THE tragic circumstances surrounding this week's Group 1 Adelaide Cup final should not take anything away from what is always a quality race.
Big Black Mac was tragically killed in a car accident on the way home from Adelaide to Lara.
Potential greyhound breeders can always do well to study the pedigrees of Group 1 finals to try to see just what goes into making a quality race dog.
You don't get into a Group 1 without having great ability … much better than the norm.
With that in mind, let's have a look at what makes up the pedigrees of the finalists.
1 HESTON BALE
(Bartrim Bale-Amelia Bale)
I have looked deeply into the pedigree of Heston, Bekim, Irma and Fyna Bale in September last year when Heston and Bekim were breaking records just as they started racing.
Suffice to say, it appears an outcross but there is considerable line breeding and some very interesting brother and sister links albeit back in the pedigree.
2 ANDREW'S COURAGE
(Bombastic Shiraz-Call Me Donna)
A very nice race dog who has both sire and dam line bred to the litter brothers Malawi and Buka Sunset.
Call Me Donna is a daughter of Go Wild Teddy and his bitches have done particularly well when mated to Bombastic.
This brings in a double of that great speed influence Malawi's Prince in a special position to be able to greatly impact upon the resultant offspring.
Anyone who reads this column will by now know I like to delve back into what makes a good race dog tick.
I couldn't help but notice in the damline of Andrew's Courage that he has a bitch called Amber's Choice (Pop Gun-Livia Lady).
What I particularly like about her pedigree is that she is line bred 2x3 to Chief Dingaan and his sister Zimbabwe.
Take a close look at the pedigree of Little Denver and his litter sister National Dingaan. They too are heavily in-bred to Chief Dingaan and Zimbabwe.
National Dingaan, of course, is along the tail female line of champion Betty's Angel.
So what, you say!
Well Zimbabwe, if you don't know by now, is the fifth dam of Bombastic Shiraz (and also along the tail female line of Kilty Lad).
So, Andrew's Courage is not only bred on both side of his pedigree to similarly bred sire and dam, but he also has a reinforcement of the famous Zulu Moss family, one that does particularly well when it meets up with itself.
3 COAL KING
Astute followers of breeding should by now know that duplicating West Cape in the offspring of Surf Lorian is often a recipe for success.
However, I don't see it done anywhere near enough. Maybe some breeders are not as astute as we could hope.
Stars bred on this cross include Blue Lorian, Seek And Destroy and Velocity Regina all Group winners and superstars on the racetrack.
Coal King, and his litter sister Miss Cody, are also bred on this cross 3x4 via a daughter and a son of West Cape.
Domaaf also carries a valuable DAUGHTER of Brother Fox to balance all those son strains in Surf Lorian.
Miss Cody, a top grade Albion Park sprinter for Travis and Hope Elson, has just been mated to Bekim Bale.
4 PRANK CALL
(Big Daddy Cool-Hot Zepha)
His dam Hot Zepha was a better than handy city winner and is line bred to Chariot's Desire and her brother Shining Chariot.
Putting her to Big Daddy Cool brought in a significant cross of Bowetzel the half brother of Shining Light the dam of both Chariot's Desire and Shining Chariot.
But one of the strongest crosses in this pedigree is the 3x4 to New Tears. He is a dominant ancestor in the pedigree of Big Daddy Cool.
Prank Call's damline is that of Australian Cup winner Zara Zulu and also boasts Rookie Rebel winner Jamazz.
5 SPUD REGIS and
6 BIG BLACK MAC
The litter brothers, but tragically Big Black Mac will not take his place in the final.
You will remember that the pedigree of Andrew's Courage, drawn box two for the Cup final, traced to a bitch called Amber's Choice.
This bitch is the second dam of Phantom Fire who is significantly the damsire of both Call Me Donna (dam of Andrew's Courage) and Phiona (dam of Spud and Mac).
Again, the fact all three dogs are by Bombastic Shiraz brings in the reinforcement of the Zulu Moss family.
There are many balances in this pedigree, Eaglehawk Star, Chariot Supreme, Tangaloa etc.
There is also a double to famous broodbitch Waroo Lass.
The dam Phiona has been a very good producer with her son Banger Harvey (by Pure Octane) a Golden Easter Egg finalist.
7 PROVEN NITRO
(Nitro Burst-Proven Cobalt)
The Cranbourne Puppy Classic winner he has done much in a short time.
His sire Nitro Burst is line bred to Zulu Moss. His dam carries a cross of Zulu Moss' sister Riviera Moss via Awesome Assassin.
There is a "speed" double of Malawi's Prince 4x4 the great dog coming via a strong position in Proven Cobalt the dam of Proven Nitro.
Hotshot, damsire of Nitro Burst, and Tranquil Flame, dam of Awesome Assassin, are bred on similar lines but provide a "balance" for each other.
I particularly like this dog's family because it traces directly to Oddsome (granddaughter of the Wheeler foundation bitch Gail's Beauty). Oddsome is bred on a very similar cross to Pitstock Park the famous dam of Brother Fox and Acacia Park.
Proven Nitro's dam Proven Cobalt has no fewer than five crosses of Pitstock Park in her make-up.
8 WATTLE BEE
(Westmead Hawk-Que Sera Sera)
By the dual English Derby winner Westmead Hawk out of the Group 1 Sandown Sapphire Classic and Group 3 SA Oaks winner Que Sera Sera.
Total outcross? Hardly.
The English import Balligari (Daleys Gold-Westmead Move) is found as the sire of Que Sera Sera's second dam.
Westmead Hawk is heavily line bred to the great broodbitch Westmead Satin. But he also carries a cross of a bitch called Westmead Fairy a half sister to Balligari.
There is also a cross of Skelligs Tiger in the damline of Westmead Hawk. Tiger is a genetic brother to Daleys Gold the sire of Balligari.