The time honoured Group 1 Hudson Pacific Maturity Classic – worth $100,000 to the winner for the first time in its 42-year history – kicks off with 11 outstanding heats at The Meadows this Saturday night.
Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the night will come in heat five when the undefeated Barcia Bale (box eight) takes on speed sensation Ima Geisha Girl (box seven) in an early test for two of the country’s hottest young sprinters.
Trained by Graeme Bate, Barcia Bale has set the greyhound world alight in his seven race starts to date, including two track record-breaking runs in New South Wales and a pair of outstanding wins at The Meadows, including a last start 29.86 victory. The son of Go Wild Teddy and Princess Bale takes on Ima Geisha Girl – a chaser successful in nine of her 11 starts, including three unbeaten sub-30 second efforts over the 525 metres at The Meadows.
Heat two sees Group-quality performers Proven Maddy (second in G1 Peter Mosman) and Katie Merry (winner of G2 Queensland Futurity) face off against young star Razza Bale, who is a son of 2010 Australian Cup winner Dyna Lachlan.
In heat four, Desalle Bale (a sister to Barcia Bale) looks set to continue in her winning ways, drawing box eight against chasers such as classy youngster Comic Sans. The black chaser recorded a super 29.88 win at The Meadows last start, defeating the highly-rated Roy Galo, who has drawn awkwardly in box six in heat six on Saturday night.
Others with big claims to progress include Kel Greenough’s young star Odie For Now (box five, heat seven), five-time Meadows winner Sapporo (box two, heat eight) and G1 Peter Mosman winner Garrick Bale (box four, heat nine).
The winners, second-place getters and the 10 fastest thirds from this week’s heats will progress to Saturday week’s semi-finals, a night which will also see the running of heats for the Group 2 AWM Distance Championship over 725 metres.
For full fields of Saturday night’s Meadows meeting, see our The Meadows Fields for Saturday 14th July 2012