Sniper a tough West Coast product
By Jonny Turner
The little foal that could has the opportunity to confirm his rise to being the giant of the Australasian pacing ranks in Saturday night’s Interdominion final.
The toughness and determination final favourite Ultimate Sniper has shown during the championship is nothing new for the son of Bettor’s Delight and Reality Check.
Four years ago, the pacer showed his Westport Breeders Graeme and Katrina Walsh the kind of willing attitude that has helped the 4yr-old pass tests of stamina in the series heats that few of his rivals could attempt to complete, let alone pass with flying colours.
When the striking black foal’s days of cruising around his West Coast paddock without a care in the world were over, he showed the Walshes when he wants to win, he generally does.
“He has obviously got that attitude and that will to win where he just doesn’t seem to get tired,” Graeme Walsh said.
“When he was a foal he was just a very determined little fellow.”
“He was always had a great nature – Ultimate Machete didn’t have the best of natures – but Sniper did.”
“He always had that iron will, even when you are weaning and teaching him things, it would always take that much longer because he would decide he was the boss until he was beat.”
Walsh pointed out Ultimate Sniper’s willing attitude is there for all who flick back through his race replays to see.
“He has never been beaten when he has been in front or parked.”
Excitement is building with the Walshes as Ultimate Sniper approaches the chance to stamp the biggest win yet on his dam’s already impressive resume.
An Interdominion Pacing Final victory would surpass Ultimate Sniper’s derby winning deeds, as well as those of his brother, Ultimate Machete, and half-sister, Major Reality.
And if the 4yr-old can accomplish the incredible feat, it will be a case of the horse fulfilling the faith his breeders had in him.
“We follow him very closely, so we are very excited about it,” Walsh said.
“He has come back like the horse we thought he could come back like, it just took that little bit longer at the start of the season.”
“I always remember when he won the 3yr-old Sales Series race at New Years and Natalie got off him and said this is the best 3yr-old I have driven.”
“So, then I thought he is going to go on with it, but there was a month or so there in October when I thought where has this horse gone.”
“He just took a little bit longer to come up, but he is making up for lost time now.”
While Ultimate Sniper has been wowing harness fans during the Interdominions, the rest of his family have been busy producing their next star.
His dam, Reality Check, is back in foal to Bettor’s Delight after giving birth to another healthy filly foal by the sire, this spring.
Ultimate Sniper’s three quarter brother was transported to Canterbury this week to be prepared for the upcoming national yearling sales.
The Walshes have high hopes son of Bettor’s Delight and American Ideal mare Ideal Reality can continue his family’s winning tradition.
“He is a bit bigger than Ultimate Sniper, but he is a strong and determined horse.”
“He is probably the nicest colt we have produced.”
The colt is lot 369 in the Christchurch section of next year’s sale.