FASHION is a fabulous thing.
Greyhound breeders are forever entrenched in the use of fashionable lines.
When it comes to breeding a litter of pups, few look beyond the very best of sires, those they feel will allow them to sell their litter of pups for the most money and as quickly as possible.
Fashion doesn't always result in the best.
Champion stud dogs like Bombastic Shiraz, Where's Pedro, Surf Lorian, Waverly Supreme, even Temlee, have sired “legless” greyhounds unable to beat time with a stick.
Just because champion sires do well with many lines, doesn't mean they will do well with ALL lines.
Which is why I admire those breeders who have faith in their own bloodlines.
The Americans will regularly use their own bloodlines, those of the top class race dogs they bred to the many broodbitches they have on their own farm.
In Australia, it generally means breeders are stuck with the lot. Greyhound breeding and rearing is an expensive business. Ask anyone who has reared a litter of pups, kept them all and taken them right to the racetrack stage.
Which is why only a few breeders in Australia will not breed commercially.
Which is why I admire breeders like those who bred Full Circle (Mister Twink-Andbyn's Empress) a sensational 29.54 winner at Sandown last week.
Bravery is something most people believe comes in wars, on the front line, VC winning stuff.
The breeders of Full Circle and his successful littermates had to have a degree of bravery to have undertaken the mating.
Not that it didn't have a basis of hope to back it.
There is quality in the line.
Mister Twink (Mountain Dry-My Girl Georgina) is beautifully bred and looked like he was going to be something pretty special.
Peter Giles rated him one of the fastest dogs he had trained. Peter bred him and there are few better judges of a greyhound's ability than he.
Mister Twink never really got to have the benefit of the Giles training mastery. He broke a hock after winning 12 races in a 20-start career during 2007-08.
He is from Peter's famous Floodgate damline and is heavily line bred to Shadow Osti and Gun Law Osti who are both out of the famous Osti Lee damline.
Mister Twink is bred on the same lines as top sires Hallucinate and Where's Pedro, and Topgun winner Meticulous. That trio are grandsons of Gun Law Osti and out of a bitch that carries Paris Match in their pedigree. Paris Match is a half sister to Shadow Osti.
Andbyn's Empress, the dam of Full Circle, did not win a race in the 15 times she faced the starter. She could manage only three thirds.
She is by Hallucinate from Bigbad Trooper. This is the damline of some very good greyhounds. It traces directly to famed race and broodbitch Camden Glider a line that is still proving its worth but mainly through Hotshot who is found in a number of influential pedigrees.
Bigbad Trooper was the dam of Group performers Keasy Kola and Kola's Pride. This is also the line of star gallopers Bigbad Leonardo and Bigbad Raymond.
While there is plenty to recommend Andbyn's Empress' at stud, the fact she could manage only three placings in 15 starts would have been enough for most commercial breeders to shy away from her chances at stud.
The mating to Mister Twink was an inspired one.
We have already pointed out that Mister Twink is heavily line bred to Gun Law Osti and Shadow Osti both of who have the famous Osti Lee as their granddam.
And we also pointed out Mister Twink is bred on the reverse cross to the litter brothers Hallucinate and Where's Pedro.
So when Andbyn's Empress (a daughter of Hallucinate) was mated to Mister Twink, it was a reinforcement FOUR TIMES of the Osti Lee damline.
Mister Twink is also line bred to Shining Chariot and his sister Centrefire 4x4 and this has always been a mix that can upgrade for racetrack success.
Putting Andbyn's Empress to Mister Twink brought in yet another cross of Shining Chariot. He comes in via two DAUGHTERS while his sister Centrefire comes in via a valuable SON.
Gun Law Osti is also duplicated 4x3 and sex balanced through a daughter and son.
The position of Gun Law Osti (through a daughter) in Mister Twink lends itself to as much line breeding to Gun Law Osti via his son Brett Lee as is possibly.
Mister Twink should always mate bitches that carry Brett Lee in their pedigree.
So what we have here is a very intensely line bred pedigree, four crosses of Osti Lee and three of the famous Princess Diro damline, all of them via sons and daughters.
What the breeders of Full Circle did was help make Andbyn's Empress a successful broodbitch by introducing common and dominant ancestors to upgrade her offspring.
It certainly worked.
Full Circle took a while to show his real potential, 10 starts in fact. But he has now run 29.55 and 29.54 at Sandown to prove himself.
His sister Hippy Princess is showing potential on the country tracks and has been placed at The Meadows, while a brother Hillbilly Hippy has won six and been placed a number of times on city tracks.