Despite disappointing in her heat Midnight Dare was still expected to give this weekend's TAB Million Dollar Chase regional final at Dubbo a nudge but the brilliant sprinter has succumbed to injury and, as a result, ruled out and retired immediately.
Clergate trainer David Pringle revealed on Tuesday Midnight Dare is believed to have fractured a hock in last Sunday's heat at the same track, forcing him to call time on her career earlier than expected.
"We haven't had the x-ray yet, but the vet thinks she might have fractured a hock, so she has been retired," a disappointed Pringle told thedogs.com.au, also revealing the same thing happened to her grandmother Kiacatoo Pearl.
The way she ran you could tell there was something wrong.Clergate trainer David Pringle
"We'll look after her ... and then she's going out to be a broodbitch. Unfortunately these things happen, but she is very well bred and the world is her oyster now as a broodbitch.
"These things happen for a reason. It would have been nice to keep going but she was only going to go until the end of this series, until she got knocked out, then we were going to pull the pin on her racing career, so it's only a couple of runs short.
"That's the way it goes."
Pringle said he wasn't sure where or when his eight-time winner, who amassed more than $35,000 in prizemoney, might have suffered the injury in Sunday's heat, in which she ran an uncharacteristic, distant fourth as a $2 favourite.
He has spoken with Victorian trainer Jason Thompson though, who looked after Midnight Dare during her Melbourne campaign before she returned to Pringe for the Million Dollar Chase heats.
"He last run at Shepparton she ran similarly, she ran wide all the way around, but she ripped her pad off," Pringle explained.
"She had a let-up and we took her to the trial track over 300 and she went great, only two-tenths outside the record, and she pulled up beautifully.
"Talking to Jason, he watched the replay, she began beautifully, then she bumped the other dog (Lillard) and then she went wide. Jason thinks it might have happened then.
"Beginning the way she did ... she wouldn't have begun the way she did if it was hurting her, but then the way she ran you could tell there was something wrong."
With Midnight Dare being ruled out the Steve Albon-trained Clare Fallon gets the start in the Dubbo final on Saturday night, after running fifth behind Pringle's bitch last week.
Annabel Keeping won that heat while respective second and third finishers Buck's Future and Connie's Boy also get a start.
Cliff Keeping, Midnight Joyce, Jimmy Casey and Winlock Ramirez round out the field, along with Cudal trainer Dennis Barnes' shot in Nangar Gift.
Nangar Gift ran a tight second behind rank outsider Midnight Joyce in the other heat last Sunday. Trained by Mark Swift, the latter saluted from box three as a $30.20 shot.
Saturday night's 515-metre regional final begins at 6.42pm, with racing starting at 5.24pm at Dubbo's Dawson Park.
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