RICHIE Vrckoff is a young man with a dedication to greyhound racing.
Richie and his family run a breeding, rearing property just outside Casino on the Northern Rivers of NSW. He does dabble in training but his operation is generally based around a number of stud dogs he stands.
In the past they have included a number of handy sires, but Richie will be the first to admit it is difficult, or almost impossible, to get his hands on a real racetrack superstar to attract the best of bitches.
But Richie has certainly fallen on his feet with a dog called Vee Man Vane (Solve The Puzzle-Blue Girl Vane).
I can imagine Richie jumping around his lounge room last week when Vee Man Vane's son Banjo Boy (Vee Man Vane-Off Springer) literally lifted the lid off Sandown with a 29.01 victory.
Only track record holder Bekim Bale has gone quicker.
It's not that Banjo Boy had not already shown that sort of speed. He'd won at The Meadows in 29.73 and had posted a 29.46 at Sandown.
But when he pinged, the race, and a near record run at Sandown was already on the cards last Thursday night.
Why do I give Richie and his stud dog Vee Man Vane such a wrap?
Well, it has to do with the dam Off Springer.
You see, her first mating to the record breaker Mogambo (Where's Pedro-Zarbo) produced Echelon and Granduer who were two of the country's most consistent stayers in the past couple of years.
Both showed pace, but it was as stayers that they shone.
Why then is Off Springer's litter to Vee Man Vane showing such blistering pace … 29.01 sort of pace?
I'm certain most who looked at the pedigree of Echelon and Granduer would put it down to that great US source of stamina, Flying Penske.
He is the sire of Off Springer (Flying Penske-Skullring).
Flying Penske is the sire in Australia of that great staying litter which included Texas Gold, Quidame and Lucy's Light, all Group winners of Group class over a distance.
How then do we explain the brilliance of Banjo Boy?
Let's look a bit closer at both matings.
Echelon and Granduer are by Mogambo who was an outstanding sprinter and became a much better sire than he was given credit for.
His daughter Zara Zulu (in-bred to Shining Chariot and his sister Chariot's Desire) won the Australian Cup.
So where, apart from Flying Penske, did the stamina influence come in the mating that produced Echelon and Granduer?
Obviously via Mogambo's dam Zarbo a track record breaker over a distance and also a Group winner.
Mogambo's litter sister Joop Muse was a quality stayer and at stud she is the dam of stayer Alpe D'Huez.
From a repeat of the Where's Pedro-Zarbo litter came track record breaking stayer Lady Arko.
Zarbo's damline is strength for several generations and runs to that classic sprinter Spanish Dance.
Hopeful Doll, a litter sister to Spanish Dance, at one time held the 704m track record at the Gabba in Qld.
Which brings me back to Banjo Boy.
His sire Vee Man Vane was a sprint star winning the Ballarat Cup and running track records at Geelong and Shepparton.
His dam Blue Girl Vane (Token Prince-Subjective) is in-bred to the famous Bay Road Queen damline … that of Hall of Famers Flying Amy and Tenthill Doll.
Both Token Prince and Subjective have Bay Road Queen as their third dam.
While Bay Road Queen was a champion stayer, most of her line has been sprinters.
Vee Man Vane got some response in his early days at stud in Victoria but it wasn't until he arrived at Richie Vrckoff's stud on the Northern Rivers of NSW that his litter out of the Big Daddy Cool bitch Cooladream hit the racetracks and showed lots of class.
It's extremely interesting that Big Daddy Cool is bred along almost identical lines to Vee Man Vane's dam Blue Girl Vane.
Big Daddy Cool is a son of Just The Best. Blue Girl Vane's sire is Token Prince. Flying Amy (dam of JTB) is a genetic sister to True Temptation (dam of Token Prince).
The dams of Big Daddy Cool and Blue Girl Vane are both by New Tears out of a daughter of Chariot Supreme.
(Please note … reducing the gene pool like this can often upgrade for racetrack ability.)
But back to Banjo Boy.
Putting his dam Off Springer to Vee Man Vane was always going to bring in pace because of the speed of Vee Man Vane and also via his in-bred dam Blue Girl Vane a sprinter with a hugely in-bred pedigree.
As a footnote here, Blue Girl Vane was bred by Chris Yong a young Sydney man who got involved in the industry in the late 1990s with some great ideas and a passion.
That passion waned but in Vee Man Vane, Chris has left a mark on greyhound racing.
The pedigree of Banjo Boy shows in-breeding to the litter brothers National Star and Pop Gun 4x6.
This does not happen often, but I have noticed them combined in pedigrees occasionally but with very good city class success.
Off Springer, dam of Banjo Boy, is from the famous Waroo Lass damline. She also has a bitch called Amber's Choice in her pedigree.
This bitch is a fascination for me.
She is bred on the same Chief Dingaan-Zimbabwe cross as those great littermates Little Denver and National Dingaan (found in the damline of Betty's Angel and Magic Sprite etc).
Now that Banjo Boy has run 29.01 to win at Sandown, he has put his name down as a potential stud dog.
The fact he has Flying Penske as his damsire will make or break him at stud.
Certainly he has the speed to make it.
WHILE Banjo Boy was "showing off" last week, Iona Seven (Swift Fancy-Iona Habit) was continuing her great recent run of form.
She followed her close second to Kokoda Spirit in the SA Oaks final with a 29.18 win at Sandown.
She's also been a finalist in the Group 1 Peter Mosman and a track record breaker at Goulburn.
Breeder Francois Sidrak bought Iona Seven's dam Iona Habit (Fenceline-Dancing Habit) for $2500 after she was culled for being a barker.
Francois bought her as a potential broodbitch,
Her dam Dancing Habit (Royal Assassin-Crazy Habit) was a Group 1 star and had already produced the Group 1 winner Dancing Surf (by Surf Lorian).
This is the Genuine Replica female family and few are better.