‘Sniper’ hits Pink Diamond target

The brave decision to turn down a $50,000-plus offer for unraced youngster Lethal Sniper went a long way to being vindicated when he set Warragul alight on debut in the Sportsbet Pink Diamond Maiden Sprinter heats (460m).

Lethal Sniper, a superbly bred son of Hooked On Scotch and Gwydion, is bred and owned by Steve White, who trained Gwydion, a Group 1 Hume Cup finalist in 2019, and her three-time Group 1-winning litter brother Sennachie.

Lethal Sniper is prepared by White’s son Mitch, 29, who enjoyed a dream start to his training career in the Pink Diamond maiden qualifiers.

Mitch claimed a double with his first runners, courtesy of Lethal Sniper and litter sister Silent Bullet, which won a Short Course series heat (400m).

“Lethal Sniper is a good dog. He’s shown that from day one.”

A third sibling, Black Silencer, also advanced to Friday night’s Maiden Sprinter semis.

Lethal Sniper was the star of the show, powering away from his rivals in a Best Of Night 25.85sec, the only heat winner to break 26 seconds.

“Lethal Sniper is a good dog. He’s shown that from day one,” Steve White said.

“They all broke in good, but he’s gone to another level.

“At his first ever trial he went 13.70sec out of the puppy boxes at Warragul. Then he went 19.65sec at Traralgon – Not For Profit holds the record at 19.31sec. After he ran 19.56sec in his next trial we were offered over $50,000 for him, but said no.

“He’s as strong as a Mallee bull too.”

WATCH: LETHAL SNIPER (B4) hit the target on debut when claiming time honours in the Pink Diamond Sprinter heats (460m) at Warragul, clocking a BON 25.85sec.

White was also full of praise for the diminutive Silent Bullet, which finished tenaciously to prevail in a thrilling four-way finish, clocking 23.00sec.

“She’s only had three trials,” White said.

“She had a little bit of an injury and took a while to come to hand.

“She went okay at her first trial, but then in her next trial I thought, ‘Where did that come from?’ In her next trial, she beat a performed dog by ‘eight’, so I decided to throw her in the Pink Diamond.

“She’s only 24 kilos – she’s a pocket rocket. She’s shown she’s strong in her trials and she showed it again in her heat. I lost sight of her and then I saw this little white head poking through!”

Lethal Sniper has to contend with box six in Friday night’s first Maiden Sprinter semi-final (race 4, 7.48pm), while Silent Bullet has box three in the second Maiden Short Course semi (race 2, 7.12pm).

White believes Gwydion, which is owned by SA-based Kirin Corby and Bill Wudarczyk, had the potential to be a “super stayer” before the daughter of Fernando Bale and Rhonda Rocks’ career came to a premature end at her ‘700’ debut.

“Gwydion was a very good middle distance dog, and it was a tragedy when she broke her leg at Sandown,” he said.

Tauwitchere (2019 G2 Launching Pad winner) and Gwydion came on season at the same time, so Kirin sent Gwydion back to us. We went to Hooked On Scotch because Barcia Bale goes over Fernando Bale – that’s the click!

“Bill got one pup. It’s called One Last Kiss and it won its first start last week at Angle Park by 12 lengths and ran good time too (30.59sec). Kirin and I went halves in the rest.

“They’ve only just turned 19 months. They did everything right on Sunday night. They’re just good chasers and they’re strong – they wouldn’t blow a candle out – they’ll definitely get ‘500’.”

With 2023 being White’s first crack at the rich prizemoney on offer in the Pink Diamond series, he’s already a great believer in the concept.

“I am now!” he quipped.

“These are the first Vic-bred dogs we’ve ever had. They’ve all been from NSW previously, but the money is that good in Victoria, we’ll be breeding our litters down here from now on.”

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