Sapphire Crown the target for Suffragette after Launching Pad

Steve White & Don't Kid Me
Steve White, pictured earlier this year at The Meadows, won the Launching Pad on Thursday with Suffragette. PIC Paul Munt

STEVE White has described his exciting bitch Suffragette as a ‘superstar’ after her sensational victory in Thursday night’s Group 2 Launching Pad (515m) at Sandown Park.

The black bitch, trained by Steve and his wife Kerrie, was only fairly away from box six but quickly found the front around the first turn, kicking clear of her rivals to score by a widening 10 lengths in a fast 29.47.

White says the daughter of Sh Avatar and Ebby Miss, which has now won eight of her 17 starts with $178,000 in career earnings, has always shown enormous potential.

“She broke in with Billy McMahon and he rang me up and told me she was a freak and that she would win group races – he was actually at the track last night and the first thing he said to me after the race was ‘I told you so’,” White told Australian Racing Greyhound.

“She always looked like she was going to be something special – she won her first race by 13 lengths at The Meadows which is very rare.

“Early on her box manners let her down a bit – she used to get excited in the boxes – but she is getting into a rhythm now.

“She has got all the ability in the world, its just a case of her continuing to mature and making the next step up.”

Remarkably, Suffragette was as much as $201 in the all-in markets to win the Launching Pad prior to the heats, with the $150,000 to the winner series only a target in recent months.

“The Launching Pad was never the target until earlier this year because she had already won five races and this series is limited to dogs with just six wins or less.

“But she got a minor injury so we more or less said to the owner that rather than giving her two weeks off we’d give her five weeks off.

“I brought her back and just sparingly raced her, trying to keep her slightly underdone because we wanted to keep that win up our sleeve so she was still eligible for the series.

“There were a lot of good dogs in the series, but I couldn’t believe her price.

“She has a lot of talent and luckily she was able to show it on Thursday night – she just went bang.”

White said he is wary of pushing his kennel star too hard at just over two years of age, but believes next month’s Group 1 Sapphire Crown (515m) at Sandown Park looks ideal.

“She has got an affinity with Sandown – she has gone really quick around there – so the next main goal for her will be the Sapphire Crown.

“I’m not too sure what I’ll do with her between now and then – she is at peak fitness now so I have to keep her at that level but at the same time I don’t want to over race her either.”

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