ANYONE watching Sandown's races last week would have noticed the very special win by Lady Toy.
The bitch landed a rich maiden final and would have been pretty unlucky not to have.
Several times her progress was impeded but she was far too strong at the finish.
Norma Gost out at Little River bred, owns and trains the bitch and I'll be among the many to congratulate her.
Lady Toy is a real home bred and I for one am overjoyed when breeders look outside the square to produce their kennel.
That's exactly what Norma did.
Lady Toy is by Our Toyman from Railway Shiraz.
Norma bred sire Our Toyman (Hallucinate-Toy Cuthbert) who started 98 times for 29 wins and 19 placings winning the Horsham Cup.
He won more than $100,000 in stakes and was a very strong dog winning over 515m at Sandown but had wins over a middle distance at The Meadows and Shepparton.
He was also a finalist in the Ballarat Cup and Great Chase.
Tough … that's what Our Toyman was bred to be. His dam Toy Cuthbert raced 76 times for seven wins (she won at The Meadows) and 18 placings.
Second dam Lady Cuthbert raced 108 times for 20 wins and 31 placings.
Norma gave Our Toyman his chance at stud but in the few years he has been available to breeders, only six litters have been whelped by him.
And Norma has bred two of those.
Norma bred Lady Toy out of the Bombastic Shiraz-Tea Towel bitch Railway Shiraz.
It was a mating made in "Heaven".
Norma must have been peering through pedigrees when it came time to mate Railway Shiraz.
Her own dog Our Toyman was a natural. (More of that later.)
Railway Shiraz had 27 starts for just two wins, at The Meadows and Ballarat, but she was also placed seven times.
Railway Shiraz is bred identically to that great staying champion Bobby Boucheau.
Bobby is by Bombastic Shiraz as well and out of a bitch called Dallas Gypsy who is a litter sister to Tea Towel (dam of Railway Shiraz).
Next dam Advert was a special race bitch making a couple of Group finals.
Fourth dam of Lady Toy is Fitzroy Lass the finalist in the Maturity who went on to produce champion Head Honcho.
Therein lies the "secret" to the pedigree of Lady Toy.
The Our Toyman-Railway Shiraz bitch is in-bred 3x3 to the half relations Head Honcho-Advert (both out of Fitzroy Lass).
Star sprint bitch Amakler Girl (Superman-Sky Alarm) is also in-bred 3x3 to Head Honcho and his half sister Skyline Miss.
Superman's stars Kilty Lad and Crump are also in-bred to Head Honcho.
There is much more to the family of Lady Toy than just that.
Tea Towel is also a sister to the Golden Easter Egg finalist Ceejay's Vixen who has since become the dam of Maturity finalist Heidi Go Seek (by Talks Cheap) and Le Fox (by Brett Lee) yet another Maturity finalist.
The Head Honcho/Advert cross isn't the only intensity in the pedigree of Lady Toy. She also carries line breeding to Chief Dingaan and his litter sister Zimbabwe.
AND, for those breeding enthusiasts, check out the pedigree of Advert (Wild Pirate-Fitzroy Lass).
Wild Pirate traces directly along his tail female line to Monalee Again. Fitzroy Lass is by Roy Trease whose second dam is Newdown Lady.
Monalee Again is by Newdown Heather out of a daughter of Prairie Flash.
Newdown Lady is by Newdown Heather from a daughter of Pigalle Wonder.
Prairie Flash and Pigalle Wonder are half brothers being out of legend producer Prairie Peg.
In the pedigree of Lady Toy, the duplication of Fitzroy Lass further enhances the link between Newdown lady (twice) and Monalee Again.
Also, take a look at the pedigree of Fitzroy Lass.
Her sire Roy Trease is bred along similar lines to Nation Parade (sire of Fitzroy Lass' mother Missus Fitz).
Both are by Temlee. Roy Trease's dam is by a son of The Smoother while Nation Parade's dam is by The Smoother.
This is also the same cross found in the Wheeler family's legend Winifred Bale.
Good on you Norma … Lady Toy should continue to give you great joy.
WHILE I'm at it giving praise to breeders who are happy to think well away from the "commercial" theme, I implore you all to take a close look at the pedigree of Sunday morning's Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome.
(You can find it via the website www.pedigreequery.com)
California Chrome is by a fairly decent sprinter called Lucky Pulpit from a mare called Love The Chase.
Lucky Pulpit, until his Kentucky Derby winning son came along, stood for a service fee of $2500.
Love The Chase won one race (a Maiden Claimer) from six starts and earned the princely sum of $6000. She was sold for $8000 as a broodmare.
It is the pedigree of Love The Chase that got my pedigree hat on.
She is in-bred 2x2 to the virtual sister and brother Dance Number and Polish Numbers). Dance Number is by Northern Dancer and out of the champion race mare Numbered Account.
Polish Numbers is by Northern Dancer's son Danzig and out of Numbered Account.
Wow! I can hear you say … how in-bred is that.
But it gets better.
Numbered Account (Buckpasser-Intriguing) was champion two-year-old in the US winning seven stakes races. She also won six stakes races at three.
Love The Chase, thus, is intensely in-bred to one of the great race mares of all time.
But the intensity doesn't stop there.
Numbered Account is in-bred three times to Triple Crown winner War Admiral all via daughters.
But, both of Numbered Account's parents trace directly to that most famous of broodmares La Troienne.
There is more.
Buckpasser's dam is Busanda. Intriguing's second dam is Striking.
A mare called My Charmer, winner of the Fair Grounds Oaks, was in-bred to Striking and yet another War Admiral/La Troienne mare called Busher.
My Charmer became the mother of Triple Crown winner and legend sire Seattle Slew.
I can hear you breeding buffs saying it now … mares with Seattle Slew in their pedigree should be first in line to mate with California Chrome when he goes to stud.
As an aside: California Chrome has unique racing silks … purple with a green donkey on the back. On the front of the silks and on his blinkers are the letters "DAP" which stand for "dumb-ass partners". The Derby winner's breeders-owners Steve Coburn and Perry Martin took it to heart when someone called them that after they purchased the mare.
Steve Coburn was celebrating his 61st birthday on Derby day. Coburn and Martin recently knocked back a $6 million offer for 51percent of their colt.