WAY, way back in the mid 1980s, Alf Shorter and his brother Col were up in Queensland hoping to put together a greyhound racing dynasty.
Unfortunately, their financial backer ran into a few monetary problems and within a few years it all fell apart.
But not before one aspect of that "potential empire" involved the importation of a stud dog and a broodbitch from Ireland. They were the Citizen Supreme-Lovely Choice dog Woodland Citizen and a bitch named Violet Ruby (Brilliant chimes-Odd Bloom).
While Woodland Citizen came with some fabulous bloodlines, he was not all that well patronised by breeders. He did, however, become the damsire of the very fine sprinter Yo Yo's Boy the sire of top class gallopers Yo Yo's Gem, Tiarta and Yo Yo String.
The very good Sergeant Carter was also out of a Woodland Citizen bitch.
Back home in England and Ireland, the damline of Woodland Citizen was recently responsible for Group class Aero Gaga and Swift Ninja ... their third dams being half sisters to Woodland Citizen.
But it has been Violet Ruby, a September 1985 whelp, who came to Australia boasting the famous Skipping Chick family (via her sire) and four crosses of the famed Prairie Peg.
On Saturday night, much was made at The Meadows of the battle for the 525m fifth grade final that brought together a fabulous field headed by Melbourne Cup winner Ando's Mac, Launching Pad victor Suffragette, multiple Group star Pepper Fire and a host of others.
It was one of those "others" in Zinzan Brooke (Knocka Norris-All Fired Up by Gable Lafourche) who was to be their undoing winning in 29.79 and Jimboomba (Qld) breeder Wayne Thomson will be walking around this week with a gleam on his face proof of a job well done.
Wayne has nurtured the Violet Ruby family for a while. He is a devotee of pedigree research and a meticulous keeper of statistics on greyhound racing.
The pedigree he put together to produce Zinzan Brooke, and his brilliant litter brother Judicial Man, was fabulous and is now being proven at the highest level.
Judicial Man is a sensational sprinter and Group class performer. He's won 21 of his 32 starts and $75,000 in stakes. Saturday night's win brought Zinzan Brooke's career to 27 starts for 19 wins and $45,000. He has also been a multiple Group finalist.
Violet Ruby is their fifth dam.
Also in the litter is Back To Business winner of the Byrne Memorial at Albion Park last year and a 30.00 winner there and 24.97 victor at Ipswich. Wayne is already mapping out potential mates for her.
Violet Ruby was an instant hit when she started her stud career in Australia.
The Brother Fox-Violet Ruby bitch Summer Story won the $20,000 Capalaba Straight Track Classic. She then went to stud, mated to Your Attention, and produced Gold Coast Cup and Lord Mayors Cup winner Sleepy Saint.
Richmond Oaks winner Summer Blitz also came from the same litter as Sleepy Saint. She is the third dam of Zinzan Brooke.
Summer Blitz's daughter Summer Passion (by Malawi's Prince) was sent to the US and produced Grade A performer K's Passion Dash.
The late Fred Crowther, another pedigree devotee, grabbed Regal Summer out of the family and produced some quality gallopers including a bitch called Bounding a Group class Albion Park stayer.
All Fired Up, dam of Zinzan Brooke, won one race at Capalaba in a six-start career.
But her mother Banker's Blitz (Just The Best-Summer Blitz) started 32 times for 15 wins for owner Gary Constable and trainer, legendary Rivers dog man Nev Robson. She was a multiple Albion Park winner.
When Wayne Thomson designed the pedigree match that produced Zinzan Brooke and Judicial Man, he put together sire and dam who are bred on the same Just The Best/Fortress cross. Interestingly, Wayne made sure both JTB and Fortress were "balanced" in the mating.
They are both found via a SON in sire Knocka Norris and a DAUGHTER in All Fired Up.
I'm not sure if Wayne has decided on a future mate yet for Back In Business and it will be very interesting to see what this pedigree devotee comes up with.