Maturity and Fireball heats - an early look

All eyes will be on The Meadows this Saturday night for heats of the Group 1 Maturity Classic and Group 3 Fireball for the stayers.

The Meadows in Melbourne
The Meadows in Melbourne Picture: GRV

The Maturity boasts one of the greatest honour rolls in greyhound racing, it has seen legends of the sport such as Temlee, Brett Lee, Fernando Bale & Wow She's Fast take out the age-restricted feature in its illustrious 54-year history.

With eight heats of the Maturity only winners will progress to next Saturday's final while the top four will advance from each of the two Fireball heats.

Here's an early look at each of the Maturity and Fireball heats ahead of this Saturday's exceptional card.


Race 4 – HEAT 1 (7.38pm)
The first heat is headlined by recent Brisbane Cup finalist Excavation while Whodat Shanlyn possesses an excellent Meadows record and some of the fastest run homes in recent times.

Race 5 – HEAT 2 (8.00pm)
Heat 2 looks to be a race that will have many chances as very different form lines are brought to The Meadows. Holden Bale has been flying around the provincial circuit while Ethanol Volume is a Pink Diamond winner over the 650m. Tattooed and Mepunga Tully both had their most recent racetrack starts interstate.

Race 6 – HEAT 3 (8.21pm)
NSW has their fingerprints all over this race with multiple group race winner Overflow Beau having his first Meadows start since December last year. NSW-owned Zipping Hopkins, NSW-bred Blue Kermaro and last start Wentworth Park winner Slick Rambo all rate amongst the chances.

Race 7 – HEAT 4 (8.40pm)
The Tom Dailly trained Ethanol Water drops back from a recent middle-distance campaign to have a crack at the 525m Maturity. House of Turbo recently downed Phoenix finalist Alpha Zulu at his first attempt at the Meadows while littermates Wild Jazz & He Shines add levels of intrigue from the inside and outside draws.

Race 8 – HEAT 5 (8.58pm)
Lakeview Emily was recently sent by the Metung-based Whelan camp up to Tony Brett for a Queensland campaign that resulted in second placings in the G1 Brisbane Cup & the G1 Flying Amy. Canya All Class has been trialling well leading up to his first racetrack start since March and boasts the fastest Meadows PB of the heat runners. Zipping Gryllis looks to provide Brooke Ennis with back-to-back Maturity winners.

Race 9 – HEAT 6 (9.20pm)
Group 1 Sapphire Crown winner Here Comes Milli draws towards the inside for the first time since her Sapphire Crown heat performance. Smooth Plane & Tully Luna enter this race after running 5th in their last start Group 1 assignments in the Brisbane Cup & Peter Mosman Opal respectively.

Race 10 – HEAT 7 (9.41pm)
Reiterate steps back to the sprint journey after taking out the Pink Diamond Rookie Distance and running the fourth fastest middle-distance time at The Meadows this year. Bumpy Gold most recent race start was the rich Thunderbolt final at Grafton over the 350m. Zali Keeping also returns to Victoria under the tutelage of David Geall.

Race 11 – HEAT 8 (10.06pm)
Mepunga Shine will look to become the first greyhound since the early 1990's (and third overall) to complete the Silver Chief-Maturity double as he returns to the track for the first time since May, but he faces stiff opposition from many in-form dogs including Bernie Burrow, Aston Nero, Seagull Rock & Lorraine Jacky.



This distance feature has been won by some of the best stayers in recent memory including Tornado Tears, Burn One Down and Destini Fireball.

Race 2 – HEAT 1 (6.57pm)
Heat 1 shapes as a clash of the titans between recent G1 Queensland Cup winner Exploded and million-dollar earner Palawa King while Melbourne Cup finalist Make No Promise makes his distance racing debut for Paul Bartolo.

Race 3 – HEAT 2 (7.15pm)
One of the more intriguing distance races in recent memory with G1 winner Drill Sergeant facing the in-form youngster Ella's Babe as well as recent G2 McKenna Memorial winner Stomping who steps up to the 730m for the first time alongside recent Sale 640m track record breaker, Aunt Virginia.