By DAVID BRASCH
WHEN we look back over the past decade or two and marvel at the times great race dogs have run at Angle Park, those of us who remember him will still be in awe of the immortal Brett Lee’s staggering 28.88.
It was January, 2001, and Brett Lee (Gun Law Osti-Sobbing Sal) turned it on for all the world to see winning the Group 1 Adelaide Cup by six lengths.
He downed a quality field that had Classic Capri, Renzo Bale, Dutchy’s Angel, No Intent, Brandon Bale, Suellen Bale and Likely Excuse.
No one-hit wonders among them. Some superstars were made to look ‘third-raters’.
To put the 28.88 into perspective, look at Hooked On Scotch’s victory in the latest running of the Adelaide Cup. He downed superstars Whiskey Riot and Sennachie in one of the most thrilling Cups seen.
Hooked On Scotch is a monster machine, as are Whiskey Riot and Sennachie.
Hooked On Scotch holds the Sandown track record at 28.94. Sennachie has the three fastest times EVER at Albion Park. Whiskey has been a ‘tick’ off the record at The Meadows.
All are multiple Group 1 winners.
When Hooked On Scotch won the Adelaide Cup he ran 29.44 … half a second, almost eight lengths, slower than Brett Lee 19 years before.
Which brings me to the purpose of this column. It is, remember, all about pedigree design.
For the past year, I have been conversing with a greyhound pedigree enthusiast in the UK. Dan, and his partner, run a kennel over there but are keen to breed their own bloodlines.
Dan has asked for advice on pedigree design. Along the way, I have asked him to look at the pedigrees designed when champions have been produced.
Sometimes, like Phar Lap, Sunline etc in the thoroughbred world, champions can pop up without a design that would be successful more often than not.
By that I mean, ‘some’ champions can be the result of a fluke. Very rarely do these flukes of breeding carry on their success at stud. Sunline is the perfect example. Breeders should ALWAYS remember this.
One of the pedigrees Dan looked at was Brett Lee.
Brett Lee was no fluke pedigree.
In fact, he is the result of some of the most intense in-breeding I have ever studied. To his credit, Dan spotted most of it. He is a quick learner.
Let’s re-analyse Brett Lee.
First, look at his sire Gun Law Osti (Brother Fox-Miss Dusty Lee). He was a very fine race dog who possessed record breaking speed. Gun Law Osti became a great stud success, even before Brett Lee came along.
His pedigree brings in a cross of Little Blade (his grandsire) and Miss Dusty Lee.
Little Blade is a son of Temlee and his dam Bonnie Secret a daughter of famed producer Secretly.
Miss Dusty Lee, dam of Gun Law Osti, is bred on an exact reverse cross to Little Blade … that of Secretly and Temlee. Miss Dusty Lee is by Dusty Rapid whose 2nd dam is Secretly. Miss Dusty Lee’s mother is that great race and broodbitch Osti Lee a daughter of Temlee.
When Gun Law Osti was produced, it brought in a 3×3 cross of Temlee balanced via a son and daughter, but also two crosses of one of the truly great producers this country has seen in Secretly.
Brett Lee’s mother Sobbing Sal was a real racetrack star. She was second in the G1 Melbourne Cup, ran a track record, and won the G3 Tweed Galaxy. She was among the very best sprinters of her time.
Sobbing Sal was a pedigree blueblood, by champion sire, G1 winner and multiple track record breaker New Tears, from Hall of Fame dam Wee Sal, who herself was a litter sister to champion Highly Blessed.
What breeding enthusiasts should look closely at here is New Tears. His sire Pretty Short is a genetic brother to Little Blade (grandsire of Gun Law Osti). Pretty Short, like Little Blade and Miss Dusty Lee, is also bred on the Temlee/Secretly cross.
Little Blade’s dam Bonnie Secret is a litter sister to Pretty Short’s second dam Newmore’s Secret.
BUT, New Tears also brings in another cross of Temlee and thus the Secretly/Temlee cross is reinforced again.
Putting a daughter of New Tears to Gun Law Osti was always going to be a huge success. That’s because it brought in Little Blade, Miss Dusty Lee and New Tears, all of them bred on the same famous cross, into the pedigree 3x2x2.
Miss Dusty Lee and New Tears are HUGELY positioned to impact with each other. They are virtually sister and brother.
It is interesting that the Ivers’ family’s champion stayer Kobble Creek was also by Gun Law Osti from a daughter of New Tears.
In a progression from Brett Lee himself, when he retired to stud, everything was expected of him because of his wonderful deeds. Critics will be right in saying he got every great bitch, his huge service fee ruled out ‘the rubbish’ … how could he fail?
But great champions have failed before after getting plenty of high quality producers.
Brett Lee achieved.
Let’s take a quick look at his champion daughter Betty’s Angel, and her fabulous litter sisters Leprechaun Pace and Miss Mini Mouse.
Because three of the four main lines in Brett Lee’s pedigree are exactly the same, it would then make sense to mate him to bitches with a concentration of the ‘fourth’ line in Brett Lee’s pedigree.
This is the famed producer Wee Sal (Chariot Supreme-I’m Blessed by Bowetzel).
If we look at the pedigree of Betty’s Angel, and her great littermates, you will see her dam Leprechaun Yap is in-bred to a famous Victorian dog called Shining Chariot 4×3.
Do a ‘test mating’ on Shining Chariot and Wee Sal … it is worth the trouble. They are virtually brother and sister. Both are by Chariot Supreme. Shining Chariot’s dam Shining Light is a half-sister to Bowetzel the sire of Wee Sal’s dam.
Thus, Shining Chariot and Wee Sal should be combined in as many pedigrees as possible. Champion Betty’s Angel was one. They are also found combined in that great Brett Lee dog Trewly Special. This litter was done three times all with huge success.
Fascinating stuff? I think so.