IN-BREEDING is a very important aspect of designing pedigrees.
While, obviously, not the only means to success, it often does achieve what it sets out to do … narrow the gene pool to common and DOMINANT ancestors in a bid to upgrade for racetrack success.
Of course it won't always work.
Mother Nature, and her vagaries, will always have a huge say on the outcome of any litter.
Environment, or rearing, breaking in and training, will also impact upon results.
No matter how well a pedigree is put together, without the best of rearing and then training, our prized "blue blood" will never achieve what it may have been destined to.
In-breeding can upgrade a family.
Of that I have no doubt.
Which brings me to Wilson-Trowbridge Racing.
The brother and sister combination of Nathan Wilson and Melissa Trowbridge raced a bitch called Foot Luce (Hallucinate-Scarlett by Black Shiraz) who won the grand total of just one race, a Maiden at Angle Park, from six starts.
Her dam Scarlett, a four times winner, has a dismal litter to stud flop Typhoon Tide, produced Meadows winners Polinelli and Selwood and not much else to Where's Pedro, then backed up with Pedro's litter brother Hallucinate for Foot Luce, and finally a litter by El Galo whelped in 2009 of which none were named.
Foot Luce settled in for a life of luxury as a house pet until one day Nathan and Melissa decided to breed with her.
They put her to Vapour Whirl (Ashigga-Broad Band) the former high class sprinter who has become a good sire from limited opportunities.
She had 10.
Nathan and Melissa split them and reared five each.
From that litter has come Oakvale Destiny who last Thursday night at Sandown downed her litter sister Oakvale Flyer to win the Group 1 Sapphire Crown for bitches.
It is a "good bitches" race having already been won by Xylia Allen, Queen Lauryn, Betty's Angel … you get the idea.
A month before both bitches had made the Group 2 Qld Futurity final at Albion Park finishing unplaced behind Visualize It.
At that time, trainer Jeff Britton's partner Angela Langton told me of the quality of the bitches, and also of their litter brother Texas Titan a finalist in the Group 2 Harrison-Dawson at Sandown last week.
Angela was in raptures about the entire litter's potential and expected them to go from strength to strength.
But what she also did was rave about the rearing those pups had got.
She told a story of Nathan with a 140-acre property rearing the pups in huge paddocks often chasing a motor bike over hundreds and hundreds of metres to stretch their heart and lungs to maximum.
It stood them in good stead when they went racing.
While the rearing, and obviously now the training, has been superb, what Nathan and Melissa did was put together a pedigree of intense in-breeding.
Firstly, Foot Luce is intensely in-bred 3x3 to the sisters Sobbing Sal and Hot Show Deb (New Tears-Wee Sal).
There are a number of highly successful broodbitches bred on this cross.
One, Holly Hotpants, won one race at Tweed Heads and became an outstanding Group producer.
Another is the quality bitch Absolute Style.
When choosing Vapour Whirl as the first sire for Foot Luce, Nathan and Melissa again reinforced in-breeding.
In fact, Vapour Whirl's dam Broad Band is bred on an identical cross to Foot Luce's dam Scarlett.
Broad Band is by Big Ginger Boy from a daughter of Head Honcho.
Scarlett is by Black Shiraz (a litter brother to Big Ginger Boy) and from a daughter of Head Honcho.
A number of the best progeny of Vapour Whirl are in-bred to the litter brothers Big Ginger Boy and Black Shiraz.
One is Messi (Vapour Whirl-Little Sioux).
Messi was a pretty hot race dog making the finalists of the Group 1 Melbourne Cup and Group 2 Launching Pad. He is now at stud.
In fact, Messi is bred along very similar lines to Oakvale Destiny and Oakvale Flyer.
Messi's dam Little Sioux is by Brett Lee (grandsire of Foot Luce). Little Sioux is out of a daughter of Black Shiraz and has Head Honcho's sire Walkabout Sid as the sire of her third mother.
Other quality Vapour Whirl progeny in-bred to Big Ginger Boy and Black Shiraz includes Punk Warrior, Silver Spider, Vapour Storm, Dustnado etc.
So what Nathan and Melissa did by putting Foot Luce to Vapour Whirl was bring in common ancestors 2x2 (Broad Band and Scarlett). Neither was a particularly good race bitch, Broad Band ending her career as a maiden, Scarlett winning four country races.
But what Broad Band and Scarlett have brought into the mating is DOMINANT ancestors, the littermates Big Ginger Boy and Black Shiraz, as well as a duplication of chase influence and sire great Head Honcho.
All four crosses are certain to have impacted upon the resultant offspring … Oakvale Destiny, Oakvale Flyer and Texas Titan and their littermates who are showing great ability.
KNOW Class is another pedigree that is interesting.
The Kiwi, who runs in this week's Group 1 Sandown Cup final, is by Willy What-Blue Fern.
The pedigree is loaded with "today" names.
Sire Willy What (Brett Lee-Bronze Medal) is from the same immediate tail female family as Spring Gun and Shakey Jakey.
Dam Blue Fern (Shining Kev-Casual Wave) is real Aussie bloodlines.
Shining Kev has the famous broodbitch Waroo Lass (National Lass, National Dingaan to Betty's Angel etc) as his third dam.
Blue Fern traces directly to some wonderful Queensland bloodlines including Temper's Quick, Ultra Sleek and Bay Wave the latter a very smart race bitch in NZ.
REG Kay looks to have himself a couple of outstanding young prospects in litter brothers Happy Haswell and Good Call Paul (Surf Lorian-Teenage Dream).
It was Reg who suggested the mating.
A few years ago, Reg and then partner Julie Edmondson gave a pup to Corey Clarke, a bitch by Knocka Norris-Size Em Up.
A three-quarter sister to Elite Blue Size, Teenage Dream won five at The Gardens and ran a scorching 29.54.
She broke down and the Clarks asked Reg what to put her to.
It was just about at the time when Reg was winning the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg with Don't Knocka Him (Knocka Norris-Surf Queen by Surf Lorian).
Reg also had won a service to Surf Lorian. It was a no brainer.
What the Clarks did was recreate the pedigree (in a roundabout way) of Don't Knocka Him.
Reg got a pup and bought another. Happy Haswell is unbeaten in three starts for him and ran a 29.95 on debut at Albion Park last Thursday night.
Good Call Paul finished second, on the same night, in the Dave Brett Memorial Maiden final.