Mark just wild about Teddy

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By DAVID BRASCH

MARK Bell was a young man pottering about the streets with a couple of greyhounds in his kennel when he made the best choice of his life.

\”I was watching the results at Wentworth Park for so long and Classy Spider was winning just about every week,\” said Mark. \”It was a family that was going places.\”

Up in Queensland, Mick Ivers had bred a litter by Malawi\’s Prince-Spider Web and Mark Bell decided he wanted a bitch.

\”I really thought Malawi\’s Prince bitches would be great. The damline was that of Classy Spider, and the dam of the litter Spider Web had won a Ladies Bracelet,\” he said. \”I rang Mick and he said I could have either of the two bitches left. The ear brands were A and B so I went with A.\”

Mark named her Web Of Silence.

\”I had three in work at the time and used to walk the streets with them each day,\” he said. \”She picked up a stone in a back foot and had to have the toe off. It caused her tendon problems ever after that.

\”But, she had great early pace and eventually won a city race at Wentworth Park, but in slow time.\”

Mark had to breed with her.

\”I put her to Benjason and it was a pretty ordinary litter, but did have one bitch called Sticky Web that became a successful broodbitch,\” said Mark. \”Then she went to Proper Tears and got Woy Woy Boy, who was a great dog, top class. Of the nine in the litter, eight won in the city.\”

The next mating was to Head Honcho and along came Mark\’s champion … Go Wild Teddy.

By the time he had raced 43 times for 30 wins and nine placings, Go Wild Teddy had amassed $295,000 from wins in the Melbourne Cup, Sandown Shootout, Vic Peters, Young Star Classic, Bob Payne Winter Stake and Wyong Derby.

He was second to Brett Lee in the Australian Cup and to his litter brother Mean Bean in the National Derby. He was fourth to Placard in the Topgun and a finalist in the Traralgon Cup.

\”The litter also had a dog called Astro Teddy, who was a fine stayer at the time,\” said Mark.

Mark raced Go Wild Teddy with a couple of long-time mates, Steve McMaster and Joe Rasso. It was Steve who came up with the name.

\”Dennis Barnes broke him in and labelled him a freak,\” said Mark. \”But, when I put he and his brother into work, Mean Bean was going the best in their first few trials.\”

That changed quickly when Go Wild Teddy stepped up to 400m. He took off.

\”He was running unbelievable times,\” said Mark. \”It was only eight to 10 weeks after I started on him that he raced. Incredible chaser.\”

While his instant success on the track was expected, Mark says the victory in the Bob Payne Winter Stake at Wentworth Park convinced him Go Wild Teddy was the ‘real deal’.

\”He met up with some very seasoned race dogs, top class Wenty dogs and he blew them away,\” he said. It wasn\’t long before he was blowing everything away.

Victory in the Melbourne Cup was a career defining success.

\”It was a thrill,\” said Mark. \”Before Teddy came along, I\’d been happy to go racing at Mudgee and win a race or two.\”

Legend Brett Lee beat Go Wild Teddy in the Australian Cup at The Meadows, but Mark says Teddy was never really comfortable around that track.

\”He used to get four or five off the fence there.

\”I remember Tony Lockett saying to me at the time he and Darren would not bring Brett Lee to Wenty to take on Teddy because they believe their dog could not beat him around there,\” said Mark. \”But, then Teddy broke down and Brett Lee came up and cleaned up.\”

Mark says despite his 30m wins from 43 starts, no one ever saw the best of Go Wild Teddy on the racetrack.

\”I have always believed dogs are at their best from three to three and a half and he never got to that stage on the racetrack.\”

While Teddy was a superstar around the circle, Mark admits the dog never beat his brother Mean Bean up the straight.

So, early in 2001, Go Wild Teddy retired to stud.

Mark, rightfully expected the cream of the crop to come to him, but still today admits disappointment with the response.

\”He never really got the cream of broodbitches, until late in his career,\” said Mark. \”He was standing at $1500 service fee.

“After several years Paul Wheeler put his staying bitches to Teddy. He started getting dogs like Dyna Lachlan and Barcia Bale and we all know what they did on the track and now at stud.

\”Breeders saw that Teddy was putting in great chase to his offspring, so what most of them did was put their non-chasing bitches to him to make the pups chase. They didn\’t use their best bitches with him until much later.\”

After the initial rush, Teddy, like all stud dogs, went through a lull while breeders waited to see what his first pups were like. Mark took the opportunity to send 200 straws of semen to Ireland.

From those matings, Teddy sired College Causeway winner of the Irish Derby.

\”I tried the US market and sent six straws over, but those Yanks got me and I decided I didn\’t need that.\”

Mark says he believes Go Wild Teddy has been a much better broodbitch sire.

\”But look at Barcia Bale, he\’s already got a heap of young dogs going to stud and proving themselves.\”

Today, Mark Bell has one semen vial from Go Wild Teddy left. He has two bitches by Collision and another two by Zambora Brockie making their way to the racetrack. He will use that last semen on one of those.

Joe sold out of Teddy early days in his stud career, but Mark and Steve stuck true throughout.

Mark even got out of the Web Of Silence damline, trying a few others along the way with success.

And, despite the success of Go Wild Teddy, he and his mate Brett Ferguson were a half hour late in buying legend Brett Lee as a three month old pup. Imagine that pair in a kennel together.

\”I\’d trained Master Havoc, who was by Head Honcho-Sobbing Sal and really liked the dog, so when the Gun Law Osti-Sobbing Sal litter was advertised Brett was very interested,\” said Mark. \”The pups were $8000 each but the black dog, who had no testicles descended at the time, could be bought for $6000.

\”Brett and I talked it over and decided to buy. But, when I rang up to say we would take that black pup (Brett Lee) a young bloke in Victoria had already bought him … a half hour earlier.\”

Interestingly, when Bell went to Victoria to race, he always stayed with the breeder of Brett Lee.

\”Sobbing Sal, Brett Lee\’s mother, would come and sleep on the bed with me while I was staying there.\”

Go Wild Teddy died suddenly at nine and a half years of age back in 2008.

\”I put him out into an empty yard in the morning, came back later to get him and he was dead,\” said Mark. \”I reckon it was from a heart attack, but I never bothered to find out for sure.\”

 

Litter was the result of an ‘inspired mating’

When Mark Bell put Web Of Silence to champion sire Head Honcho to produce Go Wild Teddy, it was an inspired mating.

It brought in a 3×3 cross of the famous half brothers Acacia Park and Brother Fox. But, significantly, it also introduced a 3×3 cross of Roy Trease and Spider Bite. Both of those are bred on the Temlee/Dusty Rapid cross.

What is also interesting is the fact Go Wild Teddy traces directly along the tail female line of his pedigree to Classy Val, his 6th dam.

Trace the direct damline of Where\’s Pedro, Hallucinate, Crash and Carnage and we find their 6th dam is none other than Classy Val.

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