Temlee is one of Australian greyhound racing’s true immortals, the brindle dog by Tivoli Chief x Temora Lee (Mister Moss x Venetian Babe) is the namesake of the big Group 1 race, The Temlee, which will be run at The Meadows on Saturday night.
Aside from a stellar racing career, Temlee has also left an indelible mark on the Australian greyhound breeding scene, a legacy which is still very evident today.
Temlee was born on 1 March 1972 and had 37 starts for 25 wins and three placings. He earned his connections the grand sum (considering it was the 70’s) of $26,000. He was nicknamed the “King of Olympic Park” as he won 13 races there including the 1974 National Sprint, 1974 Maturity and also set the track record. He stood at stud for $300 in 1975 and this fee soon increased to $1,000, which was a record at the time. Naturally, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame and had a Group One race named in his honour.
The Temlee is an invitational only race so features, what experts consider, to be the best current sprinters in the land. So what does it take to become a Temlee finalist?
Given the impact Temlee has had on breeding, what better way to answer the question then to have a brief look at what secrets lie in the breeding of each of this year’s finalists.
The first starting point has to be Temlee himself. Remarkably he features in the direct sireline of six of the eight finalists. Dyna Nalin (Ashom Bale x Tally Bale) features no Temlee blood in his direct sireline but a dam in his direct damline is by Temlee. The only greyhound in the final eight to ‘miss out’ on the Temlee blood is Innocent Til (Premier Fantasy x Proven Polly).
Tomac Bale (Dyna Lachlan x Princess Bale) and Banjo Boy (Vee Man Vane x Off Springer) are lucky enough to feature Temlee on both sides of their breeding.
Digressing a little, it is also interesting to note that of the last 11 winners, only one does not feature Temlee in its breeding (Closing Argument).
Back to the current finalists, here’s a look at the bloodlines that have helped them become Group One Temlee finalists.
We all know a sire is important but the story is often better told when looking at the dam. It helps to have a mother that performed well. It also helps if they are bred in the proverbial purple.
Paw Licking’s mum is Kingsbrae Di. The tiny white and black Northfield bred bitch won 40 races and dominated the Country Cups in NSW, winning the Cups at Tamworth, Grafton, Taree and Gunnedah. She also won the 2007 Country Challenge and held the Tamworth track record. She was very zippy early and has no doubt passed this trait on to her track record breaking son. Paw Licking’s granddam, Pretty Jacalyn, was a multiple Wentworth Park winner and National Futurity finalist.
Noaki Pace, the dam of Zelemar Fever, won five races but its her breeding that stands her out as a dam. She is by Spiral Nikita x Leprechaun Pace. Leprechaun Pace (Brett Lee x Leprechaun Yap) won the Group One Paws of Thunder and was a finalist in numerous other Group races. Leprechaun Pace just happens to be sister of superstar Betty’s Angel and a half sister to stud dogs Bo Frazier and Talk’s Cheap as well as Glamorous (the mother of Magic Sprite). Noaki Pace herself is a sister to current stud dog and Group One winner, Oaks Road. Zelemar Fever is out of Bombastic Shiraz and her litter mates have been more than handy, with her brother Noaki Spitfire recently making the finals of a number of Group races in Victoria.
Tomac Bale has a track record holder as his mother. Princess Bale (Hallucinate x Gold Rush Bale) held the 515 metre track record at Bulli for a period of time. She was a very strong bitch who won over the staying trip at Wentworth Park and placed in Group races over both the 500′ and 700′. Princess Bale has also thrown Desalle Bale and the freakishly fast Maturity winner Barcia Bale. Gold Rush Bale has been a “gold mine” for the Wheeler’s, producing the likes of Dyna Tron, Dyna Bert, Greta Bale, Ashby Bale, Bartrim Bale and the list goes on.
The cleverly named Kiss Me Ketut is out of Spiral Siyan (Spiral Nikita x Flight and Life). Interestingly, both Spiral Siyan and Flight and Life were unraced. However, Flight and Life is a daughter of the great Flying Amy. We all know Flying Amy is the mother of one of Australia’s best sires, Just the Best. So, although unraced, the dam and granddam of Kiss Me Ketut lack nothing in the breeding department.
Off Springer (Flying Penske x Skullring) was bred by Leonard Jones and has been very handy in the breeding barn. Not only is she the mother of Banjo Boy, but she is also the mother of classy stayers Grandeur, Echelon and Sweet It Is. Banjo Boy’s granddam Skullring also features in the breeding of Classy Maldini and recent Warragul Cup winner Walk Hard.
Tally Bale whelped Dyna Nalin at a remarkable 10 1/2 years of age. She won 14 races around Sandown, The Meadows, Geelong and Horsham. Aside from Dyna Nalin, who is the apple of her eye, Tally Bale has produced Firefly Bale (Premier Fantasy) who finished second in the 2009 Group One Maturity Classic and Aleta Allen (Where’s Pedro) who won 23 races.
Proven Polly is a ‘proven dam’ with her son Innocent Til. Proven Polly won 14 races and featured in the final of the 2009 Group One Australian Cup. Proven Polly traces back to Proven Misty, who ran second in the 1992 Laurels at Sandown and was a handy broodbitch, throwing the likes of Proven Reward, a finalist in the Silver Chief and National Derby.
Lastly, we have Belron Blue, the matriarch of Peter Rocket. Belron Blue traces back, through the direct damline, to Jess Park. Jess Park is a great foundation dam that is found through generations of numerous Group race performers. These performers include not only Peter Rocket but stayer Ebony Park Lass and Lukeamy. Belron Blue is also the mother of Violet Crumble, a finalist in the Group One Sapphire Crown and the Group Two Traralgon Cup.
Clearly, having a mum with good breeding on her side helps. She doesn’t necessarily have to be well performed, but as you can see, it certainly helps. Throw in a dash of Temlee (for the majority) and you have yourself a Group One runner in the Temlee.