Sensational showdown looms in Maturity

The stage is set for a sensational showdown in next week’s Group 1 KCR Pet Transport Maturity Classic (525m) at The Meadows.

One of the sport’s premier age-restricted appears a race in three between superstars Simon Told Helen, Hard Style Rico and Christo Bale after tonight’s heats.

Only one length has separated the terrific triumvirate on times!

Australia’s No. 1 sprinter, Simon Told Helen is now chasing a fourth Group 1 victory after a stunning heat display in Heat 5.

Trained by David Burnett, Simon Told Helen ($1.30F) adopted his trademark catch-me-if-you-can tactics in cruising to an effortless 5.2L win over Fire Legend ($6.50) in a flying 29.68sec.

Simon Told Helen has already won the G1 Silver Chief, G1 Perth Cup and G1 Harrison-Dawson in a stellar career that shows no signs of stopping.

He will join Satan’s Legend, a champion of the late ’70s, as the only winners of the Silver Chief/Maturity Classic double if successful in next week’s $100,000-to-the-winner final.

Prior to the series, Simon Told Helen was $3.50F on TAB’s ‘All In’ market.

However, not to be denied, excitement machine Hard Style Rico set the track alight in Heat 6.

Prepared by Luckie Karabitsakos, Hard Style Rico ($1.50F) – a triple G1 finalist – defeated Wallbanger ($7.90) by 6.8L in a scintillating 29.67sec (Best).

The G2 Shepparton Cup winner, and holder of Shepparton’s 450m track record (24.77sec), landed his 15th win from 29 starts and his sixth win from nine starts at The Meadows.

WATCH: Hard Style Rico (3) set the Maturity Classic heats time standard with a blistering 29.67sec performance.

Barnstorming Christo Bale continued his purple patch with a powerhouse 29.73sec win in Heat 3.

Christo Bale brought up his 13th win from 27 starts and has now won six races from 12 starts over The Meadows 525m sprint trip.

Winner of last week’s G1 Vic Peters Classic (520m) at Wentworth Park, Playlist continued Matt Clark’s golden run when successful in Heat 1.

But Clark’s hopes of a second finalist were dashed 19 minutes later when star sprinter Catch The Thief ($2.00F) – a litter brother of Playlist – was narrowly relegated to second by rank outsider Summer Lights ($92.50) in Heat 2.

Trained by Tina Womann, Summer Lights clocked a pedestrian 30.49sec and made it four wins from 24 starts. It was his first win in nine attempts at The Meadows.

Provincial star Zambora Smokey has really arrived in the ‘big smoke’. He won Heat 7 in a breeze.

Tiggerlong Tonk displayed his sheer professionalism, comfortably taking out Heat 4.

Trained by Correy Grenfell, Tiggerlong Tonk ($2.00F) accounted for Aston Stealth ($20.80) by 2.6L in 30.15sec.

Winner of this year’s G2 Horsham Cup, Tiggerlong Tonk has reached his fourth G1 final. He’s won 23 races from 45 starts and made it five wins in 11 starts at The Meadows.

NSW star Ebby Infrared showcased his ability with a workmanlike effort in Heat 8.

Trained by Rosalyn Hume, Ebby Infrared ($4.40) defeated Providence Bale ($6.50) by 2.4L in 30.16sec. It was his 24th win from 47 starts.

Meanwhile, Sunset Bourbski caused a boilover in Heat 1 of the G3 Fireball (725m).

Prepared by Andrea Dailly, Sunset Bourbski ($15.90) made it two wins on the trot over The Meadows distance trip defeating G1 Sandown Cup third place-getter He Shall Power ($2.70F) by 1.8L in 42.69sec.

Enigmatic stayer Here’s Tears won Heat 2, but his winning time of 43.20sec was around 15L slower than his 42.31sec PB.

Trained by Robert Britton, Here’s Tears ($2.20F) staved off Rockstar Beav ($4.90) by 1.3L in 43.20sec.

2020 Maturity box draw

  1. Hard Style Rico
  2. Christo Bale
  3. Simon Told Helen
  4. Tiggerlong Tonk
  5. Playlist
  6. Ebby Infrared
  7. Zambora Smokey
  8. Summer Lights
  9. Fire Legend
  10. You Tell Me

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