COL and Joy Curtis up at Atkinsons Dam in Queensland are among the nicest people you could meet.
They have been in greyhound racing for as long as most of us can remember.
When they landed the time-honoured Eric Thomson Memorial Maiden at Albion Park last Thursday night with KEYED ALIKE (Keybow-Invergarry Lady by Mr Prizz) it was a feature race victory well deserved.
What was especially interesting about the victory is that Keyed Alike downed the Reg Hazelgrove owned and trained Old Money to win the Eric Thomson.
Reg had bred, owned and trained a dog also called Keyed Alike (Just The Best-Cyclone Kelly by Balligari) a 2000 whelp. Reg's Keyed Alike could gallop too. He was a G2 Tweed Galaxy finalist behind Sootie Allover.
Col and Joy have been breeding with the damline of the latest version of Keyed Alike for decades right back to the early 2000s.
In fact, Col and Joy bred a dog called Russian Red (Craigie Whistler-Surf Air by Surf Lorian) who was also a finalist in the Eric Thomson Memorial in 2011. He even ran a Novice class record at Ipswich.
Russian Red's litter sister, Wave Zone, is the second dam of last Thursday night's Eric Thomson winner.
The Curtis' have stuck firm with this damline.
Invergarry Lady, dam of the Eric Thomson winner, was a classy race bitch winning 10, earning $35,000), and finishing third in the G2 Ipswich Auction and making the final of the G2 Qld Futurity and an Ipswich Young Guns.
When winning her heat of the Ipswich Young Guns, Invergarry Lady downed such racetrack greats as Jury and Slick. It's obvious she could gallop.
Col and Joy bred her by the former smart Albion Park galloper Mr Prizz-Wave Zone.
Unfortunately, Invergarry Lady and Fancy Red (4 wins) were the only winners of seven pups in the litter.
But, being a Group class galloper meant Invergarry Lady had earned her right to be bred with.
Her mother Wave Zone won just one race and earned the grand sum of $391.
But, she was a litter sister to Russian Red and a dog called Craigie Air (8 wins, $25,000) so she too was given her chance at stud.
Surf Air (Surf Lorian-Deb On Air by Fortified Speed) is third dam of Keyed Alike.
She won just two races but was a litter sister to Maywyn's Fury a finalist in the G2 Ipswich Gold Cup and Prince Of Tides a finalist in the G2 Vince Curry Maiden.
Which brings us to the direct damline of Keyed Alike ... tracing right back to his 6th dam the great stayer Boronia Blossom (Wary Suspect-National Lass by Tangairn).
Boronia Blossom was Qld GOTY, twice won the National Distance and also the Albion Park Gold Cup for legend trainer Ron Ball.
Maywyn's Fury, and Surf Air, were in-bred 2x3 to Just The Best and Boronia Blossom who were both bred on the Versatile Miss/National Queen cross via the litter brothers Worth Doing and Wary Suspect and through the half sisters Tenthill Flyer and Boronia Blossom.
Boronia Blossom also became the second dam of Lucy Jet (finalist G3 Chairman's Cup) who in turn became the dam of Coolabah Jet (finalist G1 Paws Of Thunder) and Chasing de Cash (finalist G3 Tweed Galaxy).
She was also second dam of Zippercode (finalist G3 Darwin Cup).
Col and Joy Curtis have always looked outside the square when mating their bitches.
The mating to Keybow with Invergarry Lady brought in some strong line breeding.
Credibility is brought in three times, significantly via two sons and a daughter, and his son Just The Best twice through sons.
Brett Lee (twice) and his half brother Big Daddy Cool are found 3x4x4.
But, the significant aspect of this mating comes via a 4x4 cross of Flo Jo Tears and Awesome McLaren, perfectly placed to impact with each other, and bred on an identical pattern.
They are both by Malawi's Prince and both carry the famed race bitch and producer Bay Road Queen in their damline.
AND, just as significantly, they are a perfect balance for each other.