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Elson looks for second Edition of Queensland Sprint Championships

By Isaac Murphy

Race-7-Limited-Edition-TXC-9134-JPG.JPGTravis Elson has fond memories of the Queensland Sprint Championships, enjoying the biggest win of his career with Silver Stunner last year.

Even though this year’s winner won’t be going to Nationals, the trainer is keen to defend his crown with another talented bitch in Limited Edition, who has hit career best form on the eve of Thursday night’s heats.

Three weeks ago, Limited Edition was on the outside looking in on Queensland’s best sprinters, however in one fell swoop she’s put herself right in the picture with consecutive 29.73 and 29.82 wins - down from a previous best of 30.12.

“She looks like she’s really turned the corner; it was a big surprise when she took as much as she did off her time, I was expecting her to break thirty after hovering around that mark but 29.73 was massive,” Elson said.

“The second win where she went 29.82 was probably more pleasing than the first, she didn’t quite nail the start like she did on the previous occasion and still mustered to lead and ran time - it showed me it wasn’t a one-off, she’s really improved that much.

“It’s a tougher test this week and despite those two runs she still goes in as an underdog, but at least I know she can run the time to mix it with those really good dogs, which I couldn’t say a few weeks ago.”

The hallmark of Limited Edition’s form has been her box manners; she went a scintillating 5.44 early winning two starts ago, which Elson puts down to maturity.

“Early days she looked really explosive out of the lids when I started her over the shorts and then when she stepped up to the 520 her first section was brilliant but she wasn’t breaking thirteen on the run home which was really hurting her,” he said.

“I think the more runs I gave her over the 500 she just tapered off a bit to the first mark, but now she’s got a bit stronger and is far more mature - she’s found that zip again early to go with a good back end.

“She was winning her races off raw ability when she first started at the 500; I know it’s only two wins, but she’s looked like a much more complete sprinter without a real weakness.”

Albion Park

FABREGAS @ METICULOUS LODGE 520m

There are a few unknowns for Elson in Limited Edition’s heat, namely how she’ll handle the outside draw, and the trainer isn’t 100% sure what she’ll do but hopes she uses her race smarts.

“She draws the eight on Thursday and I don’t know if that’s really going to suit her, but I’m hoping we can follow Let’s Go Ozzi across from box seven and put us in a good position early,” Elson said.

“She’s still very inexperienced, from memory she hasn’t had many goes from out in the eight and you just don’t know if they’re going to run a nice straight line or crash left - hopefully it’s the former because she should get plenty of room to get going out there.

“At 26 months she’s still only a baby and I’m just starting to work her out; she’s drawn the red before and I’ve thought ‘great this will suit her’ and she hasn’t jumped, it’s things like that I’m continuing to find out about her.”

Limited Edition has smashed through the wall of restricted races and is here to stay in open class according to Elson.

“The time is now for her to step up to this class, she’s gone through all her grades and is a free for all bitch now and I think it’s where she belongs,” he said.

“If you take Oh Mickey and Special Cyndie out of this race on Thursday night we’re probably the favourite, it’s encouraging that there are only a couple of really top dogs that might have our measure at the moment.

“With the two heats you have four going through to the final next week and that’s a realistic goal for us, every run she gets against these good dogs she should get a little more comfortable.”

Silver Stunner overcame the odds last year to win the race for Elson and while they’re stacked against him again, he’s got an in-form bitch full of confidence wanting to win come Thursday week.

“I’m pretty optimistic going into Thursday, I went into this race last year with Silver Stunner going well and she came out and won it and Limited Edition is arguably going even better this year, so I’ve been pretty lucky for something to hit form around this race,” Elson said.

“I’ve given her a nice little freshen up before Thursday, which she had before her breakout 29.73 performance, no excuses she should be firing and ready to go.”