DECADES ago, a London-born New Zealander by the name of Harold Hampton, became world famous for advocating the use of "balancing" thoroughbred pedigrees in the search for success on the racetrack.
By that he meant a duplicated ancestor within a pedigree should come via a son and a daughter. Hampton was also know to push the linking within pedigrees of dominant brothers and sisters.
Hampton's greatest claim to success for his theories on breeding the racehorse was that in 1984 he convinced a guy from Auckland called Peter Mitchell to pay $3250 for a chestnut yearling by Pag Asa at the Hamilton Yearling Sales.
It was the only yearling Hampton recommended Mitchell buy of any yearling for sale that year.
The colt became Bonecrusher a legend of Australasian racing whose victory over fellow Kiwi Our Waverly Star in the Cox Plate is still regarded one of the greatest battles ever seen in thoroughbred racing.
Hampton believed that the key to success was in the throwback of the dam, and whether or not it was matched by the sire. This idea was actually the conceptual breakthrough that led many breeders, owners, and researchers on to further insights and successes.
Fast forward to Saturday night at Ipswich for the running of the Derby and Futurity and the success of Opal Beach (Black Magic Opal-Nevaeh Beach by El Grand Senor) and Velocity Bettina (Zambora Brockie-Velocity Shirl by Collision).
Both pedigrees are perfect examples of just what Harold Hampton prescribed way back in the 1950s as one "recipe for success" in the racing game.
Scott Duffy has been in greyhound racing only a short time but he has very quickly learned his craft of putting together successful pedigrees.
His bitch Nevaeh Beach raced 83 times for 32 wins and 23 placings earning $52,000 in stakes. Her pedigree showed a 3x2 cross of the famous half brothers Brett Lee and Big Daddy Cool balanced via a son and a daughter. Nevaeh Beach also carried a 4x3 duplication of Awesome Assassin via daughters.
When Scott came to mate his prolific winning bitch, he put her to Black Magic Opal, then a proven stud dog with high class progeny but who had been sold to China.
Black Magic Opal brought in another cross of Brett Lee putting him 3x4 along the direct sireline on both sides of the pedigree Scott designed. No, Brett Lee was NOT balanced in the pedigree, BUT, the daughter strain of his half brother Big Daddy Cool did the balancing.
And, Black Magic Opal just happened to have a SON of Awesome Assassin up close in his pedigree to do the balancing of the two DAUGHTER strains of Awesome Assassin in the dam Nevaeh Beach.
The "balance" provided an Ipswich Derby winner last Saturday night. Opal Beach has been a prolific winner who has won in fast times like 22,52 and 30.06 at Albion Park.
Futurity winner Velocity Bettina went 30.09 to win the Futurity for breeder Steve Williams and her popular trainer Kevin Ellis. Champagne Sally holds the track record at 29.97.
I have already written about Velocity Bettina's amazing pedigree. It shows a 3x3 duplication and balance of Bombastic Shiraz, but also a 4x4 cross of the litter brothers Trendy Leigh and Brett Lee through daughters.
There are numerous other common and dominant ancestors found in the back of her pedigree.
That 3x3 of Bombastic Shiraz is very interesting. Queenslanders will know George Clegg as a Gold Coast doctor who spends much of his time successfully breeding and training greyhounds.
He's had great success in recent times with Big Bad Bob (37 wins).
George and his family also own shares in last Saturday's $14 million Everest fifth, Pierata, the G1 winning colt who has taken George to unbelievable heights.
Pierata, like Velocity Bettina, is in bred 4x3 and balanced to the great Zabeel in almost the same position as Bombastic Shiraz is found in Bettina. This is a similar pattern to former champion stud dog Token Prince.
Pierata is also in-bred to legend Mr Prospector 5x4 and he too is balanced via son and daughter.
Pierata "could" become a superstar stallion at stud.