Lanigan praises Launching Pad series

This year’s edition of the $410,000 Launching Pad series is fast approaching and remains the perfect opportunity for young greyhounds to earn great prize money.

The series is Australia’s only sweepstakes event and is open for greyhounds with 1-6 wins and no more than 30 starts.

Last year young trainer Matt Lanigan had two hopes engaged including series runner-up Zipping Hooch. He believes the Launching Pad is a perfect way for young dogs to race at a city track before meeting open class racing.

“Dad and I have always loved watching the Launching Pad, it’s perfect for inexperienced dogs to race against the best up and comers before meeting experienced top grader. We purchased our tickets for our two dogs Zipping Hooch and Zipping Quinsee as we believed they had some talent but were still learning about racing,” explained Lanigan.

It’s often perceived that trainers need a greyhound capable of running fast times to be competitive. Last year two heats were won in the 29.70 bracket, proving you don’t need a speed machine to have success.

“Obviously if you have one that can run those times that would be very nice and I’d love to have one in my kennel, but I think the Launching Pad gives dogs of all ability the chance to run for good money. Remember Fast Times, Bewildering, Raw Ability, Quick Jagger & Mepunga Blazer all competed last year but none of them progressed to the final. All of them have gone on to win group races.”

Trainers are often hesitant about racing promising young dogs in top line races. The Launching Pad provides an opportunity for young greyhounds to race against types of similar experience with exceptional prize money up for grabs.

“Zipping Hooch went from running at Warrnambool and then a few races in Tasmania to coming back over and winning over $45,000 in prize money in the Launching Pad. It also gave him great confidence to take on the next step.”

The series is one of few that offers a consolation series for those who have no luck in their heat. Lanigan had Zipping Quinsee who drew poorly and had no luck in his heat, but then had the opportunity to come back next week in consolation heats.

“Unfortunately Quinsee is a slow beginner and needs to draw close to the rail, in his main heat he drew box 7. After having no luck in the run, going back the next week to contest another heat with dogs that were unplaced was ideal to try win some good money.”

Lanigan encourages anyone who is indecisive about buying a ticket to pull the trigger.

“Have a go and give your dog a chance. We were told by a few people that we were silly for buying a ticket for Zipping Hooch last year, but we backed our decision and it paid dividends.”

Purchase and transfer of entry forms close Friday March 9 with heats to be run on Thursday March 15.

Click here for more Launching Pad information

Shantui (6) defeats Zipping Hooch (2) in a semi-final of last year's Launching Pad
Jason Adams
About Jason Adams - Racing & Communications Officer at Sandown Park. Over 4 years involvement in greyhound racing and one of the sport's biggest and most passionate fans.
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