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Hall kennel shooting for spot in TAB Phoenix

Enm38XBg.jpegBy Jordan Gerrans

Respected trainer Graham Hall thinks hot favourite Spotted Elk does not necessarily need to lead from box one if she is to claim the first ever TAB Queensland Flame.

Speaking at the launch of the 2021-22 TAB Golden Greys Summer Carnival on Wednesday afternoon at Albion Park, the Marburg-based Hall heads into the inaugural edition of the Listed Flame with two chances from his family's kennel.

The Hall team will be the top and tail of the first ever Flame field, Spotted Elk – trained by husband Graham - jumping from box one, while wife Leanne’s Extra Malt will carry the pink rug.

The Hall duo were both last start winners in the heats seven days prior and come into the Listed Final well in the market over the 520-metre trip.

The TAB has Spotted Elk as the $2.25 public elect as of Wednesday afternoon with Extra Malt priced at $3.80, and Hall thinks the favourite can still get the prize even if Tyanna Belle, from box two and judged a $9.50 chance by the bookmakers, heads her early on.

Extra Malt, who is a Group 3 winner earlier in her career, qualified the fastest of the litter sisters, from a Paw Licking and It Gets Better litter, in 29.87 seconds over the trip, with Spotted Elk slightly slower in 29.95 seconds.

The Hall combination have been winning machines in their young careers so far, combining for 38 victories, with both hovering around the 50 per cent winning strike rate.

“I do not think she has to lead to win,” Hall said at the carnival launch about Spotted Elk.

“Ideally, I would like to see her nail the start and give herself a really good look at the lure going through the catching pen.

“From our point of view with Extra Malt, we need the race opened up with her to get through to the catching pen with very little interference.

“Spotted Elk, when we broke her in, we thought she would be better than Extra Malt, but then Spotted Elk came on season, which had a long drawn out process to get her back to racing.”



Albion Park | Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club | 8:49 PM

TAB Queensland Flame (L) F

rLmhVNcA.jpegThe Golden Greys commences at Albion Park on Thursday night with the inaugural running of the TAB Queensland Flame, with the winner going on to represent Queensland in next month’s $1.145 million TAB Phoenix at The Meadows.

Racing Queensland earlier this year announced the Flame would be run on the first major night of the TAB Golden Greys Summer Racing Carnival at Albion Park, offering $37,500 in its own right and a berth in the new million-dollar feature to the winner.

Hall is not counting his chickens before they hatch but the kennel has already got ideas in motion to make their way south if one of their bitches were to be successful on Thursday night.

“The plan is, if that was to happen and we would be very fortunate for that to happen, we will go down on Monday night and travel down overnight and be in Victoria by Tuesday,” Hall said.

“I have got a kennel down there teed up but at the end of the day it is all pie in the sky until the race is over.

“From our point of view, they would need two runs on the track at The Meadows, if they were to get through.”

While the Hall kennel would head to Victoria by car, Coominya-based trainer Bianca Whitford would fly her hopeful Ninetymile King down if he was to prevail on Thursday.

Multiple Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Jason Thompson, who played a vital role in the dog’s recovery of an Achilles injury earlier this year, is likely to take on Ninetymile King if he was to win the Flame.

“We would want to get King down there reasonably quickly if we were to make it through and get one or two runs on the track before the race,” Whitford said.

“We are very lucky in the fact that he is very versatile.

“This preparation we are thankful to have him back, we are looking after him and he will let us know where he will want to go in terms of distances.”

Click here to see the full program for the 2021-22 TAB Golden Greys Summer Carnival.

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