Echoes of 1987 in Neilsen quest at Nationals
Albert Neilsen with No Justice.

The year is 1987 and a rain-soaked Hobart track plays host to one of the most prestigious events on the Australian greyhound racing calendar: the National Sprint final.

Fremantle Echo, the young and inexperienced WA entrant, storms to a surprise victory to give husband and wife training combination Albert and Daryl Neilsen their greatest success in the sport.

Memories of Fremantle Echo's improbable triumph spring to mind as Hobart is again the venue for the Nationals later this month and the Neilsens have the chance to be part of it with a resurrected veteran called No Justice.

No Justice will contest the WA Sprint Championship final (530m) at Cannington on Saturday and if he can win he'll book a trip to Tasmania to represent the Black Swan.

The strong finishing chaser qualified for the State final following his powerful effort to run down the classy Deutronium and salute in 30.67sec. during last week's heats.

The win continued a revival in fortunes for No Justice that began when he joined the Neilsen kennels in late March.

"He'd been racing in Victoria and had started about 80 times by the time we got him," Albert Neilsen explained.

"The feeling was that he had got past his prime but the owners didn't want to retire him so they contacted us to send him over here."

No Justice has thrived with the one-on-one attention provided by the Neilsens and the greyhound has grasped the opportunity to prove that he is no spent force.

In his second start in WA he claimed the Lew Dorsa Memorial and since then has produced consistent results against top-level opposition.

"In 13 starts for us he's only finished sixth once and the rest of the time he's returned some sort of cheque so you can't complain about that," Neilsen said.

"In 40 years of racing he would have to be one of the keenest chasers I've seen.

"He loves the rails and as you'd expect from a greyhound with his experience he's very streetwise. We've really happy with him."

No Justice will require a repeat of his heat performance this weekend to have any hope against a scorching field that includes the likes Uno Reltub and Hot Irish.

Neilsen freely admits that his chaser faces a tough assignment but isn't conceding it's a lost cause.

"Funnier things have happened in racing," he said.

"They didn't think Fremantle Echo had a chance in Hobart 25 years ago and he ended up winning."

Not only did Fremantle Echo approach the Nationals at the opposite end of his career to No Justice, he was also completely different type of racedog.

"No Justice is only an average beginner but he's got it at the finish where as Fremantle Echo was the other way around, he never showed any strength but he was pretty slippery early," Neilsen said.

In the WA Distance Championship (715m), which will also be run on Saturday, superstar chaser Miata will start as an almost un-backable favourite after she made an emphatic return from a spell in her heat last week.

The Paul Stuart-trained wonder showed no signs of cobwebs with a dominant display to win in a very slick 41.52sec.

Miata, a holder of six track records, is undefeated over the distance and her qualifying time was over a second faster than the other heat winner, Spring Legacy.

The West Australian

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