Brooke Ennis heads into Saturday night’s Group 1 Maturity semi-finals at The Meadows with a contender in all four semi-finals.
Ennis’ kennel dominated the Maturity heats last weekend with all four greyhounds entered qualifying for round two of the three-week series.
Ella Enchanted, Belt Up Bubbs, Barooga Brett and Tritt Tritt didn’t just qualify for the four Group 1 Maturity semi-finals – they recorded three of the five fastest qualifying times.
Five fastest qualifying times from the Maturity Classic heats.
1. Dyna Patty (B8) (Andrea Dailly) 29.730sec; won heat seven from box eight (REPLAY)
2. Ella Enchanted (B1) (Brooke Ennis) 29.790sec; second to Dyna Patty in heat seven from box one (REPLAY)
3. Barooga Brett (B4) (Brooke Ennis) 29.886sec; won heat one from box four (REPLAY)
4. Orson Allen (B3) (Correy Grenfell) 29.905sec; won heat three from box three (REPLAY)
5. Tritt Tritt (B2) (Brooke Ennis) 29.915sec; won heat two from box two (REPLAY)
Belt Up Bubbs has drawn box five in the opening Maturity semi-final, but the son of My Bro Fabio and Zippy Chicki has one hot field on his hands.
Group 1 Brisbane Cup runner-up (two starts back) Hasten Slowly is drawn on his inside in box four and Group 1 Harrison-Dawson winner My Redeemer on his outside in box five.
Fastest qualifier Dyna Patty has drawn box one and is the current $2.10 TAB favourite.
“Belt Up Bubbs’ semi-final field could qualify as the final – it’s an outstanding field,” trainer Brooke Ennis said.
“He is a big 38 kilo dog who needs a clean 20-30 metres to really let go. I think the middle draw is okay for him in general but it’s a hard field and luck would need to be on his side.”
Barooga Brett (Barcia Bale and Destini Gold) has drawn box six in the second semi-final which sees the Seona Thompson trained Aston Duke the TAB favourite.
The striking blue dog showed an impressive turn of foot which saw him win the opening Maturity Classic heat by 3.27 lengths over Dyna Gertie.
“Barooga Brett hasn’t drawn ideally (box six) but his record is great at The Meadows (three wins from five starts). He seems to handle the track well and looks to enjoy racing there and from the draw I think we need those positives to really work in his favour.”
“It seems a tough task from box six but if he can begin well and put himself in the race early he probably gives himself a small chance of making the final.”
Former NSW star Ella Enchanted will jump from box three in her second attempt at Group 1 glory in Victoria after failing to make the Group 1 Sapphire Crown at Sandown Park.
“Ella Enchanted has settled into our kennel and she’s got a bit of cheeky attitude to her,” Ennis said.
“We were really happy and a bit excited with her run last week and we think she’s is showing huge potential down here for the middle distances and maybe even the staying trip. All things well I think we will see her contest those types of group races.”
“She’s the quickest of our four which probably makes her our best chance of making the final and if she finds luck in her semi I think she’s a chance of making the final.”
Although Ennis doesn’t like to play favourites she may have hinted that her final Maturity Classic contender Tritt Tritt holds that title.
“He’s my favourite and I would love to see him in the final,” Ennis said.
“I was happy to see him draw inside last week and thought if he got the right run he was a chance of winning and I think the same this week.”
“He’s drawn an easier semi-final than the other three and again with a few clean breaks I think he’s strength will help his chances to qualify.”
Belt Up Bubbs and Tritt Tritt are both sired by My Bro Fabio who Ennis holds at stud.
“Whilst all of their runs were fantastic last week, you can never be too confident,” trainer Brooke Ennis said.
“In these races you rely on good box draws and luck and they haven’t drawn great, but we are happy with how they’ve pulled up.”
“For the three boys (Belt Up Bubbs, Barooga Brett and Tritt Tritt) their preparation has been for this series, whereas Ella Enchanted was set the task only a few weeks ago.”
“Our job is to ensure they are well and ready for Saturday night and cross our fingers for some good luck.”