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 2016 Maturity Classic was run on July 30 at The Meadows and was won by Kilty Express.
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 2017 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
2016: The last running of the Maturity Classic saw talented speedster Kilty Express upstage a stellar field to take home the $100,000 winner’s cheque. A son of Kilty Lad and Bogie Jewel, the Ray Drew prepared greyhound defeated Shima Song and Ultimate Magic to score in 30.18.
2015: 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.
2014: 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.
2013: 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.
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 (1) Wynlee Spirit
1982 (2) 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