By Jason Adams
Jacqui Shoshone sharpened her Launching Pad preparation in style on Thursday night with an impressive win at Sandown Park.
As many predicted she found the lead early and continued to dominate the race. She defeated $50 chance Sable Lass by two-and-a-half lengths in a smart 29.61.
The win made it back-to-back wins at Sandown Park with just one hundredth of a second separating her two times. Pearcedale trainer David Crawford was delighted post-race and credited Jacqui Shoshone’s consistency.
“She’s been going really well and trying hard,” he said.
“She’s pretty consistent – she’s gone almost an identical time to what she ran last week,” said Crawford.
Jacqui Shoshone broke her maiden status with a Tier 3 win at Warragul in August last year. She then spent almost five months away from the track before resuming.
“She started off well but then I had to spell her as she came on season,” Crawford said.
“Then for three or four months she wasn’t going any good. In the last six weeks she’s really turned a corner and racing well.”
Jacqui Shoshone hails from a litter of nine that are all bred, owned and trained by Crawford, his wife Shona and son Robert. The litter doesn’t turn two-years-old until early April, and amazingly eight of the nine have already claimed their maiden win.
Jacqui Shoshone, along with litter brother Navajo Bear, will now attack this week’s Launching Pad heats.
“I’ve bought two tickets, I think they will both be very competitive,” Crawford said.
“We’ve been lucky with box draws, so hopefully that can continue for a little longer.”
The $410,000 Launching Pad series is open to greyhounds with one to six wins and no more than 30 starts. Entry forms are sold out and Sandown will see greyhounds from right around the country compete in this week’s heats.
“I think the series is a good idea. There is an investment but there’s a lot of money up for grabs,” Crawford said.
Participants who purchased an entry to the Launching Pad must nominate by 8am on Tuesday morning. The series promises to be white hot, fields will be drawn in the hours following the close of nominations.
Meanwhile, also on Thursday night, the luckless Waleonjon overturned his fortune to claim a memorable win.
He’d experienced a horror run of box draws, where in his seven starts this year he has drawn inside Box 6 only once.
Not only had the box draws been against him, he’d also had to overcome a series of setbacks – including a cracked fibula – that prevented him from performing at his best. Thursday’s win was Waleonjon’s fifth at metropolitan level and 12 overall from 39 career starts.