The Maturity Classic is arguably the country’s premier age-restricted event on the greyhound racing calendar.
Some of the sport’s brightest stars have stood upon the winner’s podium, with only the best of the best lining up for a crack at the $100,000 winner’s cheque.
The most recent edition of the Maturity Classic was won by Mepunga Blazer for Jeff Britton, who also trained 2014 winner Mepunga Hayley.
Maturity Classic betting
With the best youngsters in greyhound racing contesting the series, the Maturity Classic always attracts plenty of attention from enthusiasts and punters.
All of our recommended online bookmakers offer fixed odds betting on the final, giving everyone the chance to shop around for the best odds on offer for their fancied selection.
Some of our bookies, such as Bet365, also have all-in markets available to bet on. These markets are available prior to the running of the heats and often have inflated prices about many of the leading series contenders.
There are currently no markets for the 2018 Classic, but be sure to check this page in the weeks leading up to the event for the best bookmaker odds.
Group 1 Maturity Classic – history
The first edition of the Maturity Classic was at Olympic Park over 560 yards on March 23, 1970. The inaugural edition was won by Phantom’s Heir which used box one to perfection, scoring the $1,250 winners purse in 30 5/16. Phantom’s Heir, the runner up in the 1970 Australian Cup, proved the win was no fluke, also claiming the Geelong Cup during a successful career.
Since 1973 the race has been open to both male and female chasers, with the first three runnings eligible for dogs only.
The race was run at Olympic Park between its inception and 1996, with the event moved to Sandown Park for two years until the opening of the current track at The Meadows where it is currently run and won over the 525m trip.
Former top conditioner Graeme Bate has won the event on five occasions, with Storm Glade (1985), Hay Dinney (1988), Northern Legend (1995), Shereen Bale (2011), and Barcia Bale (2012) – making him the most successful trainer in the race’s history. Bate’s 2011 victory also saw him snag the quinella, with Stefan Bale finishing second, while the 2012 edition saw him claim first, second and sixth with Barcia Bale, Desalle Bale and Dyna Filbert respectively.
Some of the best greyhounds the sport has unearthed have won the Maturity Classic, notably Temlee which won the 1974 race by a hopping nine lengths. Other superstars to be listed on the honour roll include New Tears (1987), Brett Lee (2001), Hallucinate (2004), El Grand Señor (2010), Barcia Bale (2012) and Fernando Bale (2015).
There have also been plenty of beaten stars including Eaglehawk Star (unplaced 1984), Sandi’s Me Mum (unplaced 1989), Solve The Puzzle (sixth 1998), Bombastic Shiraz (fourth 2003), Pure Octane (fourth 2005), Kilty Lad (fourth 2011), Dyna Nalin (second 2013), Lamia Bale (unplaced 2014) and Dyna Double One (second 2015).
The Maturity Classic has also been a race won by dogs which have gone on to become successful sires. Interestingly, 1974 winner Temlee was the sire of Satan’s Legend and Murchison Champ, which won the 1978 and 1981 Maturity Classics, New Tears (1987) sired Northern Legend (1995) and Brett Lee, the 2001 winner, produced the classy Hallucinate who won the race in 2004.
Group 1 Maturity Classic – the recent years
Much like her sire Fernando Bale, Dyna Patty took out the Maturity in dominant fashion. Dyna Patty began well off the inside, but Chief’s Empire speared out to lead the red rug at the beginning.
Dyna Patty took over down the back as Orson Allen moved into second. The Second placed runner couldn’t make an impression on the winner, which went on to score by over two lengths.
2018 Maturity Classic results
July 28, 2018. July 28, 2017 The Meadows. First Prize $100,000.
Winner: Dyna Patty (Fernando Bale x Unix Bale) DOB: 29/06/2015, Dark Brindle Bitch.
Owner: Nichole Wheeler, Trainer: Andrea Dailly
Winning Time: 29.73 Margins: 2.26 x 2.87
Others in finishing order: Orson Allen, Tritt Tritt, Chief’s Empire, Cavatron, Wise Piquet, Aston Duke, Barooga Brett.
Favourite backers were cheering after the most recent edition of the Maturity Classic which was won by Mepunga Blazer. The black dog started from box six and followed up his 29.64 semi-final win, charging clear to defeat kennel mate Paradiso Lass by one and a half lengths in 29.81.
2017 Maturity Classic results
July 29, 2017. July 29, 2017 The Meadows. First Prize $100,000.
Winner: Mepunga Blazer (Barcia Bale X Mepunga Nicky)DOB: 29/06/2015, Black Dog.
Winning Time: 29.81 Margins: 1.5 X 3.3/4
Others in finishing order: Paradiso Lass, Shadale, Aston Dinnigan, Opal Nera, Trixsta Rox, Dyna Jerry, Lady Charlotte.
Kilty Express upstage a stellar field to take home the $100,000 winner’s cheque in 2016. A son of Kilty Lad and Bogie Jewel, the Ray Drew prepared greyhound defeated Shima Song and Ultimate Magic to score in 30.18.
2016 Maturity Classic results
July 30, 2016. The Meadows MGRA First Prize $100,000
Winner: Kilty Express (Kilty Lad x Bogie Jewel) Born: April 2014. Black Dog.
Owner: Bluelion Syndicate, Trainer: Raymond Drew.
Time: 30.18. Margins: 0.19 x 0.29.
Others in finishing order: Shima Song, Ultimate Magic, Rippin Hayne, Allen Kempo, Dyna Juggler, Rippin Rose, Aeroplane Tommy.
Superstar sprinter Fernando Bale continued his meteoric rise to immortality, winning the 2015 edition of the race over Dyna Double One, giving Andrea Dailly the quinella. The white and dark brindle dog recorded a brilliant time of 29.50 over the 525m trip, less than two tenths off Allen Deed’s track record.
2015 Maturity Classic results
July 25, 2015. The Meadows, MGRA, First Prize $100,000
Winner: Fernando Bale (Kelsos Fusileer x Chloe Allen) Born March 2013, W&DB Dog
Owner: Paul Wheeler, Trainer: Andrea Dailly.
Time: 29.503, Margins: 5.25 x 5.
Others in finishing order: Dyna Double One, Margins, Secret Spell, Emrys, Ivy Bale, Hogganaught, Black Illusion.
Mepunga Hayley gave trainer Jeff Britton his first Maturity Classic success, defeating a star studded field including Shoulders, Lamia Bale and Hooksy to score by 3.30 lengths on the line.
2014 Maturity Classic results
July 26, 2014. The Meadows MGRA First Prize $100,000
Winner: Mepunga Hayley (Bekim Bale x Mepunga Harmony) December 2012 Black Bitch
Owner: Barry Smith. Trainer: Jeffrey Britton.
Time: 29.79 Margins 3.30 x 5.49
Others in finishing order: Shoulders, Humphrey Bale, Take Charge, Sisco Rage, Lamia Bale, Hooksy, Grand Legacy.
Ultra-consistent chaser Marcus Joe caused one of the biggest upsets of the year, upstaging some of his more fancied rivals at double figure odds. The son of Velocette and Mojo Glory jumped brilliantly from box three, leading all the way in a dazzling 29.66.
2013 Maturity Classic results
July 27, 2013. MGRA – The Meadows, First Prize $100,000
Winner: Marcus Joe (Velocette – Mojo Glory) April 2011, Brindle Dog
Owner and Trainer: Barry Moloney.
Margins 1.27 x 3.49. Time 29.66
Others in finishing order: Dyna Nalin, Hawk Alone, Schroder Bale, Heidi Go Seek, Hoover Jack, Langi Bale, Crump.
Maturity Classic Facts & Figurers
Background to the Maturity Classic
This is arguably the premier restricted age event held in Australia. Yes, superior to the National Derby and the Silver Chief Classic. Just a look through the honour roll of the winners is a walk through a parade of champions. Then you come to those who have failed to win the race, and once again the ‘gems’ just hurtle off the page.
The first Maturity Classic was run at Olympic Park on 23 March 1970 and fell to Phantom’s Heir who used box one to full advantage to run 30 5/16 and pick up $1,250. Phantom’s Heir had run second in the Australian Cup a month earlier and went on to win the Geelong Cup.
It has been contested over 560 yards (511 metres) at Olympic Park (1970-1996), at Sandown Park over 515 metres (1997-1998), 518 metres at The Meadows (1999-2001) and 525 metres since 2002.
When Is The Race Run
In 1970 it was March, then between 1971 and 1975 it was January. Between 1976 and 1981 it was either February or March. In 1982 there were two Maturity Classics finalized, the first in March (won by Wynlee Spirit) and the second in December (taken out by Rocky Pyramid). No race was held in 1983. From 1984 to 1986 the final was in April. Between 1987 and 1999 the final was concluded in either May or June. It was back to April in 2000, then March in 2001 and 2002, before May again became the preferred date from 2003 until 2009. Since 2010 the final has been run in July.
The mixing of the dates has not dented the popularity of the race; just made it harder for owners and trainers to remember when it takes place.
Only Reserves to Win
Biggest Winning Margins
I don’t have full information for all the finals, but of those I am aware of the widest winning margin belongs to Temlee, who won by nine lengths in 1974 (from box one). Satan’s Legend won by six and three-quarter lengths in 1978, Best Of Blue by six lengths in 1989, and Hall’s Northern scored in 2003 by five and three-quarter lengths.
Closest Winning Margins
Executive Class won by just a head in 1992 and Overflow Love won by half a length in 1977.
Most Successful Trainers
Graeme Bate has won five times, with Storm Glade (1985), Hay Dinney (1988), Northern Legend (1995), Shereen Bale (2011), and Barcia Bale (2012). Peter Giles has won twice, with Acacia Dee (2000) and Paddy’s Flame (2008), as has Darren McDonald, with Brett Lee (2001) and Hallucinate (2004) and Jason Thompson, with Run’s House (2007) and Aston Trivett (2009).
Some Beaten Stars
Sylvan Prince (second 1974), Bristol Sue (eighth 1974), Shelley O’Reilly (second 1977), Mile Post (seventh 1977), Belabour Prince (third 1978), Dusty Pogress (unplaced 1978), Rod’s Advice (unplaced 1980), Takbe’s Talent (unplaced 1981), Superstar (second 1982), Eaglehawk Star (unplaced 1984), Freewheeler (second 1988), Hua (second 1989), Sandi’s Me Mum (unplaced 1989), Farmer George (unplaced 1989), Worth Backing (fourth 1992), Dallas Duo (fifth 1992), Big Ginger Boy (third 1995), Cattle Drive (second 1996), Paradise Street (seventh 1996), Chicago Blue (second 1997), Now Running (third 1997), Ringside Fire (fourth 1997), Solve The Puzzle (sixth 1998), Arvo’s Express (sixth 1999), Jack Junior (eighth 1999), Trewking (fourth 2001), Bombastic Shiraz (fourth 2003), Blackjack Tom (fifth 2003), Sun Hero (fourth 2004), Pure Octane (fourth 2005), Nova Surf (dead-heat second 2009), Dyna Forte (eighth 2009), Rewind (third 2011), Kilty Lad (fourth 2011), Dyna Nalin (second 2013) and Hawk alone (third 2013).
For its first three editions (1970-1972 inclusive) the race was restricted to male greyhounds. Since 1973 it has been open to both males and females.
Graeme Bate trained first and second in 2011 (Shereen Bale and Stefan Bale) and first, second, and sixth in 2012 (Barcia Bale, Desalle Bale, and Dyna Filbert).
Temlee, the winner in 1974, went on to sire Satan’s Legend (1978) and Murchison Champ (1981) while New Tears, the winner in 1987, sired Northern Legend (1995) and Brett Lee, the 2001 victor, sired Hallucinate (2004).
The race has unearthed some tremendous future stayers: Rod’s Advice (unplaced 1980), Pharaoh’s Mask (Won 1986), Northern Legend (Won 1995), Paradise Street (seventh 1996), and Ringside Fire (fourth 1997) being the prime examples.
Group 1 Maturity Classic – honour roll
1970 Phantom’s Heir
1971 Linden Lad
1972 Nulla’s Call
1973 Shan’s Tempest
1975 Warranwood Girl
1976 Aaron King
1977 Overflow Love
1978 Satan’s Legend
1980 Worthy Weston
1981 Murchison Champ
1982 Wynlee Spirit/Rocky Pyramid
1983 not held
1984 Broken Cup
1985 Storm Glade
1986 Pharaoh’s Mask
1987 New Tears
1988 Hay Dinney
1989 Best Of Blue
1990 Eureka Man
1992 Executive Class
1995 Northern Legend
1996 Royal Honcho
1997 Running Gold
1998 Adrenalin Storm
2000 Acacia Dee
2001 Brett Lee
2002 Rocka Cockatoo
2003 Hall’s Northern
2005 Poetic Magic
2006 Train A Journey
2007 Run’s House
2008 Paddy’s Flame
2009 Aston Trivett
2010 El Grand Senor
2011 Shereen Bale
2012 Barcia Bale
2013 Marcus Joe
2014 Mepunga Hayley
2015 Fernando Bale
2016 Kilty Express
2017 Mepunga Blazer
2018 Dyna Patty