MANTRA Lad was a pretty special greyhound.
The imposing son of Pure Octane-Al Fresco by Royal Pilgrim) was bred to be the top line stayer he became.
He's gone to stud now but not before also showing he could sprint with the best of them.
Who will forget the night he ran down champion Queen Lauryn to win the Sandown Shootout … certainly not Steve Hawkins and Tony Brett the Queen's connections.
Mantra Lad was bred by Marty Hallinan a man steeped in greyhound racing tradition.
Marty once told me he put Al Fresco to Pure Octane simply because he liked Pure Octane as a race dog and believed it was a match he wanted to try.
Marty produced the perfect pedigree … maybe by accident.
On face value, the mating brought in a duplication 3x3 of champion sprinter and pedigree influence Malawi's Prince through his sons Token Prince and Royal Pilgrim.
It should always be the aim of breeders when bringing in duplications of a common ancestor, usually a stud dog, to develop a sex balance.
By that we mean, bring Malawi's Prince in through a SON and a DAUGHTER on either side of the pedigree.
A paragraph in a thoroughbred pedigree book explains it perfectly:
“If there is concentration of a male ancestor only via his sons, it is a limiting factor and will automatically exclude any valuable sex-linked genes located on the X sex chromosome. Male ancestors can only transmit their Y sex chromosome to sons. However, by reinforcing a male ancestor via both sexes (son and daughter) it provides an opportunity for valuable sex-linked genes to be inherited because a male ancestor's X sex chromosome is always given to his daughters. Duplicating male ancestors via sons and daughters will deploy similar genes on BOTH sides of chromosomal pairings.”
Mantra Lad's pedigree did not do this, Malawi's Prince coming through two SONS.
Why then was Mantra Lad able to gallop as well as he did?
Firstly, while it is always best to have duplications of ancestors sex balanced, there can be other influences within a pedigree that can impact just as much if not more.
In Mantra Lad's case this was quite true.
Mantra Lad came from a dominant damline. His own dam Al Fresco was a top class stayer.
But I believe what made Mantra Lad such a success is the Osti Lee damline which “sneaks” into the pedigree in a very powerful position to impact the resultant offspring.
Paris Match and Pilgrim's Star were litter sisters (Brother-Osti's Shadow) and they are found in the pedigree of Mantra Lad through their sons Bobniak and Royal Pilgrim respectively.
These bitches come along what we call “the alternate sex path” on both sides of the pedigree of Mantra Lad.
Bringing in brother and sister along the X path can hugely impact a pedigree if the right genes come through.
They obviously did with Mantra Lad.
Which leads me to the real reason for this article … Latifi Jiam (Pure Octane-Prodigal Girl by Prince of Tigers) the winner of the Bendigo Cup and a heat of the Damsels Dash at Sandown last Thursday night.
She's been a goldmine for her connections, a multiple city winner but there is no doubting her connections had every reason to expect she would be just that.
Her pedigree is identical to that of Mantra Lad.
There is the 3x3 duplication through two dons of Malawi's Prince, but significantly Latifi Jiam's damsire Prince Of Tigers carries the Osti Lee damline on the alternate sex path of her pedigree.
Prince Of Tigers' dam Amazing Osti is by Brother Fox-Osti's Magic.
Interesting for me is the fact Gun Law Osti (sire of Brett Lee) is by Brother Fox from Miss Dusty Lee a sister to Osti's Magic.
Paris Match is a granddaughter of Osti Lee, just like Amazing Osti. Gun Law Osti is a grandson.
Look closely at the best progeny of Pure Octane and you will see many, many of them carry Brett Lee (son of Gun Law Osti) in their damline.
But Latifi Jiam had much, much more to her pedigree although that cross of Paris Match and her close relation Amazing Osti was probably the dominant aspect.
Latifi Jiam is from an unbroken line of high class race bitches.
Her sixth dam is I'm Blessed, dam of champion race bitch and Group 1 broodbitch Highly Blessed, and legend broodbitch Wee Sal.
Latifi Jiam comes from the I'm Blessed line brought through Lorrathor and Jess Park.
Latifi Jiam's own dam Prodigal Girl won three races at The Meadows in 30.52, 30.63 and 30.66, as well as races at Bendigo and Wangaratta. She was a finalist in the SA Oaks in 2004.
Her own dam Decliro Park (by Head Honcho) finished third in the Group 1 Sandown Laurels.
She also won at The Meadows in 30.18, Sandown in 30.18 and Cranbourne in 30.99.
Interestingly, she was a half sister to the star race bitch Lukeamy (by Dave's Mentor).
When Lukeamy won the SA Oaks, Latifi Jiam's dam Prodigal Girl was among the finalists.
Decliro Park was out of a bitch called Katunga Park (by Denver) who was also a Sandown 30.07 winner, who won also at Sale in 24.51, 23.88 and Geelong in 26.36.
Latifi Jiam's fourth dam Jess Park (Chariot Supreme-Lorrathor) also produced the outstanding staying bitch Elbony Park Lass a finalist in a number of feature distance races specially around Wentworth Park.
Last Thursday night at Bendigo, six heats of the Young Star Classic were run and Kynan's Express (Big Time Max-Jorja James by Stately Bird) continued his winning run.
Big Time Max's dam Lil Bit Loony is by Prince Of Tigers.
Jorja James is by Stately Bird whose dam Dollar Bird is by Brother Fox-Osti's Magic making her a sister to Prince Of Tigers' dam Amazing Osti.
Amazing Osti and Dollar Bird also come along the alternate sex path in the pedigree of Kynan's Express in exactly the same position as the “Osti” line appears in the pedigree of both Mantra Lad and Latifi Jiam.
Doubling and tripling the Osti Lee damline, generally in the middle of a pedigree, can work wonders.