False time and false hope, seems to be the one thing the greyhound industry can successfully continue to deliver around the country. I'm referring to the constant discrepancy we see in overall race times around the country.
Now some tracks are better than others, but the majority manage to prepare a fast tack one day, and a slow track the next. Most clubs are guilty of this, and it's seems there at their worst during big races.
All to often the clubs seem to produce a track 3 or 4 tenths faster when the big guns arrive to compete, or a feature race is programmed. Its generally a headline the club are after, and what better way to get it then to have a dog break a record, or a night of flying times.
What's wrong with a fast track you may ask? ......Everything.
Anyone who has even the slightest understanding of any form of racing, is aware that time and speed is everything! Readers may feel free to correct me here, but I'm unaware of any form of racing that doesn't rely on time and records.
The overall time a greyhound runs is the only thing ability is judged upon. When your dog returns from the breakers, time is the most important aspect of his breaking in process. If he or she can't run an acceptable time it's unlikely they can be competitive. So as you can see time is everything.
So why oh why, are greyhound clubs around the country, preparing a super fast track come big race time, and reverting back to the usual track during normal racing times?
One track which I spend a lot of time studying is Albion Park, and from my experience they are the worst offenders. I'm able to run through many examples of dogs who have run flying times once off, and never got near that time again. Why? It's a false time - run on a false track.
Some people may say that it's great, that their dog has run a time faster than their actually capable of; but great for who? The owner who advertises their pups and can state the bitch run a flying 30.00 dead once but failed to run within 5 lengths of that time ever again. That's about the only person who benefits from it.
It's of no benefit to the punter who relies on the times to select a runner, it's of no benefit to the trainer who probably thinks his charge can go much quicker then he actually can.
Speeding up the track has zero benefit.
What needs to be done, is all tracks need to pull their finger out and make it a priority to have their track prepared the exact same way, each and every week. There's no reason to speed up the track one week and return it to normal the next. Let's see dogs break records on their own, and not when the club decide its time too.
False times make it hard to separate runners, unless your aware of the dogs engaged. All too often I can eliminate a dog based on its personal best (PB) knowing full well it ran the time on a sped up track.
There's no doubt at all Wentworth Park was sped up during the Golden Easter Egg series. I spoke to the club and voiced my opinion, to which they replied it would be something they would bring up. However I doubt the issue was ever raised, even though the topic was widely discussed amongst greyhound enthusiasts.
Its time for change, and all it will take is one city club to lead by example and hopefully the rest of the clubs around the country will follow.
False time and false hope benefits nobody!!