Training a successful race dog is what every person within the greyhound industry strives for; but training a winner that you have bred yourself makes it so much more special. This will be the story for Nowra mentor Steven White, as he lines up his talented race bitch Amadeus Strikes in Heat One of the $250,000 Golden Easter Egg.
What makes this chaser so extraordinary is the obstacles she has overcome in her colourful career, that has seen both the highs and lows of the sport. Owned and bred by Kayla Coleman and Steven White, the stunning black bitch is by champion Victorian sire Bombastic Shiraz out of the impeccably bred, Forgetful Lucy.
Forgetful Lucy was by no means a slouch on the track, however it was her breeding that destined her for a bright future as a broodbitch, being out of the prolific producer Sensation Lee; responsible for throwing some brilliant athletes, most notably Lochinvar Marlow, but also the speedsters Lochinvar Vogue, Determined Lee, Uno Kendra and Godsend among others.
Amadeus Strikes has been ultra-consistent throughout her career, winning a total of eleven races, from 35 starts, and whilst she may not have the glittering records of some other Golden Easter Egg contenders, the versatile powerhouse always manages to slip under the radar.
White has certainly shown plenty of perseverance with the handy chaser, whose talent has been evident since the start of her career. She started her career in the prestigious Vince Curry Memorial in QLD, where she made the final of the Group 2 event.
Amadeus Strikes then ventured back home to NSW and went on to string together four very impressive victories in a row at Bulli and Dapto, before trying her luck in the big smoke with a couple of handy placing's before finally notching up her first win at the Ultimo circuit. The enigmatic bitch followed through over the next few months, scoring three more wins before she and another kennel mate took ill.
The illness put a giant question mark over the sprinters future, with not just her racing career but also her life hanging in the balance. She was nursed back to health with the assistance of a veterinarian, at what was a long and lengthy ordeal for all involved.
Whilst she showed plenty of resilience by overcoming her malaise, the query as to whether she would ever return to her best was still unanswered. After two below par performances at Wentworth Park, White decided to take the gamble and enter Amadeus Strikes for the Group three Nowra Puppy Classic.
Drawing box two in her heat, she found plenty of trouble early before being forced off the track on the first turn. In a gutsy effort of sheer determination the bitch was able to gain back her momentum before rocketing home for third place. With a similar display in her semi, Amadeus Strikes managed to just scrape into the field when she was called upon as a second reserve. In her typical under-the-radar style, the dynamo didn't let the awkward six alley stop her, pinging the lids to win at the juicy odds of $21.90
Just to prove it wasn't a fluke White lined her up for the Group Two Gosford Gold Cup, where she held her own in a terrific field, eventually finishing second in the action packed final to the talented Free Will. Since being a runner up in The Gosford Gold Cup, Amadeus Strikes has returned to the track four times for two impressive wins at her last two starts.
The first of these wins was two weeks ago at Wentworth Park when she astounded racegoers with a brilliant last to first chasing effort, rounding up the field in a nippy 30.21 seconds. This run was potentially the best of her career, finding all sorts of trouble yet nevertheless weaving her way through the pack to find the lead on the line, and in turn prove what a capable and determined chaser she really is.
In her last preparation run for the Easter Egg heats, the versatile bitch was stepped up over the gruelling 618 metre journey at Richmond- where she scored an emphatic victory against a cracking field in the Frank Kennedy Memorial.
Despite her two latest starts resulting in two barnstorming victories, there is no doubt that this Saturday's field will ultimately be her biggest challenge to date. The youngster has everything working against her as she steps out of the blue box in one of the more challenging heats – not only does she have the poor draw to contend with; but she also versus the likes of the flying Victorian sensation Boris Fields, and outstanding southerner Renegade Chief who will no doubt be looking for the lead early from out wide.
Regardless, the achievement that Steve White has accomplished in getting Amadeus Strikes not only back to the winners list but to win at Group 3 level and now to be competing at Group One level is astonishing. His commitment and dedication to the bitch is second to none, and no matter what plays out in this race; for a young pup to bounce back from deaths door and be such a success is a win in itself.