UNTIRING old warriors are an aspect of racing that win the hearts of all.
One such warrior is the recent Meadows winner Gunmetal Rebel (Go Forever-Gunmetal Lass by Collision). Raced by Craig Pringle and trained at Heathcote in Victoria by Jason Formosa, he's been a better than handy performer for a long, long time.
Whelped in April 2013, he raced first in December 2014 and since then has raced every single months since but for July 2016 and October 2016.
In that time he has raced 116 times for 24 wins, 22 seconds and 14 thirds and earned $81,000.
His crowning glory came on April 30 last year when winning the 665m Traralgon Distance Cup leading virtually throughout.
Gunmetal Rebel has won all over the place, Bendigo, Meadows, Ballarat, Traralgon, Shepparton ... you name it.
His littermates included Gunmetal Diva winner of 13 races and $22,000 with 28 placings, and Gunmetal Lad winner of eight races and 23 placings.
The pedigree of Gunmetal Rebel is fantastic showing a 3x3 cross of the littermates Jones Junior and Sheila Blue (Head Honcho-Leprechaun Miss).
This is the double of the famed National Dingaan (National Lass) damline that does so spectacularly well. Oaks Road has survived at stud from just this very reinforcement of this famous damline.
Bringing in littermates, of opposite sexes, is often a recipe for racetrack success. It certainly was in the case of Gunmetal Rebel.
Gunmetal Lass (Collision-Winfrey Lass) won two races at Horsham and Bendigo, but next dam Winfrey Lass (Ashigga-Sheila Blue) totalled 16 wins in her race career.
But, what is even more interesting in the pedigree of Gunmetal Rebel is that the full brothers (from different litters) Black Pirate and Bomber Gleeson (Chariot Supreme-Hoppy's Girl) are introduced to this pedigree 4x6.
Black Pirate was third to Highly Blessed in the Melbourne Cup and Bomber Gleeson was third twice in the Australian Cup (to China Trip both times) and in the Easter Egg (to Billy Binjang).
Despite plenty of opportunities, neither Black Pirate nor Bomber Gleeson did much at stud.
But, in the pedigree of Gunmetal Rebel, they combined with the littermates Jones Junior and Sheila Blue to produce a quality race dog.
In fact, look closely at the pedigree of Gunmetal Blue and you will see Chloe Jones (dam of his sire Go Forever) and Winfrey Lass (his second dam) are virtual sisters such is the closeness of their pedigrees.
It is a credit to the connections of this grand old campaigner that today, as a four-year-old after 116 race starts, he is still competitive against city competition.
GENERALLY, intense in-breeding will create "pace" and can often reduce stamina in a pedigree.
That's why died-in-the-wool stayers can be duplicated with confidence within a pedigree without the fear of producing plodding types.
Check out the pedigree of legend broodbitch Elsie Moss, 3x2 to that powerhouse Chief Havoc.
But, reinforcing known "staying lines" can also often guarantee the progeny, or at least some of them, will get a distance.
This appears the case with the famous Ready To Rain female family.
Midnight Elsa (Shakey Jakey-Midnight News) is an example of just this, Midnight Elsa made the final of the Group 1 Sandown Cup the richest staying race run in the world.
She carries a 3x3 cross of the virtual sisters Naughty Thoughts (Go Wild Teddy-Ready To Rain) and Midnight Drama (Go Wild Teddy-Ready To Rise). Ready To Rise is a daughter of Token Prince-Ready To Rain.
Now, check out the pedigree of Group 1 Bold Trease winner Bourbski Fever (Buck Fever-Midnight Movie). She too is hugely in-bred to the same virtual sisters as Midnight Elsa.
Midnight Movie (dam of Bourbski Fever) is second dam of Midnight Elsa.
It is significant that Bourbski Fever and Midnight Elsa are FEMALES.
Midnight Elsa has a litter BROTHER called Nature's Gent who is a sprinter and a recent finalist in the Group 3 Speed Star. He has won in 29.31 around Sandown.
Midnight News, dam of Nature's Gent and Midnight Elsa, has already produced a handy litter to Collision.
It would seem perfect for her to be mated at some time in the future to Buck Fever. Another Bourbski Fever would be nice!