The David Pringle trained Shakey Jakey has apparently been retired to stud, after just one race start. Of course, it was no ordinary start: smashing the 520-metre track record on 6 April at Wentworth Park by the equivalent of three lengths.
That was in a heat of the Magic Maiden series, but injury prevented Shakey Jakey taking his place in the semi-finals. The black son of Collision x Kiacatoo Pearl became an overnight sensation with claims of people offering huge sums to try and buy him as well as breeders wanting to engage him for stud purposes.
Sadly, it appears the stud farm has beckoned ahead of further potential glory on the racetrack.
In some ways, this premature retirement is hardly a unique occurrence within the broader Pringle family breeding and racing operation. Just over 40 years ago the Pringle family made headlines twice in the space of three years or so when first Arctic Light, and then his son Arctic Fire, were retired to stud after having raced just four times between them.
Arctic Light (Spotted Lightning x Dallas Orange) was whelped at the Pringle’s Clergate property in February 1968. After breaking in he was claimed to be the fastest greyhound they had ever had in 20 years of breeding and racing. At the time, the Pringle’s had raced the likes of Silent Retreat (top grade in the city) and Tara Flash (1970 NSW Greyhound of the Year). They claimed Arctic Light could not only beat these top-grade performers in trials, he would usually break the track record as well.
Arctic Light had what proved to be his only race start, in 1969, over 340 yards (310 metres) at Temora, winning by eight lengths in a fast 18.6.
He then broke his leg in a trial at Orange, and despite long attempts at getting it right again, Arctic Light was forced into premature retirement.
The Pringle’s put all their brood-bitches to him and in early 1972 he went to stand at the famous Mossville Stud at Kellyville, run by Billy Fletcher. At the time, his fee of $200 was one of the highest in Australia.
Arctic Light threw some good greyhounds: Cable Hogue (x Banner Maid), Style Days (x Banner Maid), Armatree’s Flame (x Armatree’s Seal), Kinross Pride (x Clover Pride), Sea Breeze (x Dancing Wonder), Arctic Tiger (x Dawn Moss), Trella Light (x Dawn Moss), Michele Cherie (x Edelgard Moss), Arctic Scott (x Estimate), Arctic Ice (x Jananth), Monkey Jill (x Merbentyl), Shalom City (x Merbentyl), Arctic Raider (x Revsumor), Likely Light (x Shy Magna), Steve Austin (x Spanish Dancer), Aurora Light (x Molly Deacon), Arctic Ivan (x Black Shyrock), Blue Wallaroy (x Queen Wallaroy), and Helda Light (x Phoenix Rose). All the aforementioned either won or were finalists in a string of major races around Australia.
Presciently, Jack Pringle noted his Arctic Light x Jananth litter, when they were just 12 months old, as the best pups the family had ever raised to that point. One of the pups from that litter was Arctic Fire.
He began his brief race career by winning a maiden over 500 yards (457 metres) at Temora on 1 December 1972. Like his sire, he scored by eight lengths, running 26.4, just 2/10ths outside the track record. He then came to Sydney and on 20 January 1973 contested a low-grade race over 457 metres at Harold Park, finishing third after striking early interference.
Just four days later, Arctic Fire exited box eight at Harold Park and scored by 13 lengths in an incredible 26.0, becoming the first greyhound to equal The Shoe’s track and world record, set almost six years earlier.
So, similar to Shakey Jakey, Arctic Fire was almost immediately retired to stud and began serving bitches at the same high stud fee as his sire.
Arctic Fire didn’t do much at stud. His best racer was probably Grand Monaro (x Miss Monaro), although his daughter Buttercup Lady was the dam of the smart sprinter Go Cub and Gabba Xmas Trophy finalist Ill Fate. Go Cub sired the likes of Tintuppa Park, and Broken Cup (x Marungi Idol), the 1984 Maturity Classic and 1985 Warragul Cup winner.
It will be interesting to see how well Shakey Jakey’s first few litters fare when they hit the tracks a couple of years from now.