I FOR one was not surprised when the dog on everyone's lips, Shakey Jakey, was retired to stud after just one race start.
But what a race start it was … a devastating Maiden win at Wentworth Park in 29.07.
It was three lengths faster than the previous record held by the scorching Punch One Out.
Queen Lauryn had held the record at 29.44.
Paua To Burn ran 29.51.
From the very second the 29.07 time went up on the semaphore board, Shakey Jakey (Collision-Kiacatoo Pearl) had stud dog in bright lights next to his name.
I remember talking to Alan Pringle back in the late 1980s when the "litter of the century" was scorching to track records wherever they went.
But the big dogs that were among the litter were primarily one-turn specialists and Pringle knew this.
Off they went to stud.
Only West Cape continued on with his race career.
Amerigo Man, Walkabout Sid, Bogenfel, Carnival Boy and Half Nelson were all retired to stud and broodbitch owners wore tracks throughout the country to their door.
West Cape continued to win and win and win against the best … all the time highlighting his brothers and their monetary success at stud was assured.
West Cape too would retire to a successful career and he, Amerigo Man and Walkabout Sid certainly have left their mark.
So, where am I going with all this?
The Pringle family is well atuned to making right decisions and putting Shakey Jakey to stud, even after just one lowly Maiden victory, is obviously the right decision.
But David Pringle highlight just a week or so ago he had knocked back a $1 million offer for Shakey Jakey.
(He hinted $5 million might be more like it.)
Was he right to have done that?
Only time will tell, obviously.
But let's crunch the numbers and see if he is right to have knocked back the cash to put his faith in Shakey Jakey making it big time.
No race dog retiring to stud can be assured of full books … not even the greatest or fastest of them all.
Shakey Jakey goes to Sam Cauchi's Rocky Ridge Farm and there are few better men about in promoting a stud dog or persuading breeders to use a dog.
Sam has his loyal followers.
Shakey Jakey will do well just on those factors alone.
The dog will stands for $1650.
We all know that each stud dog is restricted to 18 matings per month. A full book for Shakey Jakey each month will bring in $29,700.
That equates to $356,400 per year.
Within his first three years, Shakey Jakey will have earned David Pringle $1.069 million.
At first look it appears David was extremely wise to knock back $1 million for his dog.
But was he?
There are costs to stand and promote a stud dog.
Advertising costs alone can account for around $400 a week. Over a year that is almost $21,000 and over three years about $60,000.
In the early days of stud dog promotion this could be even greater.
Who pays for that … David Pringle of course.
But what does Sam Cauchi get out of all this?
Generally studmasters will take half of everything earned by a stud dog. We are not privy to what deal has been done by Sam and David regarding the standing of Shakey Jakey at stud, but 50-50 is pretty standard.
If Shakey Jakey has a full book for his first three years at stud in Australia, David Pringle's cut of the cash will come down to $504,600 (after advertising is paid).
Three years is pretty much the cut-off time for stud dogs. It's the make or break moment.
The first offspring have hit the tracks and breeders will be making a judgment of their ability.
There is ALWAYS a cooling-off period for broodbitch owners when the flavour of the month stud dog is ignored in favour of the new flavour of the month.
Breeders want to see how the first progeny go before using them again, or indeed for the first time.
There are many wise heads who NEVER use an unproven stud dog.
David Pringle is a full time greyhound trainer.
He can expect to pay tax on Shakey Jakey's earnings at about 48 cents in the dollar.
Which means David Pringle is already down to about $250,000 profit on Shaky Jakey's stud career after his first three years.
OK, that's not a bad earn.
But it's not $1 million (less tax) in instant returns if he had sold the dog.
And it comes without the worry of getting full books, having to give free returns for misses (or money back), and it all depends on the first of his progeny running like the wind … just like their old man.
There are no better people in the greyhound industry to ruin a stud dog's career than those who break them in.
I've been hearing for months and months and months all the breaking in rumours of the perils of breeding to Bekim Bale.
But all I see on the racetrack is flying machines and strong, strong, strong types.
No stud dog ever in Australia has escaped the wrath of the breaking in complexes.
Even Brother Fox was lambasted early in his stud career when his first pups went to be educated.
That didn't last too long.
Nor did it with Bekim Bale.
So where are we with Shakey Jakey?
I for one believe he is a potential stud dog star, so I believe once David Pringle and Sam Cauchi have got over the early concerns, hiccups, rumours (whatever you like to call them), he will be a success.
He has some fabulous options open to him via his pedigree.
But only time will tell if David has made the right choice to keep the dog.
Remember, Bombastic Shiraz was a "legend" at stud and he earned $4 million but it took him more than a decade to do it.
And in the meantime Bombastic kept producing champions.
Sam Cauchi knows his market.
He could sell ice to an Eskimo as the old saying goes.
There is no doubt he is rubbing his hands together about the possibility of "selling" Shakey Jakey overseas (frozen semen that is).
It adds a different dimension to a dog's stud career.
That too is an unknown … it has to be.
I'm always bemused by the greyhound racing "forums" that lambast "greedy" studmasters and owners for getting "millions" out of their dogs.
That is not always the case.
Shakey Jakey will ride a glorious high at stud.
He deserves it because he is so fast and has such a great pedigree to match so many bitches … but David and Sam (like any other business) will have to earn their money.