Warragul St Leger winner Professor Snitch pictured with Steve and Kerrie White 📷 Trent Langskaill

  • Monday, 25 Sep, 2023,
  • by Gerard Guthrie

White’s Warragul St Leger “tonic”

Professor Snitch’s thrilling victory in the $42,875 Group 3 Warragul St Leger (460m) last Friday night provided a timely fillip for local trainer Steve White, after he was released from hospital earlier the same day.

White, who also trained Professor Snitch’s three-time G1-winning sire Sennachie, was hospitalised on Thursday to receive urgent treatment for a Baker’s cyst in his knee that had burst, causing a severe infection.

White picked himself up off the canvas to make it to the track to see Professor Snitch do likewise as she prevailed in a pulsating duel with odds-on favourite Alpha Zulu in the $28,000 to-the-winner St Leger.

“I’m a lot better than I was!” an upbeat White quipped on Monday morning.

“It’s very rare for a cyst to burst under the skin and I just went downhill after that happened.

“We know she can run, and we know she’s very strong; she’s just got this inconsistency getting out of the boxes.”

“I was half-paralysed down the right-hand side of my body and lost six kilos in a week. I was a very worried person.

“I was in that much pain last Thursday I rang the doctor and went to Latrobe Hospital, where they did x-rays, scans, and blood tests. They drained 22mls of fluid out of my knee and within half an hour I started feeling better.

“I got out of hospital at 11am on the day of the race and wasn’t going to go.

“As the day went on, I felt better and better, but the main reason I went was because Simon Benson’s memorial race was also on. Simon worked for me and was one of my best mates.

“We had a dog in his race (Eskimo Roger), and I wanted to be there in case we won.”

Professor Snitch, a finalist in the G1 Maturity Classic in July, also won the Warragul Breeders Classic in April, shortly after arriving in Victoria after winning two of her first three starts in Queensland.

WATCH: “It’s a local win in the final!” PROFESSOR SNITCH (B2) edged out ALPHA ZULU (B1) to win the G3 Warragul St. Leger (460m) last Friday night, clocking 25.69sec.

The superbly-bred June ’21 daughter of Sennachie and Fabwik, a G1 finalist also trained by White, ran second in her St Leger heat to fastest qualifier Awesome Avenger and started $6.20 from box two in the decider.

Jason Thompson’s favourite Alpha Zulu ($1.90) was best to begin from box one, but Professor Snitch levelled up turning for home and finished just the better in a desperately tight drive to the line, clocking 25.69sec.

It was Professor Snitch’s ninth win from 17 starts and third victory from four appearances at Warragul, with the heats of the G2 Cranbourne Cup, to be held at Sandown Park on Thursday, October 19, now on her radar.

“It was a great tonic!” said White.

“I was thinking about either the (G3) SA Oaks, which was worth $25,000 to-the-winner, and the St Leger, which was worth $28,000 on my own dunghill, so I decided to stay at home. Her sister, Where’s Poppy, won the Oaks.

“We know she can run, and we know she’s very strong; she’s just got this inconsistency getting out of the boxes.

Simon Benson Memorial winner Exalted with Peter and Natalie Presutto 📷 Trent Langskaill

“A week or two ago, when I was really struggling, my wife Kerrie left her job to help out with the dogs. Kerrie handled Professor Snitch in the heats, and she didn’t begin too bad, and then in the final she came out good.

“I had a feeling she could beat Alpha Zulu, but I know how good he is.

“It was the first time I’ve had a runner in the St Leger Final. Paua Of Buddy qualified for the race a couple of years but I had to scratch him with acidosis.”

White wasn’t able to land a feature double in the Simon Benson Memorial (460m), with Eskimo Roger ($12.20) finishing sixth to Exalted ($2.60), trained by Natalie Presutto, the son of Fernando Bale and Tantrum leading all-the-way in 25.85sec, his third win from his past four starts.

However, it was White’s second feature success at Warragul last week, with Atomic Zulu, a litter brother to St Leger runner-up Alpha Zulu, claiming his third straight win for the Buln Buln East mentor when taking out a Restricted Win Final (460m) last Tuesday in a BON 25.75sec.

The October ’21 son of Orson Allen and Cyclone Jebel will now tackle heats of the G3 Great Chase at Traralgon on Friday.

Gerard GuthrieGerard Guthrie

Gerard Guthrie

One of Australia’s leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)

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