PACKEY Keeping's all-the-way win in a heat of the Sydney Cup at Wenty on Saturday night is just another example of the fact his sire Bekim Bale is quite possibly the prime source of stamina in this country.
Virtually without fail, Bekim Bale (Bartrim Bale-Amelia Bale by Sonic Flight) infuses strength into his offspring. This no doubt comes from the fact his sire Bartrim Bale had a litter sister called Princess Bale (subsequently dam of Barcia Bale) who was a stayer.
And, Bekim Bale's mother Amelia Bale was a stayer herself.
Bekim's litter sister Irma Bale was a champion stayer.
Bekim's litter brother Heston Bale, while running The Meadows sprint track record, was no doubt on his way to staying success until his break down.
And, I have little doubt Bekim would have been a superstar stayer if injury had not forced him to stud after just a dozen or so starts.
An analysis of the damline of Packey Keeping shows he traces to Outburst (his fourth dam) and Nicole Cruise (his fifth dam) a pure speed branch of the famed Marungi Girl family (which also includes Brett Lee).
Outburst (Denver-Nicole Cruise) was a Shepparton sprint track record holder who struggled at 500m.
Nicole Cruise (Grove Whisper-Gee Whiz) could fly, but also struggled at 500m.
Outburst's daughter Hotburst (by Hotshot) would produce Group 1 winners Pure Burst and Nitro Burst by strong sires Token Prince and Bombastic Shiraz respectively.
Packey Keeping is out of the Bit Chili-Sweet Keeping bitch Kim Keeping the winner of seven races, placed 18 times and herself a stayer.
Today's world has virtually shunned Bekim Bale despite the accolades he has earned during his stud career.
His progeny have earned $11.3 million and he has sired 14 who have earned more than $100,000 on the track. His best is headed by champion stayer Space Star (25 wins, $453,000) and that grand campaigner Bessy Boo (44 wins, $338,000).
Bekim Bale's progeny have an average earnings of $367 per start.
This compares very favourable with stud kennelmates Barcia Bale and Fabregas who are oft rated above Bekim by broodbitch owners.
Barcia Bale has sired 19 progeny to earn more than $100,000 and they earn on average $431 per race start.
Fabregas on the other hand has only 10 to earn more than $100,000 in stakes and they average $359 per start.
Bekim, however, has a winners to runners percentage of a moderate 12% as compared to Barcia Bale and Fabregas both of who get a winner per starter at a rate of 16%.
The pedigree of Packey Keeping is VERY interesting.
Bekim Bale is bred on a 4x3 cross of the very similarly bred Grove Whisper and Westmead Flight.
Grove Whisper and Westmead Flight are both sired by a son of Sand Man. Their dams are both sired by a son of Monalee Champion who has a cross of Newdown Heather in their dam. The sire of their second dams are both sons of Clonalvy Pride.
Their sires are both bred on the Sand Man/Russian Gun cross.
I have no doubt that very powerful mix of Grove Whisper and Westmead Flight in Bekim, Irma and Heston Bale helped make them great.
When Kim Keeping was mated to Bekim Bale, she brought with her another cross of Grove Whisper through her damsire Bond. Grove Whisper is the damsire of Bond.
And, Grove Whisper in Bond's pedigree was again positioned to impact with the cross of Westmead Flight in Bekim Bale.
Thus, Packey Keeping is bred along a similar cross to Bekim Bale himself.
There are lots of other significant crosses to be found in the pedigree of Packey Keeping as well.
Of the 10 pups named from the Bekim Bale-Kim Keeping litter, nine have won. They turned two back in May so have a long career ahead of them.
Bekim Bale might not be everyone's cup of tea because I often hear reports of their reserved nature which, in today's climate, will always make breeders reluctant.
But, when in need of a dose of strength, he is just about the answer for a breeder's needs.
You will get no arguments from owner Shane Stiff and trainer Charmaine Roberts about that, especially if Packey Keeping can win this weekend's Group 3 Sydney Cup final.