The Halls are enjoying the sound of silence

Graham Hall gives Extra Malt a congratulatory hug after her heat win last Thursday. (Photo Box 1 Photography)

By PAT McLEOD

Graham and Leanne Hall are happy with ‘the silence’.

For 18 months they have lived an extraordinary ride as their amazing litter sisters Extra Malt and Spotted Elk have made greyhound headlines across the nation.

The Paw Licking – It Gets Better siblings have won 47 races between them and amassed $472,093 in prizemoney for the husband and wife ‘Team-Hall’.

That run hasn’t finished with Extra Malt to campaign in Thursday night’s Group 1 $525,000 SKY Racing Brisbane Cup (520m) final at Albion Park.

But unlike almost all of the pair’s previous outings, this time Extra Malt is the outsider of the field at $15 with fellow Queensland trainer Tony Brett’s Orchestrate the most favoured at $3.70.

And most of the talk is around Brett’s Group One credentials and also the threat of Jason Thompson’s Equalizer (who is in the care of Brett).

It’s a fiercely contested Group One race, so of course the quality of the field is red hot … as it should be.

And in a field of champions Graham and Leanne don’t mind not being the centre of attention this time around.

“Greyhounds is a fast sport on the track and off the track,” says Graham. “There is no doubt you can be a rooster one day and a feather duster the next.

“But, at the end of the day she (Extra Malt) doesn’t know what the odds are and she can’t read the form of the other dogs.

“She knows what she has got to do, no matter what the price is.

“However, that is the longest price I have ever seen her … ever.”

Success for Extra Malt in the rich final would fulfill an interesting prophesy.

In early April this year the Halls were in the spotlight with Spotted Elk named Queensland Greyhound of the Year for 2021. At the awards Graham suggested that Extra Malt, also a 2021 award finalist, could go one step better in the 2022 award.

“Extra Malt is still improving,” he said at the time.

This week his opinion of the bitch’s race form had not altered.

“I think right now she is better than what she was as a two-year-old,” he said. “Her times at Ipswich have improved enormously. She has gone within a whisker of the track record there. She is going as quick as she has ever gone.

“If the opportunity presents itself (in the final) she will have a go. People probably forget – she gets a clear run she will run 29.60, because two or three runs ago she ran 29.67.

“Yes, she is over three years old. She has been around for a while. People have seen her race. They know her racing pattern. At the end of the day the flavour of the month is the other dogs in the field. So that is fine.

“It doesn’t worry me either way whether we are the underdog or the front runner. There is no pressure as the underdog. If you are the red-hot favourite then the pressure is always on to perform.

“I know this dog will give us what she has got no matter what happens. If the opportunity presents she will take it.

“She is just an honest little chaser. I just hope she and the rest of the field go around safely.

“Anything can happen in a race no matter what price you are. We don’t need extreme luck. The dog is there on her own ability. She has won 30 races. She has nearly won every second start she has had in her life.

“If she times her jump and gets out of any early trouble it will be a different ball game. It will all depend where she is going around the first turn.

“She will do her best no matter what happens.”

And the biggest danger?

Hall says: “If she is in front early, I would be looking to see where Equalizer and Big Opal Rocks are. They are the strength dogs in the race.

“If she (Extra Malt) gets on the bunny they are going to have to run some time to run her down.”

Share:

Facebook
Email
Print

Social Media

Chase News Subscribe (it's free!)
Scroll to Top