WHILE David Pringle may not have unleashed the next Shakey Jakey in this year’s Group 3 Laurie Healion Memorial Maiden Series, he is confident that his chaser, Movie Fever, has a bright future on the racetrack.
After beginning fairly, the black chaser lost all momentum when colliding with another runner in the early stages. However, he was then able to muster pace again, taking considerable ground off the tearaway leader to go down by just two-and-one-quarter-lengths at the finish.
Pringle said he was happy with the run, believing the early trouble cost his greyhound the event.
“You don’t know how much it really takes out of them when they get hit like that – he got knocked right in the ribs and had the wind taken out of him,” Pringle said.
“Because of that he didn’t run home as strongly as he can – if he didn’t lose him momentum early then he would have run the other dogs down easy.
“It is hard to say exactly how much it cost him, but I think he would have lost around eight lengths.”
Pringle believes there is plenty of improvement in Midnight Fever heading into this Friday’s semi-final.
“He is still underdone, I would have liked another two weeks of preparation going into the series. It was a little bit rushed which wasn’t ideal,” Pringle said.
“That was only his second ever 500 in his heat. He went there once before and trialled and his run home was enormous, he ran home in 12.20 first go. On a good night I would expect him to break 12 in the run home.
“After this series I’ll probably take him to Richmond and go through his grades over the 500 and down the track I think he might get 600-700 metres.”
Midight Fever is yet another terrific greyhound to have come from Pringle’s successful breeding lines. His mother, Midnight Movie, has been a terrific broodbitch, producing multiple Group performers such as Barney’s Magic, Freddy’s Smile, Master Shot, Midnight Capers and Midnight News, just to name a few.
His sire, Buck Fever, is a half-brother to Shakey Jakey – Pringle’s superstar which famously broke the Wentworth Park track record at his only ever race start in a heat of last year’s Magic Maiden, running an airborne 29.07.
Despite not having the accolades of his baby brother, Pringle had great faith in the abilities of Buck Fever, a son of the mighty Brett Lee.
“No one ever saw the best of him,” he said.
“Shakey Jakey may have put the times on the board, but I know what Buck Fever could run and on trial days Shakey Jakey wasn’t much quicker.
“He only had about 16 starts and after every one he pulled up injured, we had to keep patching him up, but he still managed to break the track record at Bathurst.
Pringle saying it would be an enormous thrill to make the Laurie Healion final with a son of his ‘best mate’, with Midnight Fever drawing box three in the second semi this Friday night.
“Midnight Fever isn’t a Gardens 500 metre dog at all, but if he made the final and got a clear run he would definitely be in with a chance.
“If he were to win it I hope someone there has tissues because I would be crying, I’d be that happy for Buck.
“I got offered $70,000 for him (Buck Fever) about 12 months ago, and although I will never make that much money out of him at stud, I couldn’t let him go – he is my best mate.”
The three semi-finals of the Laurie Healion are sure to attract plenty of attention. The first qualifier will see heat winners Pass Lee (box six) and Len’s Pick (box seven) go up against Good Odds Angel (box four) which will be looking to go one better than her luckless second on debut.
Midnight Fever will contest the second semi against the classy Heir Of King (box six) which commands respect following his super 29.76 heat victory and is currently the $2.00 favourite with Bet365.
The third and final semi will see Shesa Felon (box two), last week’s fastest heat winner, clash against Chevy Prince (box three), one of the early series favourites.
The first two from each semi-final plus the two fastest thirds will make next week’s $22,500-to-the-winner final.