Speaking to David Pringle, you get a real appreciation for his patience when it comes to training dogs. On Monday, Jack’s Joker landed the $10,000 Bathurst Soldiers’s Saddle. However, it’s been a rocky journey for the freakishly fast black dog by Collision ex. Lachlan’s Gift and his dedicated trainer.
Around this time last year, Jack’s Joker was lining up in the heats of the JB Lodge Mega Maiden at Gosford over 515 metres. He won his heat in a flying 29.52 and backed up a week later to clinch the $15,000 final in a fast 29.61. The current track record at Gosford is 29.30. “He showed ability from the start. He is a very very fast dog. He was running track records in performance trials.”
After the Gosford maiden series, he went to Bulli and won in 26.25 over the 472 metre journey.
In a show of faith for the dogs talent, Pringle then entered Jack’s Joker in the National Derby at The Gardens in February this year. Jack’s Jokers ran second in his heat and semi. It was in the final that the first major hiccup of Jack’s Jokers career was encountered. “He went to the Derby and got to the lead, he would have run away with it but his heels got clipped from behind and he fell and since then he hasn’t been the same dog. He fly’s in solo trials. Since the fall, it’s the dogs around him that worries him.”
Jack’s Joker lost his confidence after that run and had three months off from the race track. He returned to racing in May and managed placings at Wentworth Park and Canberra. Pringle had also ventured to Victoria to trial the dog. “He has trialled at The Meadows and went pretty quick. We nommed him 3 or 4 times and he didn’t get a start. After he came back from The Meadows he dropped his back muscle at Wentworth Park.”
Jack’s Joker was off from racing for another four months. “The muscle men said his career was over and we wouldn’t get him back. I kept him going, to try and get the ability out of him. You can’t give up on them, that’s part of training dogs, not giving up and getting the best out of them.” It’s this perseverance that has been epitomised in the dogs recent Soldiers Saddle triumph.
You get the sense that the Soldier’s Saddle win was a satisfying result for Pringle. “Early on, we got offered a lot of money and as usually happens a week or two later something happened. Now we’ve got him back racing to near his best he could potentially win another 30-40 thousand.”
When speaking about the Soldiers Saddle final Pringle was full of praise for his charge. “He went good, the box helped him. He was well prepared for this race. When he went around the first turn, I didn’t care what was behind him, he would have kept going. The breed get faster as they go on. Soviet Missile had a hard run on the bunny the week before and he missed the start and went right. The three wasn’t a bad run, they (Burton’s) have done a good job with him.”
Jack’s Joker is a dog that Pringle has had from day one. “We’ve had him since a pup. Reared him, bred him and broke him in.” He also sounds like a dream dog around the kennels and a pleasure to handle. “He is very quiet, wouldn’t know you had him, could walk him around on a piece of string. He is one of the family, especially after all he has been through.”
Pringle is located on 12 acres dedicated to dogs out at Clergate in central west NSW. “We breed our own and touch wood they’ll go alright. Our business is breeding and selling and we try and breed the best we can so people want to buy them and they all get a chance.” Pringle takes responsibility for the ones he keeps and they get a home at Clergate once their careers are over. Currently, he has a brother to Jack’s Joker (Break Loose) helping him rear pups. “He suffered a career ending injury and now he is out in the yard helping to rear pups. They don’t get put down, they get looked after.”
The future is also looking bright for Pringle’s other charges. He currently has a brother to Zulu Zeus down with Jason Thompson and Pringle describes him as “a very fast dog.” He also has other promising youngsters getting ready to race. “We have a handy pup coming through by Brett Lee, the El Grand Senors are going alright as well. They’re all maidens and we’re preparing them for a big maiden at the end of the year. I think I’ve got something special in the pipeline.”
Pringle works hard for this success and adopts reasonable and responsible logic when breeding litters. “We breed a maximum of 3-4 litters a year. The bitches have to be top of the line to breed from, they have got to prove it. With our breed the only downfall is that they are not fast beginners. But if they get a clear run early they are very strong and if they get a check they bounce back up and keep going.”
Jack’s Jokers next assignment is at Wentworth Park on Saturday night where he has drawn Box 4 in Race 10 in a fifth grade race. Pringle will take it easy with him. “We need to keep his confidence up after the fall and place him right. We’ll stay up here (NSW).”
As the saying goes, patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success and this has been proven by David Pringle.