By Jordan Gerrans
Trainer Leanne Hall still thinks someone was watching over her kennel the day the pup that became Extra Malt went through the Ipswich Puppy Auction.
Hall and her husband Graham, also a top trainer in Queensland, bred Extra Malt from a Paw Licking and It Gets Better litter, alongside two sisters, who would also go through the auction before they turned one year of age.
Through the bidding process, the young dogs did not get anywhere near the price the Halls had hoped, so instead of selling the greyhounds cheap, they came back to their kennel.
The Marburg-based greyhound racing team are still smiling about that decision, with the white and black bitch winning 16 of her 34 career starts, including the Group 3 $40,000 Ipswich Auction Series Final earlier this year.
A new set of pups are getting ready to go through the process with the aim to uncover the next star of Queensland racing at the Ipswich Puppy Auction on Sunday October 10.
Hall reflected on Extra Malt’s amazing journey earlier this week, going from unwanted to one of the stars of greyhound racing in the Sunshine State.
“Extra Malt, we bred them and put them in the auction and were going to sell them, but we did not get what we wanted so we bought them back, which was very lucky for us,” Hall said.
“We went from there. We had a lot of pups that we thought we would sell some of them, but we could have sold the wrong ones.
“Luck was on our side I tell you; someone was watching us that day. Graham was lucky to buy her back with the last bid - that was it.”
The Ipswich Puppy Auction for 2021 will have a different feel to previous years with changes to the structure of the sales hoping to bring in new owners to the industry.
As the Halls did with Extra Malt, many breeders will buy their own pups at the only puppy auction in Queensland.
With over 120 pups nominated for the auction this year, upwards of 60 have already been purchased back by their breeders, and therefore will be eligible for the Ipswich Auction Series Final races, with 42 set to go through the auction as “genuine sales”.