WHEN David Pringle took star broodbitch Fancy Jaffa to his underrated sire Buck Fever, there were plenty of knockers who were quick to tell the Clergate breeder that he had made a massive mistake.
However, those critics were silenced once and for all on Saturday night when a result of that mating, Burn One Down, broke through for his first group 1 triumph in the invitation-only Zoom Top (725m) at The Meadows.
Owned by Pringle and trained by leading conditioner Jason Thompson, Burn One Down was fairly away from box two and, despite interference on the first turn, was able to push his way up into second spot at the winning post the first time.
Down the back, the black dog slipped into top gear, racing past It’s A Bird (box one) and surging clear to score by nine lengths over kennel mate Trip To Eden (box three) in 42.23.
“It’s been a long time coming for him – he has been unlucky in a few big races so it was only a matter of time before he got one,” Pringle told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“He loves The Meadows – he can still run the time around Sandown and Wentworth Park – but there is something about the track which he loves.
“He has just taken it to the next level in the past few months. I remember a run at Shepparton over 650m last month – it was like he had a jockey on his back.
“He is going great guns – Jason has done a terrific job with him.”
Pringle said the 37-kilogram heavyweight has always shown potential since breaking in back in 2015, but says Burn One Down still isn’t the best dog he has bred.
“He has always had ability – even his brother Buck Forty could always run, but this bloke just had something a bit extra which made him special.
“The first time we put him around in the trial people were laughing saying ‘what have you got here’ because over 300m he couldn’t handle the bends – he was just going too fast – and then he was running home in times which no one had ever heard of.
“I have known him his whole life since he was a pup and I honestly don’t think there is a dog in the world that would beat him two out.
“The thing that makes him so special is that Jason could give him a let-up and bring him back for something like the Speed Star over the sprint.
“He can do it from 400m right through to 700m – he is one of a kind.
“He is a good dog – but I still don’t rate him the best dog we’ve had – he is definitely up there though.”
Pringle said the best part of the win was the satisfaction of breeding the country’s best stayer from ‘his best mate’ Buck Fever – a winner of seven of his 16 starts.
The lightly raced dog was bred in the purple, being by Brett Lee out of Kiacatoo Pearl, with Pringle adamant we never saw the best of him on the track.
“Buck is my mate – there is just something about him,” he said.
“When it comes down to having massive wraps on dogs his father was the one – I just can’t re-inforce how unlucky he was and I am adamant that we never saw him at his best.
“At his best Burn One Down wouldn’t have beat him.”
Despite few people having faith in Buck Fever as a stud dog, Pringle showed great faith by taking him to Fancy Jaffa, who had already produced star sprinters Zulu Zeus and Zulu Zircon from her mating to Where’s Pedro.
“I was offered good money for him overseas as a stud dog and at the time people were saying he wasn’t worth $20,000 let alone what I was being offered.
“Then I sent him to stand at Rocky Ridge and he ended up being sent home because they didn’t think he would get any bitches.
“But I was determined to persist with him – he was too well bred to not have a go with and on top of that I knew what he was capable of.
“When I took him to Fancy Jaffa people laughed at me and told me it was a waste of time – they told me it would be her worst litter.
“For him to have the success he has had – it is very satisfying.
“For a dog to produce what he has – in his first season he had 15 litters and he produced winners of three group 1s, two group 2s and a group 3 – I don’t think any other dog in the world has done that.”
Pringle also gave special thanks to trainer Jason Thompson who has guided Burn One Down to 22 victories with more than $300,000 in prize money earnings.
“Jason is unreal,” Pringle said.
“He focuses on quality, not quantity and he is just a perfectionist.
He is the best in the country, there is no doubt about it – the stats show that.
“He is a ripper.”