A determined performance by Liebig Street saw the outsider cross the line together with front-runner Sure To Excite in a heat of the Maturity Classic (525m) at The Meadows on Saturday night.
While it mattered little as all placegetters were guaranteed a place in this Saturday night’s semis, the judge was unable to separate the pair as they recorded a time of 30.154sec.
“Watching it live from behind the boxes I thought he (Sure To Excite) had won,” said trainer Graham James, pictured with Sure to Excite. “He opened up a pretty big lead but he didn’t run home as strongly as he has previously. He has run home in 12.06sec at The Meadows, but on Saturday night he only ran home in about 12.20sec or so. He has pulled up well though and I’m absolutely rapt he has made it through to the semis.”
Sure To Excite, the Group Listed Northern Districts Cup winner at Shepparton in May, extended his record to nine wins from 12 starts and he is drawn in box six in his semi-final.
“He has raced out of box six on five occasions (three wins) previously so he’s no stranger to the draw,” James said. “He’s up against the likes of Jimmy Newob and Vanderworp so he will need to do absolutely everything right to get through to the final.”
The first two placegetters in each of the four semi-finals will make it through to the $145,000 Group 1 Maturity Classic Final on July 29.
WATCH: Sure To Excite and Liebig Street carved out an exciting Maturity Classic heat.
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