David Pringle has no hesitation when asked about his 2018 Million Dollar Chase Grand Finalist Midnight Starlet and the greyhound he will campaign in this year’s series, Midnight Dare.
“This bitch would run rings around Midnight Starlet,” Pringle said emphatically.
It’s a fairly large statement, but Pringle would know for certain having reared, educated and trained both.
Midnight Starlet broke the Dubbo track record in the Regional Final of the Million Dollar Chase last year, clocking 29.27s. She then went to Wentworth Park and won her semi-final of the event, before not having a lot of luck in the final, finishing seventh at just her 20th race start.
Midnight Dare, had everyone talking winning her first five starts including a stunning 29.55s run at Wentworth Park, before striking trouble in the Golden Easter Egg heats, then heading to Victoria to campaign for the past four months with Jason Thompson.
The winner of eight of her 14 starts, Midnight Dare returned to Pringle’s Clergate kennel last Thursday and will have her first start back for him in Sunday’s heats of the TAB Million Dollar Chase at Dubbo.
“She had an excuse last start when she ripped a pad off her foot at Shepparton, she should have won that, and she’s been eased up since then,” Pringle said.
“She had been racing around The Meadows in some good company and did go 34.1s around there which is just outside the record.
“She’s strong. We thought we would bring her back - she goes well around Dubbo - and she’s a 29.5s bitch around Wenty, so why not have a crack at the series.”
Glance through Midnight Dare’s form and you won’t see a start at Dubbo, but you just know Sunday won’t be the first time she’ll look at the track.
“Yeah she’s been there before,” Pringle said. “Before she went Wenty early on, she had a couple of 500ms (516m) there and she went 29.3s both times. She loves the joint.
“Hopefully she can get her early box speed going again. Look you still need a lot of luck in these races, but the first four will go through, so hopefully she’ll be able to manage that.”
Midnight Dare has drawn the second of two heats on Sunday, and the interesting opponent is West Australian dog Lillard, now in the care of Victorian trainer Brett Bravo.
Lillard has won three of his four starts leading all the way, and will jump from inside Midnight Dare. Another interesting runner is Buck’s Future, who ironically narrowly missed a Million Dollar Chase grand final spot last year when second in the semi-finals behind Midnight Starlet.
In the other heat Golden Easter Egg finalist Irinka Lizzy will clash with Jimmy Casey, Nangar Gift, and Inversion – yet another member of the Collision-Solar Pak litter, and as such a brother to Feral Franky and Good Odds Harada – who won last start in 29.76s at Wentworth Park.