THAT Darren McDonald is certainly a "king maker".
Just look at what he is putting together is the shape of Keybow.
Way back in November last year, Keybow (Take The Kitty-Key Exit) caused something of a boilover when he ran down Paw Licking to win a 5th Grade final at The Meadows.
He started $7 so while he was showing promise, he had not quite lived up to the potential he was showing.
That's where Darren McDonald came in.
Following along behind Keybow that night at The Meadows was a pretty darn good field which also included Lukey Deez, Cracker Jack Lil, Dyna Filbert and Vapourash.
By January, Darren had improved Keybow so much that he was second to Banjo Boy in Cranbourne Cup.
He then stepped right up to win the Group 1 Perth Cup and "could" have been a little unlucky when finishing second to Buckle Up Wes in the Group 1 Australian Cup.
Last Saturday night at Wentworth Park, Keybow ran 29.45 to win a heat of the Golden Easter Egg.
It was easily the quickest of the heats and stamped him as the dog to beat in the rest of the series. Obviously box draws will have a huge say for the semis and final, but there's no doubting Keybow is the real deal.
Darren McDonald "went quiet" when he had health problems a few years ago but he's back bigger and better than ever.
There are few better, if indeed there are any, trainers in this industry.
Darren turns good dogs into very good dogs, and in Keybow's case he turns them into potential stud dogs.
There is no doubt Keybow is already a stud dog. He's only adding to his service fee with every Group win or placing, and the scorching times he can reel off at any track.
I have discussed Keybow's pedigree before.
In brief, he is the combination of intense in-breeding.
Our Miss Tilly, dam of Keybow's sire Take The Kitty, is in-bred 3x2 to the virtual brother and sister Malawi and Supreme Image.
Malawi is Waverly Supreme-Sabby's Image while Supreme Image is by Waverly Supreme's son Chariot Supreme-Sabby's Image.
In Keybow's damline, his dam Key Exit is bred identically to Bombastic Shiraz.
She carries the brothers Malawi and Buka Sunset 4x4, and significantly she also traces directly along her damline to Zimbabwe (this is the famous Zulu Moss family).
So when Key Exit was mated to Take The Kitty it produced intense 2x1 in-breeding to two bitches (Our Miss Tilly and Key Exit) who are bred on an identical cross.
But the pedigree of Keybow also introduces a 2x3 cross of Big Daddy Cool and his half brother Brett Lee. Both are found along the direct sireline on both sides of the pedigree.
Keybow also is duplicated to Malawi's Prince 4x4 and perfectly balanced (via a son and daughter).
For those who are interested in such things, please take great notice of the position of Malawi's Prince in the pedigree of Take The Kitty.
Malawi's Prince is the sire of Take The Kitty's damsire Placard.
In the pedigree of Key Exit (dam of Keybow) Malawi's Prince comes in via a DAUGHTER (Flo Jo Tears).
The best progeny of many, many great sires carry a balance like this.
Call up the best progeny of the legend stud dog Black Top and look at how many of them carry a DAUGHTER strain of Chief Havoc whose SON Gogodalla is the damsire of Black Top.
The Black Top-Elsie Moss matings are the perfect examples … Bill Moss, Clay Moss, Molly Moss, Rose Moss, Andy Moss, Miller's Moss, Miami Moss, Anne Lewis all bred this way.
I believe Keybow can become a VERY, VERY good stud dog.
There is no doubting his speed, his race winning credentials. I don't care the slightest that he tips the scales at "about 30kgs".
Giants don't become legend sires. Brett Lee was 29kgs.
One of the best aspects of Keybow's pedigree is the fact he has Black Shiraz along his damline via a DAUGHTER.
Which means Keybow is absolutely crying out for bitches with Bombastic Shiraz and Primo Uno (SONS of Black Shiraz) in their pedigree.
Keybow's fifth dam is none other than that former scorcher Metal Springs a SISTER to Worth Doing, still the greatest greyhound I have ever seen race.
It would make sense also to make sure Keybow mates as many bitches with Worth Doing (and his litter brother Wary Suspect) as possible.
Flo Jo Tears, found in a strong position in the pedigree of Keybow, is bred along very similar lines to Token Prince.
It would also make sense to mate as many bitches as possible with Token Prince in their pedigree to Keybow.
Now, we were talking before about the powerful position of Malawi's Prince in the pedigree of Take The Kitty.
In Keybow, his damsire is that former very good NSW sprinter and good stud success Over Flo, a SON of Brett Lee.
In a bid to help Keybow succeed at stud, he should then mate as many bitches as possible whose pedigrees contain a DAUGHTER of Brett Lee.
Keybow can also take bitches that carry just one more cross of Malawi's Prince via either a son or daughter.
I'm sure Darren McDonald will not let Keybow go to anyone else when it does come time to stand him at stud.
WAY, way back in 1989 a bitch I owned and trained finished third in the inaugural Ipswich Auction final.
Which is why I have forever watched with great anticipation the running of the Auction series.
Last Saturday night, Rachel Scott and Mike Chapman, a breeding, rearing and training partnership at Park Ridge on the outskirts of Brisbane, had a very big Auction final.
They bred, reared and train the winner Are Ate (Lochinvar Marlow-Long Long Mama) and also had two others in the final 10, littermates Royal Albert and Part The Sea (Bit Chili-Yes Mistress).
Raven Poldar is the third dam of winner Are Ate and second dam of Royal Albert and Part The Sea.
Raven Poldar (by Moral Standards) is out of the former great staying bitch Raven Kelly one of the best of her era in 1994.
Are Ate is bred on a 4x4 cross of the sisters Sobbing Sal and Hot Show Deb.
There are many, many very fast dogs bred on this cross of the sisters.