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Hall rivalry set for Queensland Sprint Championship Final

nxZcqLpw.jpegBy Jordan Gerrans

Ahead of a big feature race like the Queensland Sprint Championship Final on Thursday evening at Albion Park, there has been plenty of banter and rivalry around the Hall household in Marburg.

In the Final field, assembled after recent heats, there will be two starters with trainers with the last name Hall – Spotted Elk for husband Graham Hall and Extra Malt for wife Leanne Hall.

The married training partnership split up the successful litter of Paw Licking and It Gets Better before their racing days, with Spotted Elk going the way of Graham’s and Extra Malt the other direction to Leanne.

It has worked out exceptionally for both of them, with the dogs winning a combined 21 races so far in their young careers.

With the pair qualified for the Queensland Sprint Championship, it has been an interesting few days at the Hall residence leading into the $14,000 Final.

“There can be a rivalry at some times,” Leanne said with a chuckle.

“We have a little bit of banter and talk about it; it is probably more from me than it is from him coming my way (laughs).”

Graham, on the hand, likes to let his dogs do the talk despite copping a playful earful at times from his wife.

“Leanne, she always claims seniority, but I just go with the flow,” Graham said with a smile.

“They are a litter that we bred and it is just nice to have a nice litter of dogs.”

After a recent run of indifferent form, Extra Malt bounced back smartly in the heats last Thursday evening, defeating star dog Orchestrate by just under a length over the 520-metre trip.

Extra Malt Next Racing

jsqaG-2g.jpegAfter winning from the inside alley in the heat, Extra Malt jumps from the green box this week.

“I am feeling a lot better leading into the Final after last week’s effort, in her last few runs before that, she just had no luck in those runs,” Leanne said.

“Last week she showed what she could do, it was a lot better run as she was in the right place at the right time.

“She came home well last week.

“She just kept finding trouble before that, not getting a clear run, she was trialling well but just had zero luck in her races.”

Extra Malt, a Group 3 winner earlier in her career, has won 13 career races from 28 starts and is the best dog Leanne has ever trained, she declared.

The Halls have eight dogs currently in work at Marburg with a number of pups coming through, as well.

Leanne had the red rag seven days prior and Graham gets the prized box one this Thursday for Spotted Elk.

While they are litter sisters, Spotted Elk has done much less racing than Extra Malt – 12 less career starts in total – and Graham feels that could hurt her chances on Thursday evening.

Graham thinks the field assembled for Thursday’s Queensland Sprint Championship Final is the best of the best over the short-course in the Sunshine State at the moment.

“She lacks the race experience that some of the other dogs have got, especially ones like Extra Malt, and the dog has been racing for quite a while,” Graham said.

“She just lacks the race experience in a field like this but she has drawn nicely and has a bit of early toe, if she can get a good sit in the race, she is a chance.

“She has not got the brilliance that Extra Malt has got but she can run sub 30 times and it will all depend on what happens in the race.

“She is a very fast dog.”

Spotted Elk Next Racing