Spright had already been sold twice by the time she reached the 2015 Premier Yearling Sale. Greg White opted to offload her dam, Dashoff (Dash For Cash) in foal to Hinchinbrook two years earlier and she then went through the sales again as a weanling.
The arrival of her sister, an I Am Invincible filly called Mine Two who White described as 'beautiful a horse as you could see', had convinced him that she was the one to keep and the mare and the next filly would be moved on.
"We had bought the granddam out of a Roy Thompson dispersal sale in the late 1990s. We bred Spright's mother and raced her. She had a bit of speed, and we got the I Am Invincible out of her, which was Mine Two, who is an attractive a mare as you’d ever see," White told TDN AusNZ.
"We got the I Am Invincible out of her, which was Mine Two, who is an attractive a mare as you’d ever see." - Greg White
But while White was happy to move her on in favour of the best-looking member of the family, trainer Garry Frazer noted the progress the Hinchinbrook filly had made from a weanling which White described as 'gangly and a bit dumpy'.
"Garry asked me to go and have a look and I wasn't interested in buying a horse at the time. I flew down to Melbourne with all intents and purposes to dislike the filly. But I couldn’t find a fault with her. We got great reports from the vendors," he said.
White, carrying on the legacy from his legendary parents Geoff and Beryl, was a bit conflicted. On one hand, he had convinced himself he didn't want to buy back the filly and on the other hand, she had all the qualities he desired in a young horse.
"She looked like a racehorse, she had a great attitude, she had a really massive hindquarter on her. She was doing everything right. She was the only horse I looked at at the sale and I could not find a fault with her," he said.
"She looked like a racehorse, she had a great attitude, she had a really massive hindquarter on her." - Greg White
"I had a sandwich and a cup of coffee, came back and had another look, liked her even more and we put our hand up for her."
Making the right call
She cost $100,000, which considering she had been a $12,000 weanling and her dam had been sold for $10,000 two years earlier, was a fair appreciation in price.
But as soon as she hit the track, White and Frazer were safe in the knowledge that they had made the right call, despite being winless in five 2-year-old starts.
"There was enough to indicate we had a stakes horse on our books. She just kept missing the mark. She was good enough for us to have her in the Percy Sykes as a 2-year-old. She broke though at her next prep and she has just kept stepping up," he said.
She blossomed early in her 3-year-old year winning three races on the bounce culminating in a spectacular victory in the G3 Red Roses S at Flemington on Oaks Day and Frazer and White knew they had a serious horse.
Whilst she failed to win a race in her 3-year-old autumn, she was twice placed at stakes level and even when she didn’t come up in her spring 4-year-old campaign, White never lost faith.
"She matures mentally every preparation and her will to win just keeps getting stronger," he said.
"She matures mentally every preparation and her will to win just keeps getting stronger." - Greg White
She bookended her next campaign with Group 3 victories at Rosehill and Doomben before the decision was made to raise the bar.
Always a strong fresh performer, she resumed in the G1 Moir S. at Moonee Valley last September and took the eye, storming home late to grab third at a big price.
She backed that up with a fourth in the G1 Manikato S. four weeks later, beaten less than a length and then was a creditable seventh, just behind the placegetters in the G1 VRC Sprint Classic.
Watch: Spright take out third in the G1 Moir S. at Moonee Valley
Ready for the autumn
Heading in to her autumn campaign, and her first-up shot at the Oakleigh Plate, White feels she has taken even more improvement.
"She's doing great. She's been in Melbourne for the week, went down last Thursday. Michael Walker rode her on Tuesday at Caulfield. He'll ride her Saturday. He got off and said he thought the others will know she is there," he said.
"We've got a little bit of confidence in her. The class or the barrier draw doesn't seem to matter with her." - Greg White
"We've got a little bit of confidence in her. The class or the barrier draw doesn't seem to matter with her. This mare has developed each prep, so she will take whatever you throw at her," he said.
"She's carrying just 53kg. She won’t know herself with that weight. That gives us a lot of hope."
Saturday's race will tell Frazer and White whether Spright continues to campaign against the elite sprinters or lowers her goals to Group 2 and Group 3 mares races over the Sydney autumn.
"If she's quality and she measures up, I don’t know if we will be back for the Newmarket, but we may have a crack at the TJ Smith. She was only half a length off second and third in the VRC Spring Classic," he said.
"She's up there with the top half dozen and all the stars aligning, if she wins and she keeps running through this prep, she might get a birth in The Everest."
The long-term plan
That long-term plan will determine when White decides to retire her to a career as a broodmare. He believes stallions like Zoustar and I Am Invincible would be a great fit.
As for Mine Too, the older half-sister which once White preferred over Spright, she was a 2-year-old winner and stakes-placed but never reached the heights of her younger sibling.
She already has a Toronado (Ire) yearling colt which is just being broken in at Robrick Lodge and foaled a Sebring colt last spring. She is in foal to American Pharoah (USA).
The dam, Dashoff, which was sold to Bruce McHugh, produced three foals by McHugh's stallion Arlington before being sold to Rothwell Park. She was served by I Am Invincible last spring.
As he did with Spright as a yearling, Frazer convinced White to buy the first Arlington filly, Ivy Blue, and while she didn’t make it as a racehorse, she is now in foal to Hellbent.
The pedigree pages of all those horses could be set for a substantial boost should the one-time family reject secure Group 1 victory on Saturday.