump at 9:42pm AEST.
Group 1 Maturity Classic – market update
Box 1 – Allen Kempo – $4.40
Box 2 – Shima Song – $5
Box 3 – Aeroplane Tommy – $8
Box 4 – Dyna Juggler – $31
Box 5 – Ultimate Magic – $5
Box 6 – Kilty Express – $4.80 with Sportsbet
Box 7 – Rippin Rose – $17
Box 8 – Rippin Hayne – $3.80
1st Res – Cavalcade – $5.50
2nd Res – Invictus Rapid – $6