WAY back in the late 1980s, I booked a bitch in to be served by Worth Doing.
He had no pups racing at the time save for a couple of litters he had sired in a short break early in his career.
Being a person who likes to leave no stone unturned, I started making a few inquiries about the earliest of Worth Doing's progeny to go to the breakers.
Phone calls to five different owners of breaking in establishments and every one of them told me a horrendous tale of woe about the progeny of Worth Doing.
Couldn't get them to chase, wouldn't touch them EVER, entire litters hopeless.
I remember ringing Tony Zammit, then Queensland's and one of Australia's great trainers.
He told me he had broken in a litter by Worth Doing that all showed great ability.
I didn't listen.
I listened to the breaking in reports (there was FIVE of them, remember) and made up some excuse to abandon the mating of my bitch to Worth Doing.
Worth Doing, of course, became a great, great sire. The litter Tony Zammit had was outstanding and included many city winners and Group class dogs.
I have NEVER listened to breaking in reports since.
It was a tough lesson and one I hope everyone would be aware of.
Fast forward to the past year or so and the same can be said about Bekim Bale.
Sitting up here at Lorne just south of Port Macquarie on the NSW mid-coast, I heard more tales of woe about the progeny of Bekim Bale than I hear on the news reports about Afghanistan.
When I first got into greyhound racing many decades ago, I liked to sit and listen to a wise old man called Les Robins.
Les had come through a tough school in Victoria where he and the late great studmaster Barry Ward were long-time mates.
Les gave me a piece of advice about stud dogs.
"Don't ever judge a stud dog until 12 months after he has had his first city winner," said Les.
While I'm sure Bekim Bale, and Worth Doing, or any sire for that matter, produces pups that are no good or don't chase, the only real test of ability is on the racetrack.
Which is why I for one cheered home Bessy Boo to win the Group 1 Peter Mosman Classic at Wentworth Park last Saturday night.
Bessy Boo is by Bekim Bale-My Black Bess.
The runner-up, All Strung Out, is also a son of Bekim Bale and out of the great producer Casey's Angel.
OK, I also know of litters that have been no good at all.
But I have personally recommended Bekim Bale a number of times for clients and the result appears to be some very promising youngsters.
Bessy Boo was an upset winner of the Group 1 Peter Mosman, but he certainly has the bloodlines to be Group 1 class.
Dam My Black Bess (Bit Chili-Major Coinage) is from the famous Genuine Replica family.
My Black Bess raced 60 times for eight wins and 10 placings, her wins coming at The Gardens and lowly Taree all over sprints.
But, her dam Major Coinage (Token Prince-Thai Magic) started 27 times for 10 wins and seven placings.
She was a multiple winner at Wentworth Park but also won at Bulli, Richmond, Goulburn, Nowra, Dapto, Albion Park and over a middle distance at Cannington.
Major Coinage is a litter sister to the star Thai Again and a half sister to Bond.
From two litters, to Bit Chili and Knocka Norris, she produced plenty of winners.
Her Knocka Norris litter includes Group 2 WA All Stars Sprint runner-up Not In Kansas, and Mandurah Cup finalist Moss Vale.
My Black Bess, while being purely a country sprinter, has been mated to a "strength" sire in Bekim Bale to produce just what the breeders would have been searching for … slick 520m performers.
While Bessy Boo, as a Group 1 winner, is the obvious standout, his littermates include Burundi a Group 2 WA Derby finalist recently, and WA Puppy Classic runner-up Petra.
Bit Chili, sire of My Black Bess, is already showing an ability to produce quality broodbitches.
The Launceston Cup winner Varcoe is by El Galo from a daughter of Bit Chili and this is also the same damline as Bessy Boo.
Group winner My Boy Snoop (and his quality litter brother Fusaichi Kahn) is by Where's Pedro from a daughter of Bit Chili.
Group class Spanky's Legacy is by Cosmic Rumble from a daughter of Bit Chili and so is Dapto Auction finalist Spring Creek Kev.
The very smart Shoulders is also by Cosmic Rumble from a daughter of Bit Chili.
And the NZ Group 1 finalist Mammy Brown, a finalist in Ipswich's Group 2 Vince Curry Maiden, is by Collision from a daughter of Bit Chili.
Remember, Cosmic Rumble's dam Spiritual Rumble and Collision are both out of Rumble Spirit.
So what is it that makes Bessy Boo Group 1 class?
OK, first he is from a highly successful damline.
Next, the dam My Black Bess is in-bred to Malawi's Prince and balanced (via a daughter and a son).
In the pedigree of Bessy Boo there is a duplication and balance of Curryhill Brute.
But an aspect to take notice of is the fact My Black Bess carries a cross of Grove Whisper in her damline.
Grove Whisper is a very in-bred Irish race dog. He has two strong crosses of the great Millie Hawthorn.
Bekim Bale, sire of Bessy Boo, already has a cross of Grove Whisper in his damline.
For those of you who can work such things, I suggest you get onto the greyhound data website and do a test mating of Grove Whisper and Westmead Flight.
Westmead Flight is that most famous of broodbitches, dam of the champions Sonic Flight and Larkhill Jo.
Sonic Flight is the damsire of Bekim Bale.
I only ever suggest matings to Bekim Bale when there is a common ancestor in the pedigree of the bitch being mated, to the pedigree of Sonic Flight.
Compare Grove Whisper and Westmead Flight.
Both are by sons of Sand Man.
Both their dams are by sons of Monalee Champion.
Both their sires have Russian Gun found in his damline.
The second dam of Grove Whisper is by a son of Clonalvy Pride. The second dam of Westmead Flight is also by a son of Clonalvy Pride.
Thus, Grove Whisper and Westmead Flight are bred identically.
Bekim Bale was already bred on the Grove Whisper/Westmead Flight cross.
Bessy Boo is also bred on this cross.
Interesting, isn't it!