THE Group 1 Sale Cup has become one of those races.
The 650m distance allows stronger type sprinters and those "stayers" who struggle at the end of a 700m race to get their chance at Group glory.
It always tosses up a classy victor and the victory of Neo Cleo (Cosmic Rumble-Ruby Ha Ha by Bombastic Shiraz) proves that point.
The bitch has now started 55 times for 27 wins and 12 placings earning $245,000.
Even before the Sale Cup, Neo Cleo had proved her worth for breeders Wendy and Robert Neocleous at Hazelwood North in Victoria.
She had been second in the G1 Hume Cup (also over 600m) and the G2 McKenna Memorial but also a finalist in the G3 Dillon memorial and the Maidment Memorial.
Her litter brother Blackjack Neo was also a finalist in the Sale Cup. He's no slouch having won 17 races and been placed 26 times for $101,000. He has also been second in the G3 Dillon Memorial.
Their half brother Mcneo (by speed influence Magic Sprite) has been a finalist in the G2 Traralgon Cup.
It is those sort of qualifications that deserve a closer look at their pedigree.
I have no doubt whatsoever that Neo Cleo will give Wendy and Robert much, much more success when she retires and goes to stud.
Her pedigree is wonderful, beautifully balanced, with LOTS of influence from a broodbitch influence, and also with lots of scope for her to be mated to any number of different stud dogs.
Neo Cleo is bred on the Cosmic Rumble/Bombastic Shiraz cross that has already tossed up classy sprinter Ronray Spirit (G2 Warragul Cup, G2 Warrnambool Cup, finalist G1 Easter Egg) and Astrozone (Mandurah Derby, finalist G1 Perth Cup) among others.
Dam Ruby Ha Ha proved herself on the track from 52 starts for 13 wins and 15 placings earning $45,000. She was a finalist in the G2 Traralgon Cup and G2 Great Chase. Her litter brother Wy Yung Tiger was second in the G1 Winter Cup and a prolific winner in city tracks in Victoria.
Second dam Paddy's Meika was a finalist in the then G1 Sandown Laurels. She was a half sister to G1 Maturity winner and handy stud dog Paddy's Flame.
Paddy's Flame sired Lizrene winner Amity Flame and is the damsire of Wot Price Flash (finalist G2 Traralgon Cup), the classy stayer Caco Potion (3rd G3 Chairman's Cup, finalist G1 Bold Trease), the very good Fifteen Two (finalist G1 Hobart 1000, G2 Launceston Cup) and his half brother, recent $1m Chase runner-up Jamella Jet.
The pedigree of Neo Cleo shows a 4x4x5 triple cross of the famed broodbitch influence Malawi's Prince. He is VERY dominant in the pedigrees of quality broodbitch sires like Collision, El Galo, Bombastic Shiraz etc.
His sireline, once dominant via his son Token Prince, is fading fast or at the very best struggling to hold on to any real success.
But, Neo Cleo is also beautifully balanced 4x5 to Gun Law Osti (a cross found in champion sprinter El Grand Senor).
Ruby Ha Ha, dam of the Sale Cup winner, has a wonderful pedigree.
She is bred on the same Bombastic Shiraz/Awesome Assassin cross as champion staying bitch Flashing Floods. This is a very successful cross.
The success of this cross is that Bombastic Shiraz's second dam Blonde Bombshell and Awesome Assassin are bred almost identically. Get on to the website greyhound data, do a test mating of this pair, and it will soon become obvious just how closely bred they are.
They bring in famous half relations and also a genetic brother and sister.
When Neo Cleo goes to stud, there are numerous options open to her.
Barcia Bale is an obvious match because he has done well with daughters of Cosmic Rumble, but has also done extremely well with bitches that carry Bombastic Shiraz in their pedigree.
Neo Cleo is from the famed Floodgate damline, the Ashlee Jeannine branch of the line. It is a damline that has stood the test of time.
Peter Giles, who became a legend among trainers via this sound, tough and consistent family, tried a few times to intensely in-breed it.
It worked only reasonably.
But, Neo Cleo looks a ready-made mate for Fernando Bale.
Yes, he is the flavour of the year and it is easy for me to write that he suits Neo Cleo.
But there are many proven crosses in this mating not the least the litter brothers Skelligs Tiger and Curryhills Fox, the powerful link between Chloe Allen (dam of Fernando Bale) and Ruby Ha Ha who is bred identically to Chloe, and also the fact G1 winner West On Augie is from a bitch by Cosmic Rumble and from the Osti Lee damline, the same damline as Gun Law Osti.
Wendy and Robert Neocleous have a potential broodbitch goldmine in Neo Cleo ... but they didn't need me to tell them that.