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Queenslanders feeling at home for Nationals

By Isaac Murphy

The National Sprint and Distance Finals will be run at Cannington this Saturday night, with two exemplary fields compiled of runners from throughout Australia and New Zealand vying for the title.

Flying the flag for Queensland is Silver Stunner for Travis Elson in the sprint and Miss Gingin for Tommy Tzouvelis in the distance final.

Our Queensland representatives took the time to update us on their progress before the boxes fly.

Travis Elson – Silver Stunner (7) – National Sprint Final

“She came over earlier in the week to Terry Erenshaw’s place, who has kindly taken us in for the week. Everything is on track so far.”

“I’m very happy with the trial, I only got here a couple of days ago and Terry told me it had taken her a few days to settle in, so it was a nice sign.”

“She’s never travelled interstate before. All her racing has been at Albion Park and Ipswich, so to not just handle a first up trip to Perth, but then go out and trial well too is a testament to her.”

“Since I’ve arrived, she’s looking a million bucks. We’ve got a great big AFL field out the back gate where I walk her and she’s just loving the atmosphere over here.”

“Now that she’s seen the track, I think she’ll improve a fair bit from that look. She couldn’t be more ready.”

“The straight isn’t as vast as I thought it was, but there is a nice long back straight which is where she really gets into her work. If she gets a clear run, she’ll have a real crack at them.”

“Looking at her last twenty of thirty starts at Albion Park she’s been in six, seven and eight for the majority, so while we would have liked something closer than the inside the box draw (7) is no excuse.”

“I’m hoping we actually miss it by a length and find our way to the rail, we’re going to need some sort of interference up the front for her to get there in time, because if Goods Odds Harada or Black Opium pinch a lead they won’t get run down.”

“To be honest I was probably more nervous on Queensland Sprint Final night, I knew it was a race we really had a good shot to win and while I think if things go right, we can win over here I’m not carrying the same expectations.”

“If we get a good run, I can’t see any reason we can’t run a place and if there is any sort of scrimmage, she’ll be coming over the top of them.”

“It’s a big experience as a trainer off the track, you’ve got the best of the best over here and being my first time at Nationals I’m just trying to soak it all in.”

Watch our interview with Travis Elson following Silver Stunner's QLD National Sprint win:

Tommy Tzouvelis – Miss Gingin (3) – National Distance Final

“We’re all on track for Saturday, she travelled and trialled as well as I could have asked. We’re just waiting for the race now.”

“The three will give her a different look than the eight she has been continually drawing. If she leaves well, she’ll put herself into the race and give them something to chase.”

“Tornado Tears is obviously the shadow hanging over the race, he broke the track record here last year and then went under the 600-metre record in his trial earlier this week. He’s the dog to beat.”

“She’s been here since last Wednesday, which gave her plenty of time to settle in and she’s taken to the place like a duck to water.”

“From my experience with Maurice Minor last year the functions that are put on pre-race are first class. It becomes the epicentre of greyhound racing for the weekend and it’s good to catch up with some old friends and rivals.”

“I’m hoping we can lead or sit in the first two or three which will obviously give us a chance, but there is class everywhere you look.”

“If I had to pick another danger to go with Tornado Tears it would have to be the other Victorian Rajasthan, who beat Batman in the Victorian State Final and is the Sandown Cup champ.”

Watch our interview with Tommy Tzouvelis following Miss Gingin's QLD National Distance win: