This year, the Queenslanders look to have their backs against the wall, with up-and-comer Extra Malt facing a goliath task in taking on gun chaser Jungle Deuce – however anything is possible with the home ground advantage.
Leanne Hall – Extra Malt –QLD
“It’s a massive task she’s got in front of her taking down Jungle Deuce, but we’re extremely thankful for the opportunity and glad the selectors were thinking along the same lines as us,” Hall said.
“The numerical form isn’t there on paper, but she’s been buffeted from pillar to post in those recent runs and still charges to the line, you’ll see a different bitch under match race conditions.
“She’s a freakish talent running 29.6 and 29.61 in back-to-back races earlier this year and that was competing against seven other dogs not one.
“They’re a couple of chasers who have a fair bit in common, they won’t blow you away with a rapid first sectional, but the run homes are sensational we’re going to have to match Jungle Deuce’s 12.47 last week.
“We were happy to be drawn inside, she just has to be well enough away to hold the rail and make him do plenty of work to get past her.
“If she can hold a slight advantage coming for home it’s going to be a mighty close finish, I hope she can hear the crowd who I’m sure will be doing their best to cheer her home.”
Jack Smith – Jungle Deuce – NSW
“The Flying Amy was the primary goal, but I knew if he ran well there that’d likely put him right in contention for the Origin match race which I just love as a concept,” Smith said.
“Feral Franky won the match race back in 2019 and what an honour to be the one dog selected to race for New South Wales in back-to-back editions.
“As special as he’s been (Jungle Deuce) in a full field, I think he can be even better in this format, he’s been dealing with traffic every week and now he gets the chance to get out there and run.
“He’s never raced against the Queensland bitch (Extra Malt) and being her first match race you’re not exactly sure how good she’ll go, so we’re taking nothing for granted.
“I don’t mind being drawn outside her, my dog’s got great track sense and I’d be very surprised if they came together at any stage in the run.
“I’m definitely confident after last week, but we’re travelling to her home deck where she’s won plenty more races than us - I’m sure the track will be buzzing.”