The crème of Australia’s young greyhounds assembled at The Meadows tonight to contest 4 semi’s of the Group 1 Hudson Pacific Maturity Classic. The rising stars of greyhound racing were all vying for a place in the $50,000 to the winner final next Saturday night.
Last weeks fastest heat winner Aston Trivett was again extremely impressive in one of the best chasing efforts seen for some time. The supremely bred son of Sandown track record-holder Bond and 2006 Australian Cup winner Miss Spicy pushed through a small opening on the first turn to take the lead and race away to win in 29.94 holding off the late charge of Ess Bee Dee who also qualified for the final, beaten 1 ¼ lengths.
Capping off an outstanding night for trainer Jason Thompson and owner Ray Borda was kennel mate Aston Volante who gave the pair two greyhounds in next weeks final. After working hard outside the early leader Sheoak Ian, Aston Volante swept to the front on the home turn to win in 30.19. One of the youngest dogs in the series, Sheoak Ian – who isn’t 2 years of age until July hung on gamely to earn his place next week.
Best of the night honours were taken out by the much improved Dyna Forte who ran 29.93 in the third of the classic semi’s. The Graeme Bate trained chaser scraped home by a half head beating Nova Surf who is now under the guidance of Darren McDonald. The NSW-owned bitch set the early pace before being grabbed in the shadows of the post in a heart stopping finish.
The final semi final was won by outsider Firefly Bale ($24.60) who swept past the leaders in the back straight to win impressively in 30.02 , beating the Peter Giles trained Surfing Boy by 2 ¾ lengths. Favourite for the race Gardam Prince seemed to come together with the leader and second favourite Matching Outcome as they passed the 725m boxes, both were inconvenienced and tailed the field in.
First run in 1970 the Maturity Classic has since become one of the most sought after races on the calendar.
The box draw for the 2009 Hudson Pacific Maturity Classic final is as follows –
2009 $72,500 Group 1 Hudson Pacific Maturity Classic (525m)
- Box 1 – Nova Surf D. McDonald $3.00
- Box 2 – Aston Trivett J. Thompson $2.80
- Box 3 – Dyna Forte G. Bate $4.00
- Box 4 – Sheoak Ian J. Borg $21.00
- Box 5 – Firefly Bale A. Dailly $16.00
- Box 6 – Ess Bee Dee B. Selleck $17.00
- Box 7 – Surfing Boy P. Giles $12.00
- Box 8 – Aston Volante J. Thompson $9.00
- 1st Res – Jamaican Bolt P. Giles
- 2nd Res – Kinka Bale G. Bate