Spotted Elk Does Qld Proud In Phoenix

GRAHAM Hall got a text late on Saturday night with a photo of his wife Leanne standing on their couch at home in Queensland with her hands raised in the air.

David Brasch

19 December 2021

GRAHAM Hall got a text late on Saturday night with a photo of his wife Leanne standing on their couch at home in Queensland with her hands raised in the air.

It was Leanne’s reaction to the Hall’s sprint star Spotted Elk finishing second to Wow She’s Fast in the inaugural running of The TAB Phoenix at The Meadows.

“We came to Melbourne thinking if we could stand on the podium that would be it,” Hall said.

And, that’s exactly what happened, the daughter of Paw Licking and It Gets Better spearing out to lead The Phoenix field into the back straight and then holding on gamely for second … and a $100,000 pay day.

Hall admitted he did not think Wow She’s Fast would be the one to run Spotted Elk down if that was to happen.

“I thought that would be Aston Rupee or Koblenz,” he said.

“But, we also needed Koblenz to come out and give Wow She’s Fast a bit of a check during the running to give us the race.”

He was high in praise of his bitch’s performance.

“She has improved almost eight lengths from her second trial on the track,” he said. “For her to go so well and racing against a field that good and on their home track, it was very special.”

Hall was high in praise of how The TAB Phoenix was conducted and promoted.

“Racing Queensland were fantastic in the way they conducted the series at home, the promotion on track on Saturday night was superb,” he said.

“The Wow She’s Fast crew had t-shirts and hats everywhere around the track. It was very impressive.

“And I have to thank the track staff and office staff at The Meadows for the way they looked after us. It was so, so good.”

Hall and assistant trainer Bill Warner got their border pass and Covid test and planned to head back to Queensland on Sunday expecting to arrive home on Monday.

“There are races coming up at home for Spotted Elk and her sister Extra Malt,” he said.

“Malt had no luck in her race on Saturday night but she seems OK today.”

Hall now realises it will be tough to “come back down” after the heights of The Phoenix.

“It will be hard to take a slow one or two off to Ippy for a low grade race after all this,” he said.

As an aside to the finish, winner Wow It’s Fast is trained by the Greenoughs in Victoria and Kel Greenough trained Spotted Elk’s sire Paw Licking for most of his illustrious racing career.