Bob and Sandra Peters were recognised in early as within the Top Ten owners in the World's rankings coming in at 8th equal, a huge achievement as private breeders when you consider that the top four in this list are breeding powerhouses such as Godolphin/Darley, Coolmore Stud, Sheik Hamdan Al Maktoum and Juddmonte Farms/Prince Khalid Abdullah.
Besides the Peters homebreds, they have also enjoyed success as co-owners in some quality equine athletes the likes of All Too Hard ( All Aged Stakes, C.F.Orr Stakes, Futurity Stakes ), Dundeel ( Queen Elisabeth Stakes ) and Animal Kingdom ( Dubai World Cup ) all of whom have gone on to successful stallion careers.
So now at the near age of 79 years are there any signs of Bob Peters slowing down in his equine participation, breeding or racing?
It would appear not, or not yet!
Bob Peters is already on record that he has unfinished business in the East, that before 2030 he would like to win three races in particular; The Everest, the W.S.Cox Plate ( perhaps most of all ) and the Caulfield Cup, the latter no doubt redemption for the narrow defeat of his own Congressman in the 1988 Caulfield Cup.
And of course, he would like to keep winning as many Stakes races as he can during the future time frame, a clear signal of no stopping yet.
So watch out for the famous cerise and white colours particularly in the East but this time they will not be stepping out from the stable of Bart Cummings or George Hanlon but rather from the Victorian stable of Danny O'Brien.
We here at Premier Pedigrees have been asked on a few occasions if there is any secret formula that Bob Peters adheres to when breeding horses?
The best way to answer this is to take a large random sample of the horses he has bred over the years and then look for any common denominators.
In doing this it would appear that there is no single magic formula but rather a wide range of breeding techniques applied that are no different from those applied by any other serious or Commercial breeder.
By pursuing homebred families Peters has got to know his breed intimately right down to the point of identifying which available stallions suit his mares best and he has been in the fortunate financial position of being able to support the very best stallions that have been compatible with his mares thereby also applying a constant upgrading process to his mares and families.
We have identified four key parameters that Peters appears to have applied over five decades of horse breeding that stand out above all others;
1) Utilising the best available genetically compatible stallions to upgrade the bloodlines of his mare often featuring proven crosses. Often matings would be repeated several times in the best traditions of Mendel's Laws of Probability
2) Having a strong female maternal "bottom" line
3) Adhering to proven breeding patterns that have stood the test of time e.g. the "Special" pattern, often incorporating Rasmussen Factors and/or duplicating other superior females especially where they can be sex-balanced
4) A preference for linebreeding to influential male ancestors mostly in the highly effective 4th and 5th generational levels, something widely espoused by pedigree gurus such as Hampton and Harper.
Whilst we have not included it in our criteria above, as it could be deemed debatable if not a little controversial or even specific to one's own breed, Bob Peters has also stated that he utilises stallions' that are going to produce soundness and produce an animal that is going to deliver versatility at a wide range of distances.
While the former can be a formidable challenge at times, there is certainly no doubting that Peters has had great success with producing horses that are both durable and versatile and can handle a wide range of distances, no better recent example than his recent Kingston Town Classic winner and former WA Derby victor Regal Power.
We will now go through some examples relating to the above listed criteria.
"Utilising the best available genetically compatible stallions to upgrade the bloodlines of his mares often featuring proven crosses. Often matings here would be repeated several times in the best traditions of Mendel's Laws of Probability".
From his leading family of Antique her daughters the full-sisters Arcadia and Broadway Belle ( both by Redoute's Choice ) were both sent to Pierro ( Lonhro, by Zabeel ) thus combining the highly proven Danehill with Zabeel.
And what an outcome for Peters with Arcadia producing both Arcadia Prince and Arcadia Queen whilst Broadway Belle produced firstly Action and then Regal Power.
A similar outcome also occurs with another of Peters leading families, that of Lady Ashford.
Two of her daughters are by Jeune, namely Star Encounter and Galaxy Queen.
Star Encounter has been to Statue Of Liberty at least twice producing Star Exhibit and Spritely Star whilst she has also been to Redoute's Choice at least twice producing Royal Star and Perfect Jewel.
Galaxy Queen was also sent to Redoute's Choice producing Galaxy Star before dying prematurely.
Lady Ashford's other two producing daughters were also full-sisters ( both by More Than Ready ) with Sentimental Star visiting Al Maher twice producing the full-sister and brother pairing of Sentimental Queen and Sentimental Hero whilst Favourite Star has produced Enticing Star ( to Testa Rossa ) as well as Devoted Star ( to Al Maher ).
Even the early breedings of another of Peters foundation mares reflected a repetitive breeding pattern where three times Miss Margaret was sent to Scenic to produce the likes of Best Picture, Confront and Seafarer.
Another of Peters foundation mares in Reflected Image was sent three times to More Than Ready resulting in the three female full-siblings New Image, Ideal Image and Perfect Reflection.
Coincidence or not, there was a definite upgrading influence at work in the vast majority of these matings.
"Having a strong female maternal ( bottom ) line".
Without any shadow of doubt, Lady Ashford is the standout example here.
She carries broodmare bluehen La Troienne as her 7th dam, the Queen of the No 1 Family.
This has meant all descendants of Lady Ashford carry La Troienne in their direct maternal tail line.
And of course it just so happens that More Than Ready is also tail female to La Troienne ( his 6th dam ) whilst his damsire Woodman is also tail female to La Troienne ( also his 6th dam ).
Is it any wonder then that Peters should send Lady Ashford at least twice to More Than Ready to produce the likes of Sentimental Star and Favourite Star pursuing potent female linebreeding via in this case a technique known as "Breeding Back Into The Herd ( aka BBITH )".
Purfect Size ( Catbird ) is tail female to another No 1 Family bluehen in Chelandry ( her 13th dam ) through Summoned ( her 3rd dam ) as is her daughter Picture Perfect.
Summoned is better recognised as the dam of Zeditave so little wonder that Peters should send Purfect Size to Reset ( out of a Zeditave mare ) to produce Picture Perfect ( sex-balance linebred to Summoned via a 4x4 Rasmussen Factor ). But we digress for now.
Very Tempting ( Redoute's Choice ) is tail female to a Federico Tesio creation in Family 14 member Donatella ( Mahmoud - Delleana ) who features as her 6th dam.
Magical Dream ( Dream Ahead ) is tail female to Family 8 member Humour ( a daughter of Princess Tracy ), a family better noted for having produced the former New Zealand based stallions Danasinga and Towkay.
Another of Peters foundation families anchored by Flaming Heart traces tail female to Family 2 broodmare marvel Sans Le Sou ( 4th dam of Flaming Heart ) meaning that her daughter Real Love and grandsons Special View and Devoted all carry the presence of Sans Le Sou in their direct maternal bloodlines.
Sans Le Sou is also well known as being the dam of Busted.
For the sake of brevity, we will highlight one further example.
Family 9 member and another of Peters foundation families in Reflected Image traces back tail female to Maid Of Masham ( her 13th dam ). This will mean her daughters the full-siblings New Image, Ideal Image and Perfect Reflection will all carry Maid Of Masham in their "bottom line" as will any of their progeny.
"Adhering to proven breeding patterns that have stood the test of time e.g. the "Special" pattern, often incorporating Rasmussen Factors and/or duplicating other superior females especially where they can be sex-balanced".
These will be illustrated by individual horse in a listed summary format.
We have used some abbreviations here fore the following;
Linebreeding = lb
Rasmussen Factor = RF
Sex-balanced = sb
Arcadia Queen - 7x6 sb Special ( Nureyev and Fairy Bridge )
Arcadia Prince - 7x6 sb Special ( Nureyev and Fairy Bridge )
Action - 7x6 sb Special ( Nureyev and Fairy Bridge )
Regal Power - 7x6 sb Special ( Nureyev and Fairy Bridge )
Arcadia Dream - 5x5 lb RF Best In Show and 7x6 sb Flaming Page
Arcadia Grace - 6x7 lb Best In Show and 8x7 sb Flaming Page
Spritely Star - 4x4 sb RF Crimson Saint ( Terlingua and Royal Academy )
Star Exhibit - 4x4 sb RF Crimson Saint and 5x6 lb Somethingroyal )
Truly Special - 7x7 sb Mumtaz Begum ( Nasrullah and Rivaz ) and 7x7 sb Selene ( Hyperion and All Moonshine )
Giant Leap - 5x4 sb RF Thong ( Special and Geiger Counter ) and 7x7 sb Donatella ( Donna Lydia and Duccio )
Fairy Fast - 4x4 lb RF Fairy Bridge ( Perugino and Fairy King )
Mystical View - 5x5 sb RF Goofed ( Lyphard and Barb's Bold )
Inspirational Girl - 5x5 sb RF Special ( Fairy Bridge and Nureyev )
Midnight Blue - 5x5 sb RF Special ( Fairy Bridge and Nureyev ) and 7x7x7 lb Perfume II ( Marco Polo II and My Babu x2 )
Treasured Crown - 5x5 sb RF Special ( Fairy Bridge and Nureyev ) and 7x7 lb Perfume II ( Marco Polo II and My Babu )
Treasured Star - 5x5 sb RF Special ( Fairy Bridge and Nureyev ) and 6x6 lb Sex Appeal ( El Gran Senor and Try My Best )
Expressionist - 4x4 sb RF Dancing Show ( Shantha's Choice and Umatilla ) and 7x6 sb Special ( Nureyev and Fairy Bridge )
Picture Perfect - 4x4 sb RF Summoned ( via full-brother and sister Zeditave and True Verdict ).
Real Charm - 4x4 sb RF Summoned ( via full-brother and sister Zeditave and True Verdict )
Graceful Girl - 6x6 sb lb Magic Symbol ( Biscay and Magic Way )
Western Empire - 6x6x6 sb lb Flaming Page ( Fleur and Nijinsky II X2 )
Memorable Miss - 6x6 sb lb Tamerett ( Secrettame and Known Fact ) and 7x7 sb lb Flaming Page ( Fleur and Nijinsky II )
Magical Dream - 6x6x6 sb lb Special ( Fairy Bridge x2 and Nureyev ) and 6x7 sb lb Mixed Marriage ( Tamerett and Atan )
Airlie Queen - 6x6 sb lb Milan Mill ( Mill Reef and Millicent )
Elite Belle - 6x6x7 sb lb Dodoma ( Diableretta and Jambo ) and 7x7x6x7 sb lb Mumtaz Begum ( Dodoma and Nasrullah )
Top Gun - 5x5x7 lb Lalun ( Bold Reason and Never Bend x2 ) and 7x7 sb lb Selene ( Hyperion and All Moonshine )
Real Love - 5x5x5 sb RF Natalma ( Northern Dancer x2 and Spring Adieu ) as well as 6x5 sb lb Sans Le Sou ( via full-brother and sister Busted and Ellida ) and also 6x6 lb Rose O'Lynn ( Venture VII and full-brother Buisson Ardent )
Special View - 6x6 sb lb Sans Le Sou ( Busted and Ellida )
New Image / Ideal Image / Perfect Reflection ( all full-sisters ) - 6x6 lb Two Lea ( via the half-brothers Tim Tam and Pied D'Or ) and 6x7 lb Hildene ( via the half-brothers First Landing and Hill Prince ).
We are only too well aware that the above examples are by no means a fully comprehensive listing of horses Bob Peters has bred utilising duplications to superior female ancestors but it more than sufficient to illustrate our claim that this has been and continues to be at the heart of his ongoing breeding programme.
"A preference for linebreeding to influential male ancestors mostly in the proven highly effective 4th and 5th generational levels, something widely espoused by pedigree gurus such as Hampton and Harper".
Sometimes as the cards play, it is not always possible to capitalise on female duplications and Peters has had to linebreed to influential male ancestors chasing their specific traits and attributes to complement those of his mares.
Once again sex-balanced linebreeding is the best way to maximise their influence and particularly if this can be achieved around the highly effective 4th or 4th generational level.
The following is a shortlist of some of the Peters horses who subscribe to this breeding technique.
Some of the names here may be very familiar to you. Again, in no particular order.
Arcadia - 4x4 sb Bletchingly
Devoted Star - 4x4 sb Nijinsky II
Sentimental Queen - 4x4 sb Nijinsky II
Perfect Jewel - 4x5x4 sb Nijinsky II, 5X5 sb Lunchtime
Royal Star - 4x5x4 sb Nijinsky II, 5X5 sb Lunchtime
Galaxy Star - 4x5x5 sb Nijinsky II, 5X5 Lunchtime
Mrs America - 5x4 sb Storm Bird
Cohort - 4x5 sb Raise A Native
Dark Lass - 4x5x5x5 sb Northern Dancer
Zaratite - 4x5 sb Blushing Groom, 5x5 sb Lyphard
Superstorm - 5x5x4 sb Mr Prospector, 5x6 sb Northern Dancer
True Attraction - 4x4 sb Mr Prospector, 4x5x6 sb Northern Dancer
Windstorm - 5x5 sb Lunchtime
Brave Dream - 5x5 sb Halo
Celebrity Queen - 4x5x5 sb Northern Dancer, 5x5 sb Sir Ivor
Pure Devotion - 4x5 sb Danzig, 4x5x5 sb Nijinsky II, 5x5 sb Shirley Heights
Mississippi Delta - 4x4 sb Shirley Heights
Devoted - 6x5 sb Riverman
New Image - 4x4 sb Mr Prospector, 4x4 sb Northern Dancer
Ideal Image - 4x4 sb Mr Prospector, 4x4 sb Northern Dancer
Perfect Reflection - 4x4 sb Mr Prospector, 4x4 sb Northern Dancer
It may only appear a very short list but already a pattern emerges telling us not only about the powerful influence of the 4th and 5th generational levels when it comes to duplicating male ancestors in a sex-balanced manner but it also provides us with an indicator of particular male ancestors Peters preferred to duplicate in his desire to achieve his goals be they soundness or distance versatility.
If Bob Peters happens to read this sometime in the near future we only hope that he has already commenced his auto-biography and can paint a far more detailed picture of his life and his horse-breeding exploits than the mere scratching of the surface that we have been able write in our three-part story on his achievements to date.
We may or may not have unlocked his secret breeding formulas that have crowned him "King Of The West" or is that the "King Of Australian Thoroughbred Breeding" but what we have briefly illustrated should be sufficient to give us all a very good idea of the pathway that he follows.
We hope you have enjoyed the read on our three-part story on Bob Peters.
Premier Pedigrees was born out of Ken Mackay's passion for horse pedigrees to offer a very affordable pedigree matching service and valuable recommendations to new and existing Australian and New Zealand clients for both thoroughbred and standardbred mares.