Geall Welcomes 'Up Hill' Maturity Task

DAVID Geall believes Hill Top Jack is the best drawn and his best chance in Saturday night's Group 1 Maturity Classic final (525m) at The Meadows.

David Brasch

22 July 2021

DAVID Geall believes Hill Top Jack is the best drawn and his best chance of his two finalists in Saturday night’s Group 1 Maturity Classic final (525m) at The Meadows.

But he will not write off his other finalist, Fernando Mick, even though he has drawn box four.

“Of course in a race like this we all need a bit of luck,” Geall said. “The box draw has really made the race an even one.”

The royally bred Hill Top Jack (Fernando Bale-Up Hill Jill) won his heat in 30.20 while Fernando Mick (Fernando Bale-Noaki Moth) went 30.05.

Geall also has first reserve, Koblenz, a litter brother to Hill Top Jack, which was beaten narrowly by Aston Fastnet in 29.85.

“If Koblenz had made the final and drawn inside I would have given him a fabulous chance of winning the final,” Geall said.

“He runs in a Free For All on Saturday night which is as tough as any Group 1 race.

“It is a shame he missed out on making the final. He was run down by Aston Fastnet which I regard as the second fastest dog in Victoria.

“Aston Fastnet got out well in the heat and settled much closer than he normally does.”

Geall said Hill Top Jack is perfectly boxed for the final.

“He gets out good,” he said. “In fact, he is a very reliable beginner. And he is strong to the line as well.”

Of Fernando Mick, who he rates on par with Hill Top Jack, he said the dog could miss the start by a half to a length but after 10 metres would show incredible pace.

“Which means he will need some luck early.”

Geall says the final is full of chances.

“I think Aston Fastnet is boxed to be very hard to beat,” he said. “His sheer ability is amazing.

“But, I also give Mr Fix It and, of course, Qwara Bale great chances.

“If Qwara Bale happened to lead, she would be unlikely to be run down.”

Geall said both his finalists had their final piece of trackwork on Thursday morning and came through it perfectly and are “ready to go”.

If Hill Top Jack was successful it would carry extra significance for Geall given he’s a product of his former champion bitch turned outstanding brood Up Hill Jill.