South Australia is set to cheer on Kim Johnstone and Wild Soul (kennel name Raymond) in the National Sprint Final at Cannington tomorrow night, with Kim and Raymond touching down in Perth today on their quest for glory.
“I was really wanting to draw inside with him. It will be really tough from the draw and we will need a heap of luck. If we got an inside draw he was a genuine sneaky place chance, but it’s going to be tough from the pink”, Kim explained.
“You have to be in it to win it though and I’m super excited to be here and be a part of the event.”
Nobody could begrudge Raymond his spot in the field after winning 11 and placing in four of his past 15 starts at Angle Park, but one is left to wonder what might have been if Johnstone’s current kennel star Ernie Bung Arrow was fit and firing.
“Ernie was nominated for the National’s, but I was supposed to trial him leading into the heats and he was a little sore so we scratched him. He had torn a monkey four weeks before that which put us behind.”
“We then had him entered at Gawler and he drew the red, but had a bit of a cough so we pulled him out there. His wrist is going good and he is over the cough. I’m hoping to trial him Tuesday and race the following week.”
“He will head back to Ken’s after that when Ken’s disqualification is finished.”
Wild Soul isn’t the only Croweater on the path to potential riches tomorrow night, with Token McLaren the SA representative in the Distance Final. Although a 40/1 outsider and coming up against Victorian stars Xylia Allen and Sweet It Is, Johnstone isn’t writing off the chances of Token McLaren.
“Token McLaren is a very fast dog that will keep on coming. He’s done a fantastic job to be here after the injuries that he has suffered.”
When asked what the future held for Raymond, the response was very simple.
“We’ll just head back to Adelaide and race around in the 600 metre events back home.”
With the likes of Ernie and Raymond in Kim’s kennel of 20, it’s little wonder she is keen to get home after the National’s.
“Velocity daff is going well without winning and I’ve got a lot of young ones and new ones at the moment, so it’s a really busy time the next few weeks. I’ve also got a favourite at home that I haven’t raced yet called Classify. He’s a lovely dog to have around the place.”