BEN Ivers is a giant of a man.
A few years ago he got seriously into greyhound racing. He couldn't help it.
His parents, Helen and Michael Ivers have been making an impact on the industry for a couple of decades now.
Such famous names as Trojan Tears and Tricky Creek are theirs, as well as many others who have been stars. Ben decided he liked the breeding side of the industry. He grabbed as many books as he could and started to study, and study and study.
Ben figured his mother's greyhounds had been bred into a corner. They needed an outcross, and he went looking to the United States rather than traditionally to England and Ireland where most of the imports had come in the past.
Obviously there was no need to import a US stud dog. The use of frozen semen had done away with that need when chasing the ultimate in breeding stock.
The problem for Aussie breeders like Ben Ivers is always getting the quality stock. Generally breeders here have to do with the high quality race dogs coming off the track. Taking a punt best describes it.
Ben did just that when it came to finding a mate for the Ivers former smart middle distance bitch Sheza Swifty (New Tears-Voodoo Lady).
He went with Flying Penske, the Woodlands 604m track record holder and multiple Group finalist at Hollywood Park and Lincoln, and Grade A performer at Bluff's Run.
But was Flying Penske-Sheza Swifty the total outcross mating it appears on paper.
Ben Ivers did his homework, and he did it well. And it paid off big time.
So big in fact that the litter can rival most for success in Australian racing.
First off there is Texas Gold the superstar stayer who won the 2005 National Distance in a phenomenal track record 42.07.
He was also placed in plenty of feature staying races around the country and from the time he started racing to his ultimate retirement to stud only a few months ago, he's been a headline grabber.
Then there's Quidame, winner of the Group 1 Gleeson & Tonta Stayers Cup at The Meadows and another high class galloper if ever there was one.
Add to that Lucy's Light, the Albion Park 710m track record holder at 41.60, Winter Chase and Eric Thomson Memorial winner and now one of the top stayers in the land.
Then there was also city winners Pancho Gonzales and Heza Penske and the litter can hold its own in any list of greats.
So did Ben Ivers just put a total outcross sire (Flying Penske) to one of his mother's star stayers (Sheza Swifty) and hope for the best?
The number of links between the pedigree of Flying Penske and Sheza Swifty is remarkable, albeit back some distance in the pedigree of Texas Gold, Quidame, Lucy's Light and the rest of the litter.
Take the pedigree of Flying Penske just for a starter. He has the fabled Aussie Tell You Why in all four lines of his pedigree. Tell You Why (Rocket Jet-Gorgeous Babe) was the Harold Park classic winner who was sold to stud in the US in the 60s, became champion sire there and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978.
His influence in the US is unquestioned.
But Flying Penske's dam She's A Natural also carries a cross of Max Moss (Which Chariot-Elsie Moss) through her sire BJ's Justin. In her damline she's also got Aussie sire Cleveland Lad who also was a great success in the US.
So we see the Aussie influence in Flying Penske is aplenty.
For breeding buffs, Flying Penske is also in-bred to the litter brothers Kelly Jones and Onie Jones (Hoefer-Elsie Jones). This pair are in the immediate sireline of both Oshkosh Racey and She's a Natural (parents of Flying Penske).
Obviously Sheza Swifty was able to pick up on all that influence when she was mated to the US star, and that she did.
Sheza Swifty is out of the former star producer Voodoo Lady, a wonderful broodbitch who produced Albion Park Gold Cup winner Amazing Dancer, classic winner Tricky Wind (dam of multiple Group 1 winner Tricky Creek) and many, many others.
Voodoo Lady (National Star-Chariot's Desire) is in-bred to the famous broodbitch Princess Diro (4x3) through her son Bowetzel and daughter Shining Light. Doubling Princess Diro in a pedigree still works fabulously today.
Princess Diro carries Magic Babe in her immediate sireline and Magic Babe is a older brother to Tell You Why both being by Rocket Jet-Gorgeous Babe.
The mating of Voodoo Lady to New Tears was fortuitous. New Tears (a great grandson of legend Temlee) is chock full of Temlee blood having him 3x2 in his pedigree.
Temlee's dam Temora Lee has a double-up of Magic Babe 3x3 in her pedigree, (through the middle).
And Temora Lee is by Mister Moss (Which Chariot-Elsie Moss).
We have already seen Flying Penske carries a cross of Mister Moss' litter brother Max Moss through his dam She's A Natural.
In fact, Sheza Swifty has four crosses of Temlee, in all four of the lines of her pedigree. Thus Sheza Swifty carries no less than TEN crosses of Magic Babe, the litter brother to Tell You Why, who appears FOUR times in Flying Penske.
Temlee also carried a double-up 4x4 top Dream's Image who in turn was the sire of Cleveland Lad who we have seen appears in the pedigree of Flying Penske.
Now who said Texas Gold, Quidame and Lucy's Light were an outcross?
Certainly not Ben Ivers.
She's A Natural
Fast N Loose
Dia's Stormy Day
Texas Gold, Lucy's Light, Quidame, Pancho Gonzales, Heza Penske