Anakie trainer Jeff Britton enjoyed a big night at The Meadows, getting home four winners in heats of the Group 1 Maturity Classic (525m) on Saturday night.
The evening started off on the right foot for Britton as West-Australian chaser Vanderworp lived up to his top trial at the Broadmeadows circuit, overcoming an early bump to score in 30.07. The blue chaser recorded impressive splits of 5.06 and 17.68.
Jeff’s second and third winners came when litter brothers Mepunga Blazer and Mepunga Tycoon recorded top wins, scoring in 29.97 and 30.14, respectively. Mepunga Blazer’s victory was especially pleasing seeing he was having his first run back since May 4, thanks to a shoulder injury.
The night was capped off for Britton after Paradiso Lass - a daughter of My Bro Fabio – powered home to score in 30.18. A placing from Slinky Inky meant that he will take in five live chances into next week’s semi-final stage of the Group 1 aged-restricted classic.
A couple of interstate trainers also enjoy great nights, with Queenslander Tony Brett and Jodie Van Enkhuyzen (from New South Wales) kicking home doubles.
Brett’s first winner came when Opal Nera showed dazzling pace (splits of 5.05 and 17.60) to score in 30.01 before pre-post Maturity favourite Fast Times recorded Best of Night figures, winning in 29.92 in his quest for a second Group 1 in as many months. The son of Barcia Bale and Clockwise has drawn box one in next week’s semi finals.
Van Enkhuyzen’s night got off on the right foot after Shallay Pallay held off a late challenge from Trixta Rox to score in 30.20, before Group 1 Peter Mosman finalist Set To Storm narrowly defeated young gun Lagoon Rhett in 30.32.
Set To Storm’s victory meant that Australia’s leading stud dog Barcia Bale sired five of the nine heat winners, including three runner-ups in another dominant display.
Other Maturity heat winners on the night included Sure To Excite and Liebig Street, who dead-heated the third semi final in 30.15.
The winners and runners up from next week’s semi-finals will progress to July 29′s $145,000 Maturity Classic final – race won by greats of the last including Temlee, Brett Lee and the mighty Fernando Bale.