Thursday, 17 April 2014

Greyhound Box Draw For Sandown Park – Thursday, 17 April 2014

Race No. 1The Dekauwe Special Grv Vic Bred Ht17:08 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Heat event over 515 metres at Sandown park Of $7,150 Prizemoney.
1st: $5,000 2nd: $1,430 3rd: $720.


1JEREMEY RENT [5]86132FSHB Pell (Toolleen)
2BLACK SAHARRAH [5]2486229.50(7)G Tatti (Devon Meadows)
3WHERE’S LEWIS [5]6478429.77(2)R Neocleous (Hazelwood North)
4RUSTIC ROCKET [5]81131FSHM Carter (Violet Town)
5CAIRNLEA PETER [5]6154229.85(7)R Britton (Lara)
6GIMME FUEL [5]4561429.49(1)K Bravo (Lovely Banks)
7MEPUNGA LEDGER [5]1527829.74(1)J Britton (Anakie)
8HE WENT OFF [5]32341NBTI Vigor (Anakie)
9LEKTRA HAWK [5]Res.65123FSHI Cockerell (Buckley)
10SWEET SHADOW [5]Res.7572129.56(2)T O’donovan (Devon Meadows)
Race No. 2Kids Night At Sandown Park! Ht27:24 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Heat event over 515 metres at Sandown park Of $7,150 Prizemoney.
1st: $5,000 2nd: $1,430 3rd: $720.


1PETER PETTIGREW [5]4257229.91(4)L Cockerell (Buckley)
2SALEGREYS POWER [5]5431229.80(1)C Johannsen (Devon Meadows)
3MEPUNGA HAYLEY [5]13645NBTJ Britton (Anakie)
4SKYE [5]66112NBTK Sweeney (Gladysdale)
5YOU SAY GOODBYE [5]4535129.69(8)S Mckenna (Napoleons)
6NIFTY NEVEELK [5]46384NBTR Kleeven (Denison)
7CHEEKY HAND [5]2111330.14(2)D Dean (Nyora)
8LOU TODD [5]61333NBTD Pell (Toolleen)
9FIRST DAN [5]Res.16327NBTG Nicoll (Botanic Ridge)
10CHARLOTTE BELLE [5]Res.67344NBTG Tatti (Devon Meadows)
Race No. 3Follow @sandowndogs Ht37:44 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Heat event over 515 metres at Sandown park Of $7,150 Prizemoney.
1st: $5,000 2nd: $1,430 3rd: $720.


1LOUIE NEVEELK [5]35213NBTR Kleeven (Denison)
2RAPIDDORE [5]42386NBTS Ralph (Tooradin)
3ROXY’S PRIDE [5]1717FNBTJ Grindley (Gladysdale)
4DUNDEE TORO [5]4231329.77(1)G Scott-smith (Pakenham South)
5PUNCH IT [5]5783530.05(8)J Collins (Lara)
6SNAPPER’S MATE [5]3362229.71(1)R Fisher (Lara)
7NEWFIRE RILEY [5]6223829.70(7)P Goold (Monbulk)
8KIRKY COURTZ [5]F517729.91(1)J Sharp (Lara)
9HEKATE BELLE [5]Res.38336FSHK Bravo (Lovely Banks)
10MONEY COME BACK [5]Res.7737829.47(2)G Selkrig (Devon Meadows)
Race No. 4City Of Greater Dandenong Final8:08 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Final event over 715 metres at Sandown park Of $10,285 Prizemoney.
1st: $7,200 2nd: $2,060 3rd: $1,025.


1MISS CYPRUS [M]73754NBTS Neocleous (Yinnar South)
2LONESOME KNIGHT [M]21312NBTR Ransley (Brighton)
3BIG KAT [M]85123NBTC Schlensog (Anakie)
4DEWANA SIENNA [M]5425142.37(2)M Dewan (Carrum Downs)
5AREJAY SMOKEY [M]13362NBTL Iredale (Pearcedale)
6BUTTERFLY BLING [M]5243342.56(1)D Phillips (Endeavour Hills)
7LUNA JINX (SA)[M]1311141.94(6)G Harris (Mclaren Vale)
8RONALD [M]71554NBTB Moles (Allambee Reserve)
9MYSTIC GRILLE [M]Res.23265NBTC Bahen (Yuroke)
10MAGENTA MOON [M]Res.31415NBTA Langton (Anakie)
Race No. 5Like Us On Facebook8:28 PM (VIC time)
Mixed 4/5 event over 595 metres at Sandown park Of $8,745 Prizemoney.
1st: $6,120 2nd: $1,750 3rd: $875.


1GOLD TOWN [5]61662FSTDJ Hunt (Avalon)
2MADDISON DEE [4]8536334.42(2)M Chilcott (Heathcote)
3TWEED BAH DAY (QLD)[4]4334534.35(5)K Greenough (Pearcedale)
4IMMY ROSE [5]47823NBTN Rooney (Lara)
5PRUE BALE (NSW)[5]42161FSTDA Dailly (Anakie)
6EXQUISITUS [4]1631234.27(7)J Imlach (Pearcedale)
7ALLEN ERYK (NSW)[4]1141734.22(6)A Dailly (Anakie)
8KAYO MARCIARNO [5]7563334.67(4)G Neocleous (Yinnar South)
9VIVO BALE (NSW)[5]Res.45433FSTDA Dailly (Anakie)
10MECHATRONIC [5]Res.24342NBTL Jones (Woodend)
Race No. 6Launching Pad Final (gobis)8:52 PM (VIC time)
S/E Group 2 event over 515 metres at Sandown park Of $68,000 Prizemoney.
1st: $40,000 2nd: $12,000 3rd: $6,000 GOBIS: $10,000.


1MEPUNGA RANGER [4]4527129.76(3)S Elsum (Camperdown)
2WYNBURN WIZARD (TAS)[4]3312129.87(5)S Bryan (Wynyard)
3CHANT (NSW)[4]3114130.01(1)T Brett (Grandchester)
4TEXAS TITAN (SA)[4]2112129.57(7)J Britton (Anakie)
5STYLISH BAROQUE (NSW)[4]1237129.68(1)R Britton (Lara)
6LEKTRA BRAVE [4]1615129.56(3)A Dailly (Anakie)
7PRINCE TO EXCEL (NSW)[4]2116129.91(2)G Jose (Catani)
8ZELL BALE (NSW)[3]8321129.77(6)S Collins (Lara)
9OWEN BALE (NSW)[5](9)265F2NBTS Collins (Lara)
10FULLY CHARGED [5](10)22312NBTS Barker (Elphinstone)
Race No. 7Sandown Cup 22 May9:11 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 event over 715 metres at Sandown park Of $8,225 Prizemoney.
1st: $5,750 2nd: $1,645 3rd: $830.


1NOCKABOUT AUSSIE [5]28625FSTDP Akathiotis (Reservoir)
2BECCI LEONE [5]12332NBTM Chilcott (Heathcote)
3BEKIM HATRICK [5]23281FSTDC Schlensog (Anakie)
4HURRICANE ISAAC [5]28T43NBTA Flores (Yinnar South)
5WILMA BALE (NSW)[5]64116FSTDJ Hunt (Avalon)
6REBELATION [5]24422NBTM Mallia-magri (Avalon)
7PARIS SPARKS [5]76234NBTD Pulis (Moe South)
8FANTASIZZING [5]56345NBTN King (Pearcedale)
9RECKLESS CHARM [5]Res.5372842.19(1)B Pulis (Moe South)
10HE ISN’T REALLY [5]Res.55644FSHC Schlensog (Anakie)
Race No. 8Easter Gift9:35 PM (VIC time)
Group Listed event over 515 metres at Sandown park Of $21,750 Prizemoney.
1st: $15,000 2nd: $4,500 3rd: $2,250.


1GODRIC GRYFINDOR [4]7631329.62(2)M Dopper (Lara)
2BAZZA’S GIFT [2]6216329.54(1)N Bell (Point Lonsdale)
3LAVENDER BROWN [4]3153129.73(6)M Dopper (Lara)
4MEPUNGA MELACHI [4]3122229.61(8)J Mcdowall (Nullawarre)
5CORNELIUS FUDGE [2]4123529.30(8)L Cockerell (Buckley)
6MARCUS JOE [1]1617129.24(4)B Moloney (Marcus Hill)
7CAMPASPE WILL [4]1121229.44(8)N Walls (Melton)
8WISE ELLA (WA)[3]2133129.52(6)J Britton (Anakie)
9YAMBLA MICK [4]Res.2143529.78(1)J Delaroche (Cranbourne North)
Race No. 9Greyhounds Make Greyt Pets! Ht49:55 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Heat event over 515 metres at Sandown park Of $7,150 Prizemoney.
1st: $5,000 2nd: $1,430 3rd: $720.


1WHY NOT DONNA [5]8227330.06(5)G Carter (Devon Meadows)
2TERRORIZER [5]87225NBTG Kantzidis (Plenty)
3GO MOBO [5]12132FSTDR Camilleri (Lara)
4TWEAK [5]7761129.57(4)T O’donovan (Devon Meadows)
5LEKTRA STROKE [5]21213NBTJ Sharp (Lara)
6SURF MAIL [5]1363729.41(1)D Mcdonald (Devon Meadows)
7CRAZY AMBER [5]81448NBTA Lauterboom (Tooradin)
8STEALTHY DANCER [5]42175NBTR Boyce (Korumburra)
9GRUBBY [5]Res.7453129.77(6)K Leek (Devon Meadows)
10MR. PATONG [5]Res.61613FSHS Ralph (Tooradin)
Race No. 10Greyhound Adoption Program Ht510:12 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Heat event over 515 metres at Sandown park Of $7,150 Prizemoney.
1st: $5,000 2nd: $1,430 3rd: $720.


1ROY GALO [5]8622829.29(7)S Ralph (Tooradin)
2GALLOPING ROCKY [5]4142730.24(2)R Conway (Bunyip)
3BANGED UP BILL [5]1811629.87(2)W Vassallo (Devon Meadows)
4DYNAMIC PUNCH [5]2721430.46(3)R Tartaglia (Newcomb)
5NELIRIAN [5]44645NBTN Rilen (Nilma North)
6FULLY CHARGED [5]22312NBTS Barker (Elphinstone)
7LEN WAYNE [5]16425NBTN Snowden (Stratford)
8PODOLSKI [5]4T637NBTA Anderson (Cranbourne)
9ROCKADORE [5]Res.8764529.81(3)A Lauterboom (Tooradin)
10ZELEMAR KNIGHT [5]Res.76353NBTG Dalton (Hazelwood North)
Race No. 11We Love The Dogs! Ht610:32 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Heat event over 515 metres at Sandown park Of $7,150 Prizemoney.
1st: $5,000 2nd: $1,430 3rd: $720.


1VINTAGE DAICOS [5]24512NBTS Drummond (Toolleen)
2PRAISE CHORUS [5]12417NBTK Bravo (Lovely Banks)
3FRANK FURTER [5]22147NBTC Schlensog (Anakie)
4CEE RONALDO [5]5615729.59(5)G Campbell (Peechelba)
5CROWDZA CAPTIVE [5]2273629.83(5)K King (Langwarrin)
6JONNY BLACK FOX [5]11111FSHW Vassallo (Devon Meadows)
7ACCESS [5]12182NBTI Garland (Longlea)
8JOHNNY HERITAGE [5]22237NBTM Chilcott (Heathcote)
9RINASH [5]Res.1425FSHG Laidlay (Devon Meadows)
10CHIEF TYSON [5]Res.6543629.96(1)R Fisher (Lara)

Greyhound Racing Victoria’s Five Year Strategic Plan

The Governing body of greyhound racing in the state of Victoria, Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV), have announced a five year Strategic Plan to oversee and direct the future of the sport, until 2019.

After much industry consultation, the plan, On Track for a Great Future, lists eight core competencies that address all aspects of the sport, including animal welfare, racing operations, wagering, member services, culture, clubs, technology and branding.

While stake returns to participants has never been greater ($41 million in the Financial Year ending 2013) and wagering turnover continues to increase, GRV have recognised the way forward must be carefully planned in order for greyhound racing to continue its prosperity.

Despite the successes of the past decade, GRV Chief Executive Officer Adam Wallish says now is not the time to stay stagnant and there is much to be done to ensure the future of the code nationally and internationally.

Of the eight core competencies itemised in the Strategic Plan, three perhaps more than the other five may have a direct impact on current participants.

The implications of the new Strategic Plan may predominantly be experienced by participants in the areas of animal welfare, racing operations and increased membership.

Firstly, the animal welfare topic continues to be a highly scrutinised, both internally and externally. Wallish described animal welfare as a “key plank in our strategic direction”, emphasising the amount of onus placed on this one issue.

The tracking of a greyhound throughout its entire life, from whelping, rearing, breaking in, racing and finally retirement, is of paramount importance for GRV. This forms part of their commitment to ensuring the greyhound is always monitored throughout its life cycle and that someone is responsible for the greyhound at all times. An additional $2.8 million is being injected into animal welfare to make sure best practices are observed in regards to Greyhound welfare issues.

“A key priority is to have a Victorian strategy and also we are leading the way in a National strategy”, says Adam Wallish in regards to greyhound welfare.

Secondly, in racing operations, GRV are committed to providing a fair, transparent and enjoyable racing experience for all participants with increased racing opportunities and clear rules in order to govern the sport with the highest level of integrity.

The aim is to monitor grading rules and to implement drug policies and increase swabbing in order to preserve the fairness to all competing.

Thirdly, the attraction and retention of the next generation of members through increased opportunities is also a key priority for GRV, for without new blood entering the sport, greyhound racing will not flourish. While this seems to go without saying, our current participants’ average age is 51 years, so to entice and maintain newcomers to greyhound racing is of huge importance.

Other sections of the Strategic Plan include the vision statement as follows:

“Greyhound Racing Victoria to become the world’s most respected greyhound body; widely regarded for the market position and reputation we have created for greyhound racing in Victoria.”

While this declaration is fairly obvious in its objective, GRV are already the industry leaders in this country, and perhaps even on a world scale.

GRV Chief Executive Adam Wallish will present the Strategic Plan to members at The Meadows, Warragul and Ballarat clubs in the coming month to explain the significance of the five year plan. If you would like to attend any of these sessions you should contact GRV Member Services to reserve your place.

The next five years in greyhound racing cannot be taken for granted as far as success is concerned for our governing body, and many hard yards are still to be traversed before the goals of this plan are realised. However, it is fair to say Greyhound Racing Victoria have achieved a great result for our Owners, Trainers and Breeders in recent years.

The implementation of this Strategic Plan over the next five years should ensure the continued success of greyhound racing in Victoria.

The Truth, The Whole Truth, And Nothing But The Truth

She’s done it again. Natalie O’Brien, the Fairfax reporter who has been sniping at greyhound racing for a couple of years now, has had another crack at the industry in her March 30 item in the Sun Herald.

Despite the parliamentary Inquiry reporting that abuses were “minimal”, O’Brien devoted most of her article to dissenting comments by Greens MP John Kaye, who claimed that GRNSW “has dodged a bullet” after the Inquiry ignored references to euthanised dogs and other matters. Those words were uttered under parliamentary privilege but neither Kaye nor O’Brien has tried to better define “dodged” or “bullet”. As a reporter, O’Brien was duty bound to delve further, but did not bother, instead just repeating the claims verbatim. Kaye himself had originally got wide media coverage after making wild and unsustainable accusations about the industry.

While those issues were well canvassed during the hearings, the other six members of the committee obviously thought it not of sufficient concern to make a song and dance about it. However, many of its other recommendations went to such matters as the need to improve supervision of trainers’ practices, to increase efforts to re-home dogs and to watch over the “socialisation” aspect during their early careers in particular.

It is striking that O’Brien has managed to extract a string of adverse comments by Kaye at the far end of the 184 page report while skating briefly over the parts that did not suit her agenda. Did Kaye prompt O’Brien or was it vice versa?

O’Brien’s previous greyhound efforts in Fairfax papers (Jul 15, 2012, Aug 12, 2012, Nov 24, 2013) contained a few valid points but otherwise they were all backed by unsubstantiated and untested claims by people who later failed to present their cases to GRNSW. They could be best described as hearsay and innuendo, yet were presented as facts.

Effectively, Kaye was the instigator of the whole Inquiry following his original attack on what he has termed abuses, bullying, secrecy and cronyism. Like any other walk of life, greyhound racing is not perfect but the balance found by the Inquiry was that while improvements could and should be made, in the overall sense participants “take great care and pride in their dogs”.

Kaye, like other tiny minorities which made submissions to the Inquiry, implies that he does not like greyhound racing in any form. That’s his privilege but it should not be allowed to govern everything that happens. Society contains murderers, burglars, embezzlers and rapists but that does not mean the rest of the population should also get a black mark.

O’Brien’s situation is similar but more serious. Her actions appear to run counter to the journalist’s ethics and code of practice. She has failed on two major counts; first to properly verify the claims of abuses by making contact with a range of involved parties, and secondly by failing to give balance in her articles to facts and arguments for and against.

The ABC 7:30 Report was also at fault in this way. In one example in a highly critical program, a 15 minute interview with one senior authority figure ended up as an 8-second grab on the program, while lengthy complaints by others were never verified. At best, it was a blatant attempt at tabloid-style headline grabbing. The ABC has been widely criticised for similar treatment of other subjects.

In both these cases, their comments were massively (and in O’Brien’s case, repeatedly) slanted to paint a poor picture of the industry while offering only fleeting opportunities for contrary views to be put. That the all-party parliamentary Inquiry has found and acted differently serves only to underline the slack nature of the reporting. Remember that O’Brien’s writing did not come under the heading of “opinion”. As with the ABC 7.30 report, it purported to be straight reporting. Consequently, both parties should be hauled over the coals for misleading the public.

For reference, here are just two items in the journalists’ code of practice. It requires them to …

“1. Report and interpret honestly, striving for accuracy, fairness and disclosure of all essential facts. Do not suppress relevant available facts, or give distorting emphasis. Do your utmost to give a fair opportunity for reply”.
“4. Do not allow personal interest, or any belief, commitment, payment, gift or benefit, to undermine your accuracy, fairness or independence”.

To use a term popular in legal circles these days, would an “ordinary person” see any breaches there, or not?

Separately, let’s note that the RSPCA, an organisation with some standing in the community, also has been at pains to highlight what it claims is an excessive number of greyhounds euthanised. Yet, under questioning, it was unable to provide accurate data on that subject or to offer comparable evidence for any other dog breed, or even of horses. This somewhat slapdash and unprofessional approach reduces the worth of its submissions. Like the above two media sources, it smacks of an emotional bias against greyhound racing.

There is an anti-football league in Melbourne but at least they are honest about it. They are also part of a tiny minority. In fact, society has lots of tiny minorities. Such is democracy, but life goes on regardless.

Whatever comes of this exercise, it does not relieve the greyhound industry of the obligation to better inform the public about the breed and how the industry works. At the very least, it owes that to owners, trainers and employees. It is also good business practice.


Punters marvelling at super fast times at Cranbourne recently will be glad to know that the club chucked out all the old loam and put in 100 tonnes of new stuff. Hence all the records and fast times being recorded.

It seems like differences of several lengths are involved but we may need a little more evidence to be sure. Meantime, take care with any tipsters’ comments about fantastic runs over all distances. Make your own judgements.

Massive changes like this are becoming a habit. Albion Park’s 520m trip quickened by a good three lengths last November following the installation of new Steraline boxes with a different timing system. Previously, we had seen GRV fiddle with the timing mechanism at Sandown and elsewhere, leading to new record times going into the books. That followed a similar speeding up when its loam was replaced a few years ago.

The worrying issue is that the record books are becoming a joke and undeserving dogs are being allocated a place in history. The solution, of course, is to declare the circuit a new track and re-start the whole process. In either case, more advance notice and more testing might help punters work out what’s what.


There is always a chuckle left in racing. Isn’t it magical how every race starter in the nation presses the button to switch on the green light and then waves madly to his mate in the tower to get the bunny running? Every one of them does it. Are we missing something here?

Not so funny is the incidence of people standing outside the safety rope at the start, thereby risking contact with an errant lure. Their numbers include stewards.


“Australian school students never master multiplication ¬tables, no longer learn long division and can’t add fractions by the time they get to university”, according to Melbourne mathematician Marty Ross. Other experts agreed (The Australian April 5).

Perhaps this is where mug gamblers come from? Obviously, we need a school for punting.


Did you notice that this website was the only publication to report why race 7 at Wentworth Park on Saturday – an Easter Egg heat – was declared a “No Race”, and what happened afterwards. The TAB and GRNSW simply said “Abandoned”, so leaving fans in the dark. See our article Keybow Sizzles In Golden Easter Egg Heats by Clarinda Campbell.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Greyhound Box Draw For Horsham – Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Race No. 1Mackay’s Leading Edge Jewellers Final (gobis)3:59 PM (VIC time)
Maiden Final event over 410 metres at Horsham Of $2,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190 GOBIS: $1,000.


1TINY PROFIT [M]F2422NBTV Millington (Great Western)
2CHEESE SLICE [M]2632NBTC Fisher (Brim)
3KIBOSH [M]572NBTJ Kruisselbrink (Raglan)
4TURANZA CHLOE [5]F542123.71(8)J Tolson (Adelaide Lead)
5YES CHEF [5]123.55(7)R Versteeg (Merbein)
6JENKINS BALE (NSW)[5]123.66(4)J Hunt (Avalon)
7DYNA RAPIDASH (NSW)[5]123.75(4)J Hunt (Avalon)
8NEXT GRANGE [M]2NBTE Vigor (Anakie)
9DUBSY RUSSELL [M]Res.3NBTT Mitchell (Lara)
10ZAPPENING (NSW)[M]Res.33NBTS Fisher (Warracknabeal)
Race No. 2Conway’s4:14 PM (VIC time)
Maiden event over 480 metres at Horsham Of $1,415 Prizemoney.
1st: $990 2nd: $285 3rd: $140.


1CLASSY WAY [M]FSHR Clayfield (Glenroy)
2FANCY MUMMA (NSW)[M]23335FSTDW Vassallo (Devon Meadows)
3ROCK OUT PIE [M]22243NBTL Woodhead (Drung)
5DUBSY RUSSELL [M]3FSTDT Mitchell (Lara)
6ZAPPENING (NSW)[M]33FSTDS Fisher (Warracknabeal)
7AEROPLANE BOWSER [M]32P6FSHD Murray (Napoleons)
9ROCK OUT EXPRESS [M]Res.55655NBTL Woodhead (Drung)
Race No. 3O’callaghan Pde Vet Clinic4:34 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 event over 410 metres at Horsham Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1ALL AT SEA [5]78371NBTR Clayfield (Glenroy)
2MCAVANEY [5]51186FSHS Lithgow (Devon Meadows)
3BLUE VAPOURISER (QLD)[5]41264NBTS Bull (Snake Valley)
4SKIN TO BONE [5]311FSHR Massina (Golden Square)
5LANA KANE (NSW)[5]43418FSHR Keating (Portland)
6HELLO MILLY [5]17368NBTJ Weir-smith (Dooen)
7INFINITE POWER [5]124.02(5)G George (Beulah)
8MISSILE MICK [5]4F16523.94(3)C Fisher (Brim)
9MOONLIGHT MAGGIE [5]Res.51768FSHT Womann (Lara)
10MISTER SAMSON [5]Res.78887NBTM Fullerton (Red Cliffs)
Race No. 4Trends Horsham & Ararat Grv Vic Bred Ht14:49 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Heat event over 480 metres at Horsham Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1NISHIKORI [5]13136NBTK Ashton (Charlton)
2DESIRE SMURFETTE [5]34877FSHK Karamatic (Lara)
3FLASH WILSON [5]37243FSHT Womann (Lara)
4ACES HIGH [5]44613FSTDD Williams (Bannockburn)
5CLARETOWN OSCAR [5]72174NBTG Peach (Cape Clear)
6HE’S BUZZIN’ [5]14T46NBTJ Hunt (Avalon)
7NOTHING MUCH [5]1274327.45(1)D Murray (Napoleons)
8ARKTIKA [5]45315NBTM Chilcott (Heathcote)
Race No. 5Aaron Lewis Property Agents Vic Bred Ht25:09 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Heat event over 480 metres at Horsham Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1BRINDLE POGO [5]82438FSTDM Lithgow (Devon Meadows)
2JONNY BLACK FOX [5]11111FSHW Vassallo (Devon Meadows)
3MR. FOX [5]55163FSHR Britton (Lara)
4EL ROSCOE [5]41722FSHM Karamatic (Lara)
6JOHNNY HERITAGE [5]44452NBTM Chilcott (Heathcote)
7RAPIDO GRIS [5]87783NBTJ Hunt (Avalon)
8CHIEF TYSON [5]73654NBTR Fisher (Lara)
Race No. 6Crymelon Kennels5:24 PM (VIC time)
Mixed 4/5 event over 570 metres at Horsham Of $2,305 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,615 2nd: $460 3rd: $230.


1GOOD ODDS PUNK (NSW)[4]31435FSHD Murray (Napoleons)
2WENT WOOSHKA (NZ)[4]83777NBTT Womann (Lara)
3BLONDE CAVIAR [5]42527NBTP Franklin (Moyston)
4CENTURY TIME [4]3767233.01(2)L Fitzgerald (Woodvale)
5GALLANT GUY [5]87887FSTDJ Thomson (Boolite)
6SIR GAZZA [4]6311532.56(8)R Britton (Lara)
7NEUTRINO [5]2866TNBTD Goudge (Illowa)
8IN THIS WAY (NSW)[4]1156233.19(8)B Weis (Portland)
Race No. 7White Hart Hotel Grv Vic Bred Ht35:42 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Heat event over 480 metres at Horsham Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1MISS HOT VEGAS [5]73874FSTDT Womann (Lara)
2CRACKERJACK DAK [5]23611NBTJ Hunt (Avalon)
3WHERE’S MAMBO [5]64664FSTDJ Chilcott (Heathcote)
4CETTE AWAY [5]13146FSHJ Hunt (Avalon)
5BET BET RYAN [5]3881627.82(2)P Patterson (Bet Bet)
6PREMIER EXPRESS [5]22322NBTK Mugavin (Killarney)
7INVENTOR [5]21351NBTG Peach (Cape Clear)
8GOGETTA [5]2221FSHR Halliday (Portland)
Race No. 8Greyhound Adoption Program6:00 PM (VIC time)
Mixed 4/5 event over 480 metres at Horsham Of $2,005 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,405 2nd: $400 3rd: $200.


1NOWITZKI [5]82243NBTA Mooney (Amherst)
2COBRA BALE (NSW)[4]1687127.28(2)J Hunt (Avalon)
3UNLEASH NITRO (NSW)[5]32342NBTB Weis (Portland)
4CLAY BIRD (SA)[4]5734627.56(4)M Chilcott (Heathcote)
5ZANDER’S EXPRESS [4]1246627.30(6)J Weir-smith (Dooen)
6PROVEN EARNER [4]4346727.61(7)G George (Beulah)
7BOSTON SILVER (NSW)[4]2168527.36(1)I Vigor (Anakie)
8TOMAHAWK (QLD)[5]F1334NBTJ Hunt (Avalon)
Race No. 9Fig Tree Cafe Grv Vic Bred Ht46:22 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Heat event over 480 metres at Horsham Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1BUXTON MISS [5]26362FSHJ Karamatic (Lara)
2RED LINE LAD [5]25328FSHG Jose (Catani)
3BOBBY HERITAGE [5]23756NBTM Chilcott (Heathcote)
4RUN’S RHODE [5]22716FSHR Halliday (Portland)
5UPSET BOY [5]12123FSHJ Hunt (Avalon)
6GEISHA ANGEL [5]36358NBTR Keating (Portland)
7DODGE THE BILL [5]7551327.83(5)R Britton (Lara)
8REVEREND MATCHY [5]55442FSTDT Womann (Lara)
Race No. 10Oscar Furniture6:38 PM (VIC time)
Mixed 4/5 event over 410 metres at Horsham Of $2,005 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,405 2nd: $400 3rd: $200.


1BLACK CADEL [5]5544523.59(1)G Peach (Cape Clear)
2BEST PERFUME [4]5688623.36(1)T Womann (Lara)
3PERNICKETY [4]6614623.55(1)C Fisher (Brim)
4SKINNY VINNIE [4]57846NBTR Britton (Lara)
5LADY GOLDENPAW [5]22582NBTR Britton (Lara)
6ROUSE FLYER (SA)[5]12215NBTB Shepheard (Glencoe)
7MODRA [4]5732123.41(7)K Mugavin (Killarney)
8JETGUN [4]1616F23.68(1)D Williams (Bannockburn)
9REMONSTRATE [5]Res.54477NBTR Keating (Portland)
10EXPRESS TICKET [5]Res.63767NBTK Quinn (Cundare)
Race No. 11Wimmera Trophies & Gifts6:54 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 event over 480 metres at Horsham Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1AND AWAY [5]61358FSTDR Clayfield (Glenroy)
2ZULEKHA [5]2211FSHD Massina (Golden Square)
3NOBLE HASTE [5]55165NBTR Taylor (Warracknabeal)
4STEELE BEAMS [5]55277FSTDD Massina (Golden Square)
5SERASH BALE (NSW)[5]3516227.52(2)J Hunt (Avalon)
6SPIRIT TO EXCEL (NSW)[5]53653FSHG Jose (Catani)
7CHANNON BALE (NSW)[5]56346NBTJ Hunt (Avalon)
8FREESIA BALE (NSW)[5]35215FSTDJ Hunt (Avalon)

Subsidies Are Seldom Good Business

How do you know if spending money is a good idea? Well, GWA has just conducted a participants survey which included a question about keeping or changing its current breeding subsidies for locally-bred dogs.

Amazingly, 93% said Yes, they would like more money, please. A few years ago GRNSW surveyed breeders about the same thing. They also voted Yes, we would like more money.

Let’s repeat that. In both cases, the people who were about to get the money were asked if they still wanted it. Was it a surprise that they said Yes? Hardly. However, many were not so sure about any extra cash as 71% wanted to see that go to stakemoney rather than to breeding incentives.

None of the WA questions, or any of the introductory remarks, offered comment about the pros and cons of spending money in this way. So the respondents would have been influenced mainly by their personal situation. That’s understandable. It is like a bookie giving you 10/1 about a 3/1 chance. You have to take it.

But is it good business to decide things in this way? And how does it help the overall industry? Bear in mind that the job of racing authorities is to “progress and develop” the industry, or words to that effect. Should they succeed in doing that, then it would be obvious that participants would also benefit over time, regardless of action in the breeding area. More customers equals higher prizemoney.

Breeding is a vital sector of the industry, but does it need extra handouts? The short answer would have to be “Don’t Know” because, so far as we can determine, no authority has ever run a decent study of the effects of their breeding policies. There are lots of waffly announcements about how marvelous it would be, but never do we see the proof of the pudding.

For example, last year the Victorian Premier/Racing Minister issued a media release claiming that the increased breeding subsidies he was supporting would lead to higher employment in the industry. Now, is that a reasonable claim? It would not be hard to whip around all the Victorian breeders to see whose numbers were up and who had put more staff on because of the subsidy.

Somehow I doubt they would find much, especially about staff numbers.

There are two underlying issues here. First, the very small or casual breeder is faced with fairly solid fees and fixed overheads he has to overcome before making a profit. If we consider more breeding by these people is a good thing (some indicate it is not), then it is quite simple to address that by offering various concessions based on volume.

The second matter is that the general view would be that substantial breeders are involved in the most lucrative sector of the industry. If you are getting a good flow of $1,000 to $2,000 fees then you are probably doing nicely. Stories about sires being booked out are common. Big ads for sires underwrite formguide finances and track billboards. Some even make expensive overseas trips to obtain breeding stock. In other words, the need or justification for subsidy is very watery indeed.

The alternative is to put the cash towards higher prizemoney, thereby encouraging more owners to take part, and leading then to higher rewards for trainers. What goes around comes around. Besides, I would guess that there are many more battling trainers than battling breeders.

I have no idea of the actual profitability of breeders. Nor, I suspect, does anyone else. That being the case, why are they getting a subsidy in the first place? The principle of a subsidy is to help the disadvantaged overcome a tough period, but then only for a specific reason and for a specific time period. No subsidy should ever be introduced without a sunset clause.

Another point is that breeding is the only sector of the industry which is otherwise subject to the normal forces of the market place – supply and demand. That’s a good thing because it makes the sector more efficient, more attuned to customers’ needs. It also rewards the better operators. But if you interfere with that process then you run the risk of getting something you did not anticipate – like breeding with second or third choice of sires and dams.

And, since everybody has subsidies, there is no competitive advantage to be had.

This is yet another reason why independent auditors are needed to check on the effectiveness of expenditure undertaken by authorities. They are spending our money – punters’ money, that is – and should be held accountable for getting a return on “our” investments.

Of course, the underlying intention of state breeding subsidies is to build up the local breeding sector. Whether that happens, or just how that would help the overall industry is never stated, nor are any objectives ever nominated. In any case, this sort of activity pales into insignificance by comparison with other major economic trends in the industry. We have frequently mentioned the disparate size of betting pools as a big challenge, and a risk, to the smaller states (no doubt one reason why WA combines its pools with Victoria).

But probably the biggest economic impact comes from the movement of dogs themselves. For many years now, Victoria has enjoyed an inflow of better dogs from the huge Wheeler camp and from NSW and Queensland generally. SA is sustained by the inflow of second level Wheeler dogs, helped a little by transfers of average dogs from Victoria. WA is massively influenced by the continuing transfer of dogs from the three eastern states, usually when they have become less competitive at home (transfers which are financed by accumulated prizemoney).

Without commenting further here on those actual flows (it is a big subject on its own) the point is that, relatively, breeding as such can have only a minute effect on the fortunes of any one state. Consequently, artificially created subsidies are highly unlikely to help in any meaningful way. The market will look after things very efficiently. Good managers would get rid of subsidies and find better uses for the money.

I also note that the last WA sire of any significance – Prince of Thiefs – was sent to Victoria to work at his trade. Of course, Miata’s litter will create great interest in WA, but then she was bred in NSW, wasn’t she? Nuff said.

All of which leaves us with only one piece of hard evidence. Greyhounds Australasia data show that between 2002 and 2011 breeding activity actually dropped. Spending all those millions of dollars over the years produced no growth at all. The money was wasted. But it also leaves some questions open. Why has there been no increase? And has all the discriminatory prizemoney for locally bred race winners done more harm than good? Or made no difference?

As for surveys themselves – they are always better drafted by research professionals, lest you get crook answers


I have to correct my recent claim that there are 120 different grades for Australian trainers to worry about. That should now read 123. GRV has just added (a) the “300” club for dogs which fit between T3 and 5th Grade, and runs on a complex points basis, (b) Bendigo has just run heats of an event for dogs with 1 to 4 wins but no more than 14 total runs and (c) not to be outdone, The Meadows is offering a four heat series for dogs with 1 to 4 wins but they must have had more than 14 career runs.

The mind boggles at the labour and IT costs of implementing and administering all these strange new races. The punters will have to pay for that, too.

GRV Introduce “300” Plus Meetings

Due to some greyhounds not being catered for under the current grading system, Greyhound Racing Victoria are trialling a new race type, 300 plus.

300 Plus refers to greyhounds that have a ranking of 300 points or more that may not be eligible for Tier 3 racing, but cannot gain a start at the full stake provincial level. To be eligible a greyhound will need to have a ranking, per the grading guidelines, of 300 points.

After the recent consultation sessions held across the State, GRV have decided to introduce these meetings in an effort to assist trainers whose greyhounds fall into this bracket to maximise their racing opportunities.

To ascertain your greyhounds ranking you are required to access the GRV FASTTRACK system, via the GRV website.

The first of these 300 Plus Meetings is to be held at Bendigo next Wednesday March 26, 2014 and will carry normal Tier 3 Stake money.

While any amendments to the grading system to increase racing opportunities is always welcomed, I can’t help but feel that perhaps we are over complicating our system of grading. As you may know, I have not been a fan of the entire Tier 3 concept, that’s despite its overall acceptance by most in the industry.

Are we simply segregating the racing population even further and making it even more difficult for our current participants to not only manage their greyhounds, but understand the grading system, which is seemingly becoming more and more complex.

The purpose for Tier 3 Racing is surely to give lower grade greyhounds the opportunity to race against other like greyhounds. Is this in reality what is occurring, or are we promoting mediocre racing under the guise of making racing “fairer”.

The other belief by many of the supporters of the Tier 3 system is that it is primarily for the small hobby trainer, who cannot compete with the professional full time trainers.

This argument is obviously flawed, as it’s not unusual to see several of the so called professionals racing at the Tier 3 fixtures when the circumstances suit. So is the Tier 3 and now 300 Plus racing realising, in the most efficient manner, what it was originally set out to accomplish.

As an alternative, I don’t know why we can’t operate under a non-penalty system, with perhaps some covenants to protect the lower grade dogs.

At least this would be an inclusive rather than an exclusive policy, not discriminating against any trainer who wishes to race his greyhound for the lower stake money. The non-penalty system seems to be appropriate for the Midweek city programs; I cannot see any reason why this can’t be adapted to the country fixtures as well.

I get the feeling we are confusing matters more than perhaps we should, and maybe the GRV agenda in regards to these lower grade meetings has more to do with animal welfare and less to do with the standard of racing and participant longevity.

As the old adage says, KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid. I think perhaps the GRV Grading system could learn something from that old saying.

Phenomenal Lives Up To His Name At Ballarat With A Track Record run

In a week that has seen five track records fall by the wayside, interested spectators at Ballarat last Wednesday got to witness the most significant one of them all. The special event was the main drawcard on the night and it looked to be an intriguing affair with three powerhouse sprinters locking horns. Jason Thompson had Boris Fields exiting box three and his freakish speedster Phenomenal exiting the coveted rails draw, with his main opposition coming from the Karen Leek trained Billy Rocket.

Punters confirmed their faith in the Thompson trained Phenomenal by sending him out as a $1.60 favourite and in the end they had very little to worry about. As the lids opened, the son of Collision and Tocsin stepped on terms, whilst his two main rivals hesitated and the judges only concern became times and margins. Soon after the jump, the dark brindle greyhound found his nose in front and as they entered the first turn he was a clear leader. With nothing to impede his progress, the Serge and Bill Buccilli owned dog bolted down to the line, winning by six and half lengths in new track record figures (hand timed) of 24.88. The win eclipsed Hooksy’s one month old 24.94 track record by just over a length.

The new record however is not without controversy, as traditionally hand timed track records have not been recognised. Track records have had to be recorded using the track timing, not by hand timing which is highly variable. Adding weight to that argument was the fact that the GRV Stewards did not swab Phenomenal after the race. Post race swabs are traditionally carried out on all track record running greyhounds and yet in this case those officiating elected not to swab the greyhound.

However, Phenomenal claims to a track record appear to have solidified the next day when the GRV media department wrote two sentences at the end of another piece recognising the record:

“Incidentally, Ballarat’s 450 metres track record also fell last night, with the Jason Thompson-trained Phenomenal running a time of 24.88sec. While Phenomenal’s run was hand-timed and contradicted the time on the semaphore board – which is currently experiencing technical issues – his time of 24.88sec is official as per the Judge’s ruling.”

Was this a case of the GRV marketing department acting where Stewards failed to do so?

There is some precedent for hand timed track records in Victoria. In circumstances where the time reads different to the semaphore board, racing authorities are able to use their discretion to make it official, as seen when Omar Gee set new figures for the Warrnambool 450m trip in March 2013.

Phenomenal’s career has always been closely watched. Making his race debut just 13 months ago, the talented sprinter won at The Meadows in a staggering 29.78. That speed would see him win seven of his next eight starts.

After such an emphatic start to his career, connections started to endure a frustrating run of injuries and luckless performances which in turn forced this star chaser to spend some time on the sidelines. In November of 2013, he announced his return to star status with a string of four wins on the provincial circuit, one of them in 32.08 track record time at Horsham over the 570m journey.

After Wednesday night’s record performance ARG spoke to Seona Thompson about her star chasers performance.

“Once he stepped away so cleanly and wasn’t touched for the first part of the race, we knew the time was going to be interesting. On the trial track he runs some ridiculous times, the best word to describe him is freakish, but unfortunately in some of his races he finds a lot of trouble and he doesn’t get to show what he is really made of.”

Phenomenal’s immediate racing future may prove to be very prosperous for connections.

“He is fully paid up for the upcoming Warrnambool Classic and he will be one of the older dogs in the event which should work in his favour. After that he will be targeting some of the upcoming Group events in the hope to strengthen his future career at stud.”

With two track records under his belt it is exciting to think what might be ahead for this star of the track. He has already proven that he can handle the Metropolitan tracks with ease and now with his recent injury problems seemingly behind him he will have those track records clearly in his sights. Connections have stated that they want to continue his racing career for as long as they can, so there should be some exciting times ahead for greyhound racing fans.

What The Eye Can’t See

There’s nothing better than a great view of a great race. Everyone can cheer and see where their money went. It’s what sells the industry to the public.

But for years now I have been squinting my eyes trying to make out what is going on in the back straights. It’s hard enough at the track, but much worse when you have to rely on film – either on SKY or from race videos – which is how 99% of people watch a race.

Three issues come into play: the environment, the dogs and the equipment. All pose problems. It’s easy enough when the dogs are right in front of you but far too difficult to tell what is going on once the distance increases. Here’s why.

1. Cameras, or camera work, are not good enough. Still photos are fine but as soon as the dogs start moving their images become blotchy. Telling them apart is not helped by long distances, low photo angles, or obstructions (such as the rail infrastructure, light poles or yahoos waving madly at the start). None of this happens for pictures of the gallops or the football, so a technical solution is obviously available.

2. Camera positions are often dependent on the nature of the building that houses them – high or low, further away or closer, in line with the finishing post or not. All these matters are more important to more people than any other purposes served by the building. Customer numbers demand that nothing should take precedence over the camera.

3. Track lighting varies considerably, night and day involves different visual perceptions, rainy weather makes all runners look much the same and, once again, long distances are a challenge.

4. The dogs’ rug colours do not work well – of which more below.

5. Generally, major city tracks perform better than provincial tracks, possibly partly because their cameras are positioned higher. Yet by far the majority of races are held at those provincial tracks, so they therefore dominate public impressions.

Rug colours were assessed a few years ago at Greyhounds Australasia when a long drawn-out process ended with the brown rug being changed to green and cloth giving way to synthetics – both sound enough moves. Apparently, nothing else was examined at the time, but it should have been.

Rug colours do vary a bit from country to country but they are broadly much of a muchness. However, they give the impression that they have all been chosen by a group of blokes spreading them out across a boardroom table. Theory has outweighed practice. That is, they are done mostly by amateurs with only a little help here and there from material manufacturers. Unfortunately, the challenge here is not to create a fashion statement but to achieve a result that works in varied and trying conditions. We are not after the right shoes to wear with a tuxedo but a workboot that satisfies a range of mucky conditions, so to speak.

The difficulty in separating runners at long distances is critical, of course, but the problem is not helped by the rug colours in use today. For example, Red and Pink are fine when they are put in front of you, but not in wild and woolly weather, and when the field is mixing. The same goes for Blue and Green.

More subtle is the job of telling apart the Black and White stripes, the White, the Black and the Green and White stripes when they are placed on dogs that might be coloured White, Black and White, or Black. Or even when they are not. It ends up as guesswork.

Broadcasters with powerful binoculars might handle the task, but how about ordinary viewers with a mixture of eye strength, short or long sight, varying colour sensitivity, or wearing glasses to boot?

The subject was dramatically illustrated last Tuesday while watching a 680m race at Warragul (R6). Arising (3) quickly ran to the lead in the front straight and then cleared out. But by the time they reached the back straight it had become impossible to see where the rest of them were at any stage. It was all a blur. And it did not improve a lot when they were bunching in the home straight. To tell the truth, the first half of 460m trips are no better, or not once they start moving.

By all means check the GRV videos yourself, but it is only one example of many as many other tracks are no better. Bulli, for one, is an absolute horror. Canberra has huge light poles in the way. Angle Park makes you go cross-eyed when racing in bright sunlight.

Cameras, lighting and photo angles are all matters which can be improved readily by technical people and by good management. But the question of rug colours is much more complex. Colour perception is a highly skilled science due to the varying interfaces of human eye properties, the equipment in use and the targets. The job is way beyond the reach of anyone except a true professional. As we have mentioned in respect to track design, nothing less than a full scientific study would be able to achieve an acceptable result.

As just another amateur, it is not for me to suggest a better range of colours. However, let’s note that Dayglo colours are in wide commercial use today and could do a remarkable job of distinguishing one dog from another. For example, a Dayglo Pink would immediately remove doubts about the Red/Pink clash.

Finally, a small but important point. A few clubs show still pictures of close finishes on SKY but most do not. This involves only a simple process of stringing up a bit of cable from one spot to another in the judge’s box so it should be made common practice everywhere. The customers love being their own judge.

Digressing a bit, here is some interesting information from “How Dogs See the World” by Natalie Wolchover on the Live Science website. It points out that it’s not the eyes that works things out, but the brain that deciphers the signals sent to it by the eyes.

“Normal human eyes contain three kinds of color-detecting cells called cones, and by comparing the way these cones are each stimulated by incoming light, our brains distinguish red wavelengths from green and blue wavelengths from yellow. Dogs’ eyes, like those of most other mammals, contain just two kinds of cones. These enable their brains to distinguish blue from yellow, but not red from green”.

Tasmanian Trifecta And Money Trails

We all know about the dominating win by Buckle Up Wes in the rich Australian Cup last Saturday. Then a day later Tasmanian pacer Beautide took out the Interdominion Championship at Sydney’s Menangle Park. But there is one more.

Also on the weekend Tasmanian cyclist, 21 year-old Amy Cure, scored a gold medal at the World Championships in Columbia. Her win in the 25 kilometre points race came after picking up two bronze medals with her team. The Hobart Mercury reports that Cure has a contract with the Belgian Lotto-Belisol Ladies team for the coming European season.

That’s a lot of excitement for the Apple Isle.

If only they could smarten up their sectional timing information in greyhound races, they may have a future down there. Yes, they are still telling lies by assigning the leader’s time to the wrong dogs. This is really strange in another way as the local organisation is leading the way in experimenting with GPS tracking using the saddlecloth on thoroughbred racers to do the same job. When perfected, the system could easily be transferred to greyhounds and then provide sectionals for all runners, not just the leader (whoever that is).

Currently, Tasmanian results offer no running orders during the race and show the sectional time against the winner’s name, regardless of whether it was responsible for it. Both would discourage intending punters, to say nothing about destroying the integrity of racing data.

This is far from the state’s only challenge. Its income is tied to the TattsBet operation which has been suffering from a diversion of business to the bigger Tabcorp TAB across the Bass Strait. Critically, Tatts problems are even bigger in its home state of Queensland where it is still battling with Racing Queensland over commission payments worth $100 million-plus and its overall tote business is shaky.

The key to Tatts fortunes will be the ability of the three codes in Queensland to improve their products. All have been in decline over the last decade as horse and dog numbers dwindle and field quality suffers. Short fields and low standard races are now the norm at major Albion Park meetings. Tatts management itself is frequently under fire in local media for sloppy handling of Fixed Odds offers, where online bookies are making big gains.

The Tatts group is fortunate to be able to rely on growth in its non-racing sectors but that will be of no help to greyhound punters looking for better deals. Clearly, their only hope is that eventually the creation of a national betting pool will make all the troubles go away.


We mentioned the Cup heats at Horsham a couple of days ago, and the risks involved in punting on them. Of the dogs that had raced in the previous few days, only one was a winner – Innocent Til, which got a bit of a belting in the Australian Cup final on Saturday from Hallelujah Henry. Two others were scratched, which contributed to all heats running with empty boxes because there were no reserves.

But there are more oddities.

Horsham’s usual Win pool on the NSW TAB is about $10,000 but sometimes more. Two weeks ago it averaged $9,983. First Four takings are also quite good. Its Tuesday twilight slot is reasonably popular, considering it is not known as a prime time of the week.

Last week was different. In its wisdom (it may well have had reasons that are not obvious) GRV shifted the graded meeting away from the normal slot to Wednesday evening. In its place, Horsham ran an all-maiden meeting containing the usual lot of triers and never-rans.

Guess what. The maiden meeting averaged only $6,940, indicating punters were not amused and maybe went across to the trots or the gallops.

How about the new Wednesday time? No better. It averaged $6,972 for a fairly useful graded program, which is a bit worse than attracted by whatever club normally occupies that slot. Anyone used to the Tuesday timing would have been put out by the change – or maybe they just don’t like later starts.

Then this week’s Cup heats meeting got shifted from twilight to night, but still on Tuesday. How did that go? Not too well, considering the high quality of the dogs and the $5,000 first prizes for the Cup heats. It averaged only $9,020, or below what the run of the mill twilight meetings pull in. And next Saturday, three of the finalists will be having their third race in eight days. Dunno about that.

Going back to the Cup heats, they averaged $9,887 on the Win tote whereas the other eight races averaged $8,309. However, the latter group included two post 10pm races which drew poorly, and five of the eight were maidens. Much of a muchness?

Of course, another challenge was that there were four other clubs running at night, but only three in the twilight zone. Aside from late night issues, the revised time put Horsham into heavier traffic.

Why does GRV keep playing musical chairs with race dates and times? It never pays off, regardless of whether they get more locals to turn up to the meeting. People like consistency, both from their dogs and from meeting programmers.

(Of course, Victorian TAB takings were about 70% larger than those above but the picture is much the same. In any case, under current arrangements, the home state also benefits from what happens on their meeting in other states).


Last weekend NSW punters spent 17% more on the Win pool at Friday’s Wentworth Park meeting than at the higher quality meeting on Saturday. No doubt some would have been attracted to the three big races at The Meadows on Saturday night. Even so, the downturn was not noticeable in First Four pools which were quite high at Wenty. The short fields might have had an influence – six on Saturday versus only two on Friday – but that was not reflected in those First Four pools. Who knows? It’s all a mystery.

More obvious were the wild variations from race to race, no doubt in sympathy with delayed trotting starts and race clashes generally. More proof that it is a turning into a mug’s game – literally.

GRNSW has claimed big increases in turnover during the July-December period but the more important information would be a rundown on where all this money came from. How is the punter profile changing?

And why are more punters taking extortionate Fixed Odds prices rather than demanding better offers from their betting operators? That would never happen in a robust on course ring. Unfortunately, they are pretty much a distant memory. All the more reason for racing authorities to keep track of who is betting what and where.

GRNSW is about to come up with a new strategic plan, but how can they do that properly if they don’t know their customers? It will be no good asking trainers, as the chairman has just announced she will be doing, because they won’t know either. It will also be no good asking betting operators because they all have different policies, different products and different client bases. The answers will come only from proper research programs – of both the public and the punters.

Hopefully, that task will be better organised than the last GRNSW survey – conducted for it by a consultant – which was tasked with working out a new formguide design. Since that turned out to be too elaborate, too flowery, too cumbersome and too hard to read, let’s hope they can do better in the future.

And, no, I am not impressed with readership figures which GRNSW occasionally trots out. They measure only who opened a particular section of the website. They tell you nothing about how the information was used.

Too Much Of A Good Thing?

If this was in Queensland they might get upset. Only good news is allowed there under the current management. But it’s in Victoria, so that’s alright.

Beware. Tonight’s Horsham Cup heats involve 32 dogs, some of which will then go on to the final only four days later.

Of these starters, five raced six days ago, seven raced five days ago at Sandown and three raced three days ago at The Meadows. On the other hand, a couple have been off the scene for over a month.

The 480m is always a tough but fair trip. Even dogs coming off 500s in town can find it hard to finish off there.

How will they stand up to the task? Which dogs have the greatest endurance? And will the lucky eight finalists be fully fit on Saturday night?

Horsham’s usual fans might also be concerned about the shift from twilight to night timing. They have tried that before and, while oncourse takings were good, offcourse business was relatively poor.

That’s a lot of negatives, yet GRV keeps doing things like this.

Pappa Gallo Takes Out The Vic Breeders

Pappa Gallo (3) made the most of his opportunities to land the $25,000 to-the-winner Group Three Cosmic Chief GRV VBIS Maiden Final for trainer Mario Cortese at The Meadows on Saturday night.

The son of Bekim Bale and Bella Ebony (Big Daddy Cool – Ashton’s Girl) emphasised the advantage of being in front when he speared the lids to lead the first section in 5.18.  Dewana Lass (1) also began well and it was that duo who raced away into the back straight by virtue of avoiding a world of trouble back in the field.

Pappa Gallo remained about three-dogs wide as they raced into the back straight with Dewana Lass a length behind on the fence and poised to strike.

Exiting the back straight the scenario remained the same. Pappa Gallo scouted three wide leaving plenty of room for Dewana Lass to drive through, should she be good enough to do so.

Race favourite Mepunga Hayley (8) had been caught wide further back in the field from the outset but emerged from the pack in a hurry to set up one last crack at the two leaders.

As they swung for home, both Dewana Lass and Mepunga Hayley hooked to the outside and began to unleash withering runs home, but Pappa Gallo found too much and held on to win in 30.31 by a length from Dewana Lass, with Mepunga Hayley a further length away in third.

Of the beaten brigade, Punk Pirate (5) was desperate to get to the rail and, after beginning moderately, speared left. Both Hession Boots (4) and Venom’s Lad (2) fell victim to Punk Pirate’s penchant for the paint and loss valuable early ground.

As expected, Premier Woofie (6) was away slowly and then found a myriad of trouble on the first turn which all but ended his chances of winning. Lead Into Demise (7) was caught wide for a long part of the journey and, as a result, struggled to get into the race.

Pappa Gallo’s victory was the second of his five start career and, with the advantage of VBIS bonuses, he has already earned $39,630 in prize-money.

His next race will be at Sandown this Thursday when he graduates to fifth-grade company from box seven in the final event on the card.

Judy Hayley Honoured In Style At Sandown

On a night dedicated to the ladies of the industry, the 50 Shades Of Greyhound event at Sandown Park was certainly a night to remember, and it wasn’t just the topless male waiters that made the night so memorable. Underneath all the glitz and glam of the occasion, it was impossible to forget the real reason all the ladies were decked out in pink, it was in memory of Judy Hayley.

Karen Leek’s Billy Rocket took out the main event of the night, The Judy Hayley Memorial run over the 515 metre distance. Billy Rocket jumped $2.35 favourite from box eight and after finding the lead early and taking the outside route to the finishing post, the 35 kilo fawn dog held on to win by 1.35 lengths over Lektra Brave (box seven) and Kirky Courtz (box one) in a time of 29.74.

“The win was very, very, very special because Judy was one of my very best friends.” Trainer Karen Leek explained.

“I was honoured to be there and win the race; it meant more to me then winning the Melbourne Cup. I am still on a high; I can still feel myself grinning internally.”

The $6,260 to the winner final was certainly not the Melbourne Cup; it was the sentimental value of winning the race in memory of Judy Hayley that made the occasion so special. After winning the race Billy Rocket made his way down the cat walk that had previously been graced by models who where dressed by Jimmy Bartel’s wife Nadia. As the pink crowd cheered for the extra $5,000.00 donated to the McGrath foundation because he won from the pink box, Billy Rocket was happy enough wagging his tired tail as Karen Leek made a heartfelt speech.

“It was just amazing, I have not had a reception like I had on Thursday night since the 80’s when everyone used to love it when their friends would win a race. Now it can be a bit competitive.”

“I have had so many congratulations from people on Facebook, text messages, people ringing me as well as people coming up to me on Thursday night, it was just fantastic!”

Karen and Judy had been friends for many years, meeting each other while organising to put a stud dog over a brood bitch. The connection was instant as they joked about having to drive the stud dog over to serve the bitch.

“I have worked out that I have known Judy for over 30 years; we met through her having a stud dog and a friend of mine having a bitch that needed to be served.

“Judy was just a fun loving girl. She was about 65 when she died, but Judy didn’t know she was that old, she was very active playing netball. Judy loved life; everyone that met her loved her.”

Leek was involved with two greyhounds that made it through to the Lady trainer only final, winner Billy Rocket and West On Knight, trained by Linda Britton. West On Knight had been in the care of Leek leading up to winning her heat and into the final where she unfortunately had to scratch.

“I was upset that I had to scratch West On Knight, because I knew how much Linda wanted to have a dog running in Judy’s race.”

“Billy Rocket was the only dog of mine I had that was able to run the 500; I always hoped to be able to take him down for Judy’s race.”

Billy Rocket, named Rex by Leek’s nephew Billy, is also a special story in itself.

“We picked Rex and his brother Tex (Texan) up when they where about 3 months old. My nephew Billy had come down from Townsville at the time and I him asked if he wanted to pick the pups out. He wanted to call the two pups that we picked out Rex and Tex.”

“I heard this dog name on the radio when Rex was getting broken in; I thought its name was Billy Rocket. I said to Billy that it would be a great name Rex. Turns out I heard the name wrong on the radio, it was Lilly Rocket, so I called up and got Billy Rocket put aside.”

Leeks nephew Billy keeps up to date with everything his not so little greyhound does on the racetrack through Facebook and the GRV website.

“Billy came down hoping to watch Rex run around in the Silver Chief, but Rex did a tendon in his left toe in the semi’s and didn’t make it through. In hindsight it worked out okay. Having the month off allowed him to be eligible for Judy’s race.”

The son of Mogambo – Lovely Time has had 19 starts for 8 wins and he continued his 100% strike rate at Sandown on Thursday night, with his win the third victory at the track. Leek not only owns and trains Billy Rocket; she bred his mother Lovely Time from her bitch Miss Amberbee.

“Rex has a lot of personality; I play around with him a bit. He lies down and then I can flip him over when I am lasering his toe, he lies on his back and puts his head in the air and carries on. He thinks he is pretty smart he does!”

“Rex loves life and loves running, you have to watch him otherwise he will run himself into the ground.”

As for what’s next for Leeks special fawn chaser; she wants to ensure his toe has made it through Judy’s series before she makes any plans.

“He pulled up quiet well, he is a bit tired in himself. I think fronting up four days later after not being 100% fit going into the race was a bit tough. His mind is always more switched on then his body!”

“I will probably drop him back to one turn for a little bit to try and toughen the toe up without having to go through two turns. That’s my biggest concern, getting his toe right.”

What Does The Future Hold For Vic Breeders Finalists

There is little in greyhound racing that rivals the feeling of having a potential superstar in your kennel.

The 2014 Group 3 Cosmic Chief GRV VBIS Maiden Final is upon us. The race that showcases an octet of precocious puppies AND makes up part of a stellar card of racing at The Meadows on Saturday night.

ARG was lucky enough to get a sneak-peek into the crystal ball of Victorian greyhound racing when we caught up with the trainers of some of the runners engaged in the big event. We were given a first hand account of what they have on the radar in the longer term for their exciting prospects.

Jeff Britton has the likely favourite, Mepunga Hayley, exiting box eight. He admits that there are always unknown quantities in a race like this with dogs open to such improvement. His daughter of Bekim Bale and Mepunga Harmony set the time standard of 30.01 last week and looks the one to beat.

“These races are always hard, she has the form on the board but with young dogs some are very likely to improve. You don’t want box eight at The Meadows too often, but hopefully she comes out and gets around that first turn,” Britton said.

As for Mepunga Hayley’s immediate plans, it will more than likely be a tilt at some quality races against her own sex.

“We just have to get through Saturday night first and then you have all the young bitches races coming up, she will more than likely have a go at those.”

Tuerong mentor Mario Briganti says that his 20-month-old dog Premier Wolfie (Premier Fantasy – Seminole) has already exceeded expectations just to make the final given the way that the breed have taken their time to come to hand for him in the past.

Premier Wolfie is owned by Queensland racing media identity Steve Hawkins. Briganti thinks the best is well and truly ahead of the youngster.

“He was probably a little bit underdone going into the heat and I said to Steve Hawkins the owner that if we can get through to the final, he will be cherry-ripe,” Briganti said.

“This is the third Seminole litter I’ve raced. We have had a High Earner and an El Grand Señor in the past. From experience they take a while to mature and don’t hit their straps until about two-and-a-half years old. This dog has shown me a lot more early than the other two did, so if he improves at the same rate he could be a handy dog.”

“He is a good Meadows dog at this stage, I’ve trialled him at Sandown but he goes well at at The Meadows. But he isn’t a great trial dog, he loves the competitiveness of racing. I like that in a race dog, it is better than having a dog that trials fast and then loses eight lengths in a race.”

Michelle Mallia-Magri is no stranger to a quality greyhound, yet you can hear the excitement in her voice at the prospect of her finalist Punk Pirate (Talks Cheap – Punk Portrait).

“He’s a super little pup, he’s only sitting on 20 months old,” she said.

“When I took him and trialled him the first time, he run a 30.78 or something like that, I was pretty happy with that for a young dog. But then when he’s come out and been beaten a nose in 30.19 in the heat, I thought gee, he’s improved out of sight.”

“Then he ran a really good semi too, he got knocked about a bit and just kept on coming. I honestly think that, within a couple of months, this dog could easily be a sub-thirty dog around The Meadows, he’s a pretty handy little pup.”

“I think if he can maintain that early speed, then he may turn out a nice little Country Cup’s dog next year, or maybe even towards the end of this year. He’s got so much toe, his sectionals are just phenomenal.”

“I’m just wrapped with him, I’ve got his brother in the shed too who is probably as good as him, but he has just had a little bit of a set back so he’s probably a good six-weeks behind him at the moment.”

“If there’s any worry with Punk Pirate, it is that he doesn’t spear the lids and hit the ground running, he sort of comes out and then needs a couple of strides, but his first splits are phenomenal. But he will improve, he’s only had three starts, he will learn how to balance himself and that sort of thing.”

Rodney Clark is the only trainer to have two representatives in the final. But the Tolleen trainer’s up-and-comers have a future path plotted that differs a little from the others.

“It’s fantastic having two dogs in, it’s a great little privilege,” Clark told ARG.

“Hession Boots has a huge motor, he’s got a very strong run home on him and he is probably going to be a better 600 metre dog than a 500 metre dog. He doesn’t have a lot of early pace.”

“I’d say the other guy, Lead Into Demise, is the better chance of the two in this particular race, he’s probably not the quicker of the two, but he’s got the better chance because he puts himself in the race.”

“The two of them will actually go over the 600 metre trip at The Meadows next week, they’ve got novice heats on and they are both absolutely suited to that, they are definitely a pair of strong dogs.”

Armed with the insight from those closest to these finalists, it will be most interesting to watch the careers of these young chasers unfold over the next couple of years.

The Vic Breeders final takes place at The Meadows on Saturday night at 8:20pm.

Down To Eight In The Group Three GRV Vic Breeders series

On February 12, we started with 60 dogs and come Saturday night, only eight remain in this year’s Group 3 Vic Breeders series.

The prestigious title has traditionally been won by dogs who reach far greater heights, and based on the four rough and tough semi-finals, the 2014 victor is set up to have a long, profitable career.

With the heats and semis taking place on the previous two Wednesday afternoons, many readers will be unfamiliar with the finalists. So this is the opportunity to get acquainted with your contenders for the $25,000 prize on offer for race five at The Meadows this weekend:

1) Dewana Lass (Dozus Two Syn/Brendan Dewan) – Won her heat over Punk Pirate in 30.20 before beating Hession Boots in 30.40. Lobbed second from an inside draw on both occasions before being too strong in the straight. Hard to find fault in that form line, with both runners-up in this final. Draws inside again and has the ability to punch up to a handy spot. Hard to beat.

2) Venom’s Lad (Jennifer Thorpe) – Paper form looks really good with wins in both weeks, but realistically is going to be tested against this opposition. Led from box three in the semi-final but was lucky to survive a rough first corner when repeating a time of 30.56. Drawn well, but would need to find a few lengths at both ends of the race to match motors with some of the others here.

3) Pappa Gallo (Tony Cortese/Mario Cortese) – Had some experience at Healesville before this series. Won a heat from box seven, and was solid in defeat last week, but his overall times of 30.68 and 30.42 suggest this might be a bit tough. Will need luck early as there will be dogs beginning well both inside and out, and should start double-figure odds for those reasons.

4) Hession Boots (Tynstar Syn/Rodney Clark) – Appreciated the room it was given from box one last start when almost running down Dewana Lass in 30.40. Won’t be afforded that luxury from this draw and will need luck in running. Could be a handy dog in the future with a bit of maturity, as the 525 metres and beyond appear no concern.

5) Punk Pirate (Christopher Perkins/Michelle Mallia-Magri) – Has shown good mustering speed in all three starts to date and has solid formlines throughout this series. Was beaten narrowly by Dewana Lass in the quickest heat before leading all the way in 30.34 last week. Might get a good run with little early speed directly inside, but must not be crossed by Premier Woofie early. If allowed to dictate terms, he could take running down.

6) Premier Woofie (Steven Hawkins/Mario Briganti) – Pinged out last start before finding Mepunga Hayley too strong in good time. A repeat could sneak a place, but didn’t jump well in the heat run which raises concerns of consistency. Draw isn’t ideal either. His fate rests on finding the fence in the opening stages.

7) Lead Into Demise (Michael Crowe/Rodney Clark) – Gives trainer Rodney Clark two chances in the race. Was fortunate to be one the dogs left standing in a demolition derby of a semi-final. Almost got up to blouse Venom’s Lad on the line in that race, although draws wider for the final. Is the most experienced runner of the starting eight with a huge tally of five starts, although none of which suggest there is enough ability to break the maiden status in a Group race of this calibre. Deserves its place in the final, but will be big odds.

8) Mepunga Hayley (Barry Smith/Jeff Britton) – Was unplaced at Warrnambool on debut, before wins in the heat from box four (30.32) and semi from box eight (30.01). Came away and finished really well last start, gunning down Premier Woofie, who could lead again here. Looks a likely type for the future, but for now will need luck from the wide draw. If she gets it, she will play a big part at the business end of proceedings.


9) Blurred Lines (Paul Westerveld/Kelly Bravo) – Was a good run in the semi-final when third behind Punk Pirate, beaten just over two lengths. Not the worst runner in this line-up and has been consistent in all eight starts to date. Could run a bold race if given the chance, otherwise will be a winner elsewhere shortly.

10) Mantaray Lad (Rose Geall/David Geall) – Genuine second reserve runner that has scrapped six placings from six starts. Was comfortably held in both heat and semi, and will be looking to break its duck on an easier assignment.
The GRV Vic Breeders finalists will be set loose at 8.20pm local time.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Greyhound Box Draw For The Meadows – Saturday, 1 March 2014

Race No. 1Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Ht16:52 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Heat event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $7,150 Prizemoney.
1st: $5,000 2nd: $1,430 3rd: $720.


1AMADEUS STRIKES (NSW)[5]35376NBTR Britton (Lara)
2KANE ALLEN (NSW)[5]7321130.71(3)J Hunt (Avalon)
3LEKTRA ELITE [5]25243NBTA Dailly (Anakie)
4BAZZA’S GIFT [5]47213NBTN Bell (Point Lonsdale)
5THERE’S A EARN [5]31318FSHD Mcdonald (Devon Meadows)
6ROZEHILL SANYA [5]1521529.89(8)J Thompson (Pearcedale)
7BIT CHILI BILLIE [5]13276NBTC Dalton (Coldstream)
8CARRYON EARNING [5]11342FSHG Couldridge (Sandon)
9DYNA CARNAGE (NSW)[5]Res.36353NBTS Collins (Lara)
10MAJOR THREAT [5]Res.32157FSHB Hodgson (Smythesdale)
Race No. 2Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Ht27:14 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Heat event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $7,150 Prizemoney.
1st: $5,000 2nd: $1,430 3rd: $720.


1JACK SILVER (NSW)[5]3348330.29(2)M Carter (Violet Town)
2YOUNG GUNNER (NSW)[5]343T8NBTR Britton (Lara)
3BLURRED LINES [5]2221330.24(1)K Bravo (Lovely Banks)
4ZIPPING JOE (NSW)[5]54331NBTD Mcdonald (Devon Meadows)
5BLACK RIP (NSW)[5]11112FSHS Whitney (Brighton)
6WE ARE GEELONG [5]7613530.21(3)M Karamatic (Lara)
7IMA FAIRYTALE [5]1314330.78(8)S Cachia (Anakie)
8RINOA BALE (NSW)[5]33414NBTJ Hunt (Avalon)
9VAPOUR STORM [5]Res.73741FSHD Selleck (Tooradin)
10ALLEN RENEGADE (NSW)[5]Res.3342430.57(1)S Collins (Lara)
Race No. 3Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Ht37:37 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Heat event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $7,150 Prizemoney.
1st: $5,000 2nd: $1,430 3rd: $720.


1JEWEL BALE (NSW)[5]1132429.89(8)J Hunt (Avalon)
2MAXIMUS GLIDER [5]2234230.24(4)D Crawford (Pearcedale)
3RUMBLE COMET (NSW)[5]1134FFSHS Kavanagh (Dungay)
4RASHAD (NSW)[5]11254FSHJ Thompson (Pearcedale)
5AWESOME PROJECT (NSW)[5]11417NBTD Mcdonald (Devon Meadows)
6FORT ALLEN (NSW)[5]6137230.18(8)A Dailly (Anakie)
7BAR NO BLUE [5]32263NBTG Barnsley (Carrum Downs)
8KOFI KAYLAN [5]26612NBTS Toner (Garfield)
9VELOSO (NZ)[5]Res.5542630.72(1)T Womann (Lara)
10DYNA SUZIE (NSW)[5]Res.7767430.24(3)S Collins (Lara)
Race No. 4Macro Meats7:58 PM (VIC time)
Grade 4 event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $7,600 Prizemoney.
1st: $5,320 2nd: $1,520 3rd: $760.


1DERBY GHOST [4]7624130.32(1)P Frost (Heathcote)
2ALLEN ERYK (NSW)[4]1332730.02(6)A Dailly (Anakie)
3CRUZ KELTON [4]6815430.07(2)S Toner (Garfield)
4ALLEN HODNEY (NSW)[4]6185330.10(8)J Hunt (Avalon)
5SWEET DIVA [4]1842130.38(5)M Lloyd (Anakie)
6SKINNY VINNIE [4]6315730.02(2)R Britton (Lara)
7PELOTON BALE (NSW)[4]3666629.83(4)J Hunt (Avalon)
8TICK BALE (NSW)[4]1321330.00(1)J Hunt (Avalon)
Race No. 5Cosmic Chief Grv Vbis Maiden Final (gobis)8:20 PM (VIC time)
S/E Group 3 event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $45,650 Prizemoney.
1st: $25,000 2nd: $7,150 3rd: $3,500 GOBIS: $10,000.


1DEWANA LASS [5]1130.20(2)B Dewan (Edithvale)
2VENOM’S LAD [5]131130.56(7)J Thorpe (Arthurs Creek)
3PAPPA GALLO [5]241230.60(7)M Cortese (Hampton Park)
4HESSION BOOTS [M]642NBTR Clark (Toolleen)
5PUNK PIRATE [5]122130.34(3)M Mallia-magri (Avalon)
6PREMIER WOOFIE [M]32NBTM Briganti (Tuerong)
7LEAD INTO DEMISE [M]53242NBTR Clark (Toolleen)
8MEPUNGA HAYLEY [5]61130.01(8)J Britton (Anakie)
9BLURRED LINES [5]Res.2221330.24(1)K Bravo (Lovely Banks)
10MANTARAY LAD [M]Res.22323NBTD Geall (Lara)
Race No. 6Macro Meats Superstayers Final (gobis)8:42 PM (VIC time)
S/E Group 1 event over 725 metres at The meadows Of $155,000 Prizemoney.
1st: $100,000 2nd: $30,000 3rd: $15,000 GOBIS: $10,000.


1HALA BELLE [5]73142NBTP Akathiotis (Reservoir)
2DESTINI FIREBALL (NSW)[1]3254142.40(2)E Rinaldi (Lethbridge)
3WHODAT KNOCKIN’ [4]3318142.86(5)S Bonaccurso (Mount Mercer)
4LETHAL THREE (NSW)[5]51712NBTK Bravo (Lovely Banks)
5MADDISON DEE [3]1416342.68(7)M Chilcott (Heathcote)
6DYNA KAYLA (NSW)[3]1112342.63(5)A Dailly (Anakie)
7DYNA WILLOW (NSW)[3]1127142.16(4)S Collins (Lara)
8SWEET IT IS [5]5116242.67(6)L Jones (Woodend)
9INFINITE WISH [4]Res.4124342.60(3)A Langton (Anakie)
10BENARKIN [5]Res.32134NBTT Brett (Grandchester)
Race No. 7We Fight For Fair9:20 PM (VIC time)
Special Event event over 600 metres at The meadows Of $10,285 Prizemoney.
1st: $7,200 2nd: $2,060 3rd: $1,025.


1HAILSTORM BILLY (NSW)[4]1521234.47(4)A Langton (Anakie)
2SPEED LANE [5]3152434.75(6)M Carter (Violet Town)
3HAWK ALONE [3]7341734.65(8)A Dailly (Anakie)
4GENERAL DESTINI (NSW)[4]2243834.97(2)E Rinaldi (Lethbridge)
5ZELEMAR FEVER [5]11517NBTL Britton (Nambeelup)
6GALLOPING ROCKY [4]5335634.76(2)R Conway (Bunyip)
7OZZY BALE (NSW)[5]34344NBTJ Hunt (Avalon)
8NOCKABOUT AUSSIE [4]3417834.61(2)P Akathiotis (Reservoir)
Race No. 8Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Aust. Cup Fnl (gobis)9:43 PM (VIC time)
S/E Group 1 event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $365,000 Prizemoney.
1st: $250,000 2nd: $70,000 3rd: $35,000 GOBIS: $10,000.


1KISS ME KETUT [3]3535129.77(3)D Burnett (Marcus Hill)
2KEYBOW (NSW)[2]2811129.58(8)D Mcdonald (Devon Meadows)
3DYNA NALIN (NSW)[1]5316129.89(1)P Stuart (Nambeelup)
4INNOCENT TIL [1]6118129.79(8)J Thompson (Pearcedale)
5HALLELUJAH HENRY [1]2374129.91(1)D Mcdonald (Devon Meadows)
6MUSQUIN BALE (NSW)[2]7511129.90(2)A Dailly (Anakie)
7BUCKLE UP WES (TAS)[4]3131129.98(6)E Medhurst (Mangalore)
8MARCUS JOE [1]1846129.66(3)B Moloney (Marcus Hill)
9PUNCH ONE OUT (NSW)[4]Res.64222NBTJ Mackay (Richmond Vale)
10CRAWF’S BREAD [1]Res.1257230.03(1)D Crawford (Pearcedale)
Race No. 9Maurice Blackburn Lawyers10:17 PM (VIC time)
Free For All event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $8,940 Prizemoney.
1st: $6,260 2nd: $1,790 3rd: $890.


1PURCELL BALE (NSW)[4]1715530.03(3)J Hunt (Avalon)
2DARK WARRIOR [2]3121829.98(7)D Mcdonald (Devon Meadows)
3SPEED SERIES (NSW)[4]5121229.97(5)G Campbell (Peechelba)
4DYNA ISHAAN (NSW)[2]5171529.88(2)J Hunt (Avalon)
6CLONE YOUR OWN (NZ)[3]3124330.07(8)R Britton (Lara)
7CRAWF’S BREAD [1]1257230.03(1)D Crawford (Pearcedale)
8BUCKLE UP MASON (TAS)[4]6854329.76(2)J Hunt (Avalon)
Race No. 10Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Ht410:40 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Heat event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $7,150 Prizemoney.
1st: $5,000 2nd: $1,430 3rd: $720.


1CLOSING TIME (NSW)[5]11423NBTW Vassallo (Devon Meadows)
2WAYMORE’S BLUES [5]1231530.32(8)G Rounds (Devon Meadows)
3TWO STROKE PAT [5]11145NBTR Cunneen (Moe South)
4ALLEN PARAGON (NSW)[5]13224NBTS Collins (Lara)
5MIDNIGHT SCANDAL (NSW)[5]1214230.53(1)J Britton (Anakie)
6WAREHOUSE MOUSE (NSW)[5]12123NBTJ Thompson (Pearcedale)
7REBELATION [5]7243330.09(5)M Mallia-magri (Avalon)
8PREMIER EVENT [5]41472NBTA Langton (Anakie)
9MISTER MINT (NSW)[5]Res.51215FSHD Selleck (Tooradin)
10ALLEN ODIN (NSW)[5]Res.2256530.37(8)S Collins (Lara)
Race No. 11Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Ht510:57 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Heat event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $7,150 Prizemoney.
1st: $5,000 2nd: $1,430 3rd: $720.


1DYNA EVY (NSW)[5]4133230.24(5)J Hunt (Avalon)
2ALLEN NEMO (NSW)[5]3232330.52(7)S Collins (Lara)
3GREYWINDS BUTCH (NSW)[5]2826730.19(7)T Womann (Lara)
4WHO’S TALKING [5]23335NBTD Barron (Eden Park)
5OMAR GEE (NSW)[5]6785129.76(2)M Carter (Violet Town)
6HEZA LOONY (NSW)[5]13611NBTW Vassallo (Devon Meadows)
7LUNAR TOM [5]22225NBTA Dailly (Anakie)
8ZIPPING WILLOW (NSW)[5]62415NBTJ Mackay (Richmond Vale)
9ORARA GEORGE (NSW)[5]Res.2326530.65(7)C Mclennan (Airport West)
10BEKIM HATRICK [5]Res.6141430.52(7)C Schlensog (Anakie)

Playing With Figures – Not Kindergarten Stuff (Part 3- final)

So far, the NSW parliamentary hearings have heard a stack of evidence from a range of racing authorities, animal welfare types, bookies and lawyers. All of them naturally pushed their own wares but very little of that touched on who the industry’s customers were and what their preferences might be.

Yet, together with willing owners, they are the only people bringing in fresh funds to pay for wages and prizes and keep the industry on the go. Everybody else, including the government, is taking cash out or shifting the same stuff round and round the same old circle. But although punters are “taxed”, they have no representation. They get little attention from racing authorities, whose major resources go into counting money and regulating trainers. Even their advisory groups don’t always contain a punter’s nominee.

Bookies are keen to see commission rates kept down and offshore operators discouraged, all of which is understandable. Lower rates will help then promote more and build the market, they point out. True enough, but they still fail to tell us how that market is made up, or how it is changing.

For example, in recent times both bookies and TABs have introduced a fresh gimmick – Fixed Odds – which has proved quite popular and is taking business away from the normal tote. That’s good for the betting operators because they price them well above the rates on the tote, using books of 130% compared with 114.5% for Win bets. That’s like selling petrol at $1.70 a litre when everyone else is charging $1.50. Since they all do the same thing, competition is minimal and they get away with it.

Conversely, it is not much help for punters. At those rates they would find it impossible to make profits over a period. Put another way, those using Fixed Odds are either not aware or not concerned about the rip-off prices. Yet it threatens the first law of punting – both sides should have a chance of winning.

This gives us a lead into the punter or gambler profile. Many are clearly not sophisticated enough to look for the value which might give them a chance of making profits. There are plenty of other indicators as well.

Over two decades there has been a gradual decline in the proportion of punters betting to win on the tote. At the dogs, consistent overbetting on favourites has made that product less rewarding. Instead, high-return multiples such as Big Six and First Four have grown in importance.

Mystery bets are popular and are pushed by TABs in advertising and in the way betting tickets are prominently displayed. Mathematically, these are guaranteed losers due to (a) boxing runners which have different chances of winning and (b) a higher takeout by the TAB. Yet they still sell.

The strength of the Mystery market is emphasised by the fact that Quinella and Trifecta dividends are distorted and normally pay well below true market odds. (Mystery bets typically offer a package split between Win, Quinella and Trifecta bets).

sales of formguides have fallen away and the free ones produced by GRNSW (the majority) are impractical, often incomplete, and their usage is doubtful, while gamblers are turning to tipsters of varying quality and who frequently suggest boxed bets. As above, these are all winners for the house, even before the race starts. Serious punters would not go that way but mug gamblers would.

NSW wall sheet formguides in TAB outlets were never great, but are now being replaced by touch screen versions which are more cumbersome to use and contain only half the information. Similarly, personal attention at ticket counters is being replaced by touch screen betting machines which are fine for those familiar with them but messy and error-prone for newcomers. They give no change, only vouchers which have to be cashed in later (if the office is open).

There is a concerted push towards arming hand-held devices with racing information and betting facilities. That’s good as far as it goes. However, the physical limits of this fast-growing sector means investors will have less comprehensive information to deal with, probably less time to consider it, and will tend to rely on tipsters of variable quality.

Continuing increases in race frequency, often resulting in overlapping starts, have reduced the amount of cash bet per race, thereby making them very difficult for serious punters to assess. Win pools of $10,000 and below are normal, except at popular weekend meetings. However, only about half that amount will be visible to punters before they need to make a bet.

The last trend is exacerbated by greyhound authorities’ actions to schedule more racing, despite a static dog population, thereby promoting more low standard dogs to compete in TAB races. Any success in improving total turnover is then countered by a decline in average field quality and therefore more erratic outcomes. Another deterrent to serious punters.

These events can be summed up only by concluding that the industry is now being energised by the mug gambler, unable or uninterested in studying the pros and cons of a race, or in working out what sort of dogs do well, and in what circumstances. Such people come and go, probably not bothering to become genuine fans. There is nothing wrong with this business in isolation, but not when they heavily influence tote prices.

Allowing the code’s fortunes to rest on such a customer mix should surely be at the top of the inquiry’s worry list. If the trends continue it means racing bosses will lose even more control over its destiny, and all the other stuff will matter little.

There are many things that can improve the outlook but by far the most important is a concerted national program to better educate the public about the greyhound’s life and history and what makes it tick.


The legal news is messy. In an extraordinary merry-go-round, Gai Waterhouse was successively found guilty by Sydney stewards of failing to notify them of a favoured horse’s soreness (More Joyous), then exonerated by the Racing Appeals Tribunal, but is now subject to a Racing NSW appeal to the Supreme Court for a reversal of that decision.

It revolves around the question of whether Racing NSW and its stewards are entitled to rely on the Rules of Racing, which require trainers to notify them of any problems in the lead-up to a race. Similar requirements exist in greyhound rules.

The first judge has ruled that Racing NSW processes were not up to the required legal standard in demanding such reporting. Previously, owner John Singleton had agreed with the stewards and withdrew his horses from the Waterhouse stable, making a lot of noise en route.

So, are the thoroughbred rules reasonable, or are they adequately worded? The next judge will presumably throw some more light on that. Lawyers will then be off to bank their winnings.

Either way, the average punter would hardly support trainers getting away with secrecy about a competitor’s lack of fitness. Sadly, in the greyhound field, the availability of such information is the exception rather than the rule.

Let’s hope greyhound authorities watch developments closely and review their own positions.


What were they on about?

From GRV stewards following the running of race 9 at The Meadows last Saturday: “Stewards issued a warning to Ms. L. Britton, the trainer of the greyhound Star Recall regarding the greyhound’s racing manners approaching the home turn”.

After examining the video three times it is clear that Star Recall and another dog bumped heavily trying to get around the first turn (common at this track), but there was no evidence that its manners posed any problem there or on the home turn, where it was racing in the centre of the track and only one other dog was within coooee of it. Anyway, it had faded and run wide by that time.

On top of that, Star Recall was found to be injured and was put out for seven days.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Greyhound Box Draw For Geelong – Friday, 14 February 2014

Race No. 1Geelong Australia7:08 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 event over 460 metres at Geelong Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1FINNY [5]58344NBTP Jones (Hoddles Creek)
2BALDACCI [5]6813FSHS Hamilton (Ballarat)
3HUSTA HUSTA [5]86756NBTJ Maple (Little River)
4CARWOOLA SAIGE (NSW)[5]1368TFSHD Chapman (Coburg North)
5COOPNARCHA (NSW)[5]85625NBTZ Aleksov (Brookfield)
6CHAPPY [5]725126.21(8)T Deglaitis (Moolap)
7RED SALLY [5]34827FSHS Knight (Wyndham Vale)
8ZELEMAR STEEL [5]73527FSHS Mallia (Lalor)
9SISCO FLYER [5]Res.34155NBTH Collins (Lara)
10PRINCESS GEMINI [5]Res.36315FSHJ Carr (Devon Meadows)
Race No. 2Shojun Concrete Ht17:27 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Heat event over 520 metres at Geelong Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1MICK’S LADY [5]51127FSTDA Meyer (Hoppers Crossing)
2MEPUNGA LANA [5]35146NBTA Mcdowall (Nullawarre)
3CANDLE BOY [5]66434NBTJ Maple (Little River)
4SHE’S OUR CHLOE (WA)[5]25281FSTDR Britton (Lara)
5BURNT BRIDGES [5]84447FSHA Courts (Lara)
6REBELATION [5]67243NBTM Mallia-magri (Avalon)
7PLAYGIRL TAMMY [5]1222330.34(5)J Psaila (Little River)
8DR. TALULA [5]87874FSHJ Mcmahon (Darriman)
9AFTER [5]Res.52584NBTL Medcraft (Point Cook)
10MAJOR EFFORT [5]Res.65557FSTDB Hodgson (Smythesdale)
Race No. 3Roady Robbos7:49 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 event over 460 metres at Geelong Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1IMA APPLE [5]4276426.04(4)J Riley (Wallington)
2AGILITY [5]31125FSTDM Delbridge (Balliang)
3RENSTAR [5]13114NBTP Anderton (Devon Meadows)
4TIGER TOY [5]5223326.47(6)N Gost (Little River)
5LOUD ONE [5]24383FSHM Wallworth (Gisborne)
6OUR DANNY BOY [5]6437326.36(3)J Psaila (Little River)
7ALLEN ODIN (NSW)[5]76225FSHS Collins (Lara)
8MOLLY BELLA [5]14358NBTA Mcdowall (Nullawarre)
9MAGIC MANTLE [5]Res.57331FSHE Lambert (Sunbury)
10JAY JAY MIKADO [5]Res.2772426.14(6)P Jones (Hoddles Creek)
Race No. 4Connect Tel8:06 PM (VIC time)
Mixed 4/5 event over 400 metres at Geelong Of $2,005 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,405 2nd: $400 3rd: $200.


1LEESA BENZ (QLD)[4]5115122.24(3)D Geall (Lara)
2JUST LIKE PALUZA (NSW)[5]1422522.72(8)A Galea (Sunshine North)
3SPECIAL PUP (WA)[5]81127FSHM Mallia-magri (Avalon)
4DR. EZECHIEL [5]32244FSHJ Mcmahon (Darriman)
5BETTER PUNK [4]6FF8322.63(1)H Collins (Lara)
6BEST PERFUME [5]4345622.50(2)T Womann (Lara)
7LEKTRA CANDY [5]4453422.57(3)H Collins (Lara)
8KOKO KOLA [5]18341NBTS Kruckel (Ardeer)
9CHAD’S NITRO [5]Res.16177FSTDL Harris (Somerville)
10HERE COMES ALEX [5]Res.63451FSTDP Repici (Hampton Park)
Race No. 5Gmi Ht28:28 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Heat event over 520 metres at Geelong Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1JOEL’S FLAME [5]35135FSTDC Stanton (Clunes)
2SUSHI BALE (NSW)[5]56211NBTS Collins (Lara)
3SHINY SUDOKU [5]5278230.26(3)E Vigor (Anakie)
4COSMIC BLACK [5]52612NBTJ Psaila (Little River)
5SELECT KNOCKA [5]21542NBTJ Maple (Little River)
6FLASHY ARROW [5]52755FSHC Abbott (Edenhope)
7CALISTA [5]77173FSTDJ Karamatic (Lara)
8BO APACHE (TAS)[5]62378NBTD Geall (Lara)
9LADY EVE [5]Res.48728FSHG Kantzidis (Plenty)
10MAGIC OF BEAM (NSW)[5]Res.87534FSTDD Sturgess (She Oaks)
Race No. 6Shojun Concrete8:48 PM (VIC time)
Mixed 4/5 event over 460 metres at Geelong Of $2,005 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,405 2nd: $400 3rd: $200.


1MAJESTIC LEE (NSW)[4]3157825.74(4)C Treherne (Seabrook)
2UNO SPRITE [4]3452825.98(5)T Fiddian (Wyndham Vale)
3CLINICAL FINISH [4]2767625.99(4)A Galea (Sunshine North)
4HOT TORNADO [5]18256NBTP Anderton (Devon Meadows)
5ATRO BALE (NSW)[4]5246525.86(6)S Collins (Lara)
6SPECIAL JIM (WA)[5]78164FSHM Mallia-magri (Avalon)
7SHAW STREET RACE (NSW)[5]53118FSTDR Brewer (Camperdown)
8GODRIC GRYFINDOR [4]1132F25.94(5)M Dopper (Lara)
9ALLEN RENEGADE (NSW)[5]Res.52334FSHS Collins (Lara)
10GRAND GRANGE [5]Res.7725425.94(4)I Vigor (Anakie)
Race No. 7Landmark Ht39:06 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Heat event over 520 metres at Geelong Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1SPYWARE [5]75536FSHA Courts (Lara)
2LADY GOLDENPAW [5]27127FSTDR Britton (Lara)
3EYE SMITH [5]64625FSHJ Hunt (Avalon)
4BUCKLE UP MYKE (TAS)[5]65828FSTDC Stanton (Clunes)
5MENACE BALE (NSW)[5]66266NBTS Collins (Lara)
6PUNCH IT [5]24461NBTJ Collins (Lara)
7BOSTON SILVER (NSW)[5]84782FSHI Vigor (Anakie)
8CANDLE WISH [5]44323NBTJ Maple (Little River)
9WICKED FOUR [5]Res.13777NBTJ Maple (Little River)
10GO HOOTIE [5]Res.67826FSTDT Womann (Lara)
Race No. 8Sita Australia – Grv Vic Bred Final (gobis)9:28 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Final event over 460 metres at Geelong Of $6,110 Prizemoney.
1st: $3,050 2nd: $875 3rd: $435 GOBIS: $1,750.


1EL GRAND SEAL [4]1512125.59(6)J Britton (Anakie)
2GRANVILLE’S CALL [4]3182125.86(2)J Dunstan (Breakwater)
3DYNAMO’S GIFT [4]1518125.88(5)R Darby (Drysdale)
4SISCO COMET [5]3113225.76(1)J Galea (Lara)
5MARLEY GIRL [4]1258125.70(1)M Wallworth (Gisborne)
6FIREBALL FURY [4]824F125.83(1)M Wright (Allansford)
7AL MORAN [4]1621125.96(2)A Armstrong (Huntly)
8FOUR PAW GLORY [5]1352NBTS Cachia (Anakie)
9SELECT KNOCKA [5]Res.2154226.10(7)J Maple (Little River)
10SISCO GOOD [5]Res.4157226.13(5)R Galea (Brookfield)
Race No. 9Jim’s Mowing Ht49:48 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Heat event over 520 metres at Geelong Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1OXLEY MAJOR (NSW)[5]62744NBTR Britton (Lara)
2AYAN BALE (NSW)[5]2F445FSHJ Hunt (Avalon)
3HADES METEOR [5]F8817FSTDA Hyde (Lara)
4JIMMY TWO HATS (NSW)[5]3443830.09(2)E Lloyd (Anakie)
5DYNA GELDOF (NSW)[5]14F34FSTDS Collins (Lara)
6MEPUNGA MELACHI [5]15354NBTJ Mcdowall (Nullawarre)
7UNO WHIRL [5]137F6FSTDJ Maple (Little River)
8CROWBAR [5]45214FSTDA Courts (Lara)
9VELLOWAY [5]Res.61FSHJ Briffa (Lara)
10WICKED FOUR [5]Res.13777NBTJ Maple (Little River)
Race No. 10Millers Muzzles10:06 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 event over 400 metres at Geelong Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1EVANESCENT [5]73275NBTA Britton (Lara)
2LITTLE ZIPPITY (SA)[5]4247322.61(7)L Forte (Wyndham Vale)
3FEARSOME WARRIOR [5]53437NBTC Kiernan (Pascoe Vale)
4MAHOGANY DIAMOND [5]11368NBTB Haintz (Brown Hill)
5SOUTHWOOD KING [5]52875NBTC Stanton (Clunes)
6RONRAY MISS (NSW)[5]27267NBTT Reid (Yuroke)
7SOHO GOODWILL [5]3326122.94(3)H Quick (Llandeilo)
8HEISENBERG (NSW)[5]36521FSHR Dunne (St Albans)
9MEMPHIS LEE [5]Res.1237623.03(5)A Sultana (Maddingley)
10WEEKEND GANGSTER [5]Res.8163222.94(4)S Knight (Wyndham Vale)
Race No. 11Nardi Produce10:30 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 event over 460 metres at Geelong Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1NAOMI ROSE [5]7126326.23(5)R Dunne (St Albans)
2QUILTY [5]4111526.35(2)P Anderton (Devon Meadows)
3CONNEMARA FIRE [5]7342826.03(4)J Maye (Drysdale)
4SISCO GOOD [5]4157226.13(5)R Galea (Brookfield)
5CHUNUK BAIR (NSW)[5]78757NBTC Treherne (Seabrook)
6BENNY BOWEN [5]41114FSTDM Barber (Hoddles Creek)
7TWENTYFOUR CARAT [5]53F11NBTH Collins (Lara)
8OUR FIREMAN [5]71335NBTJ Psaila (Little River)
9LUCY NORRIS (QLD)[5]Res.62117FSHJ Gill (Darriman)
10QUIET VADER [5]Res.46516FSHJ Mcmahon (Darriman)

The Hearings – Pop-Ups Are The Way To Go

Something for everybody was the pattern at last Thursday’s parliamentary hearings into greyhound racing.

A GREAT idea emerged from the Australian Wagering Council (a grouping of online bookmakers), which is concerned that overseas-based betting operators are horning in on local business without paying an entry fee – that is, the racefields fee on turnover or profits. On-course bookmakers supported their concern.

Pop-ups will help, according to Ben Sleep, an AWC director. These are the annoying little advertising windows that appear from nowhere on your internet screen. When punters attempt to access an offshore operator, this one would show “You are now leaving Australian shores and you do not have the protection of Australian laws”, and would hopefully cause customers to return to a local outlet. Fair enough.

Other more direct measures to control money movement have not been effective in America, says Sleep.

The AWC is less convincing in calling for racing authorities to avoid any increase in fees on the ground that lower charges will encourage bookies to promote more effectively, thereby increasing the size of the pie. In practice, the online people have a huge cost advantage to play with (relative to TABs, with whom they compete) and could easily afford to increase their contribution. It also does not sit well with their normal practice of running 130% books for Fixed Odds and then cancelling accounts for successful punters. The combination of all the above is not fair dinkum.

To be sure, any fee increase may well affect their existing widespread sponsorship of races and clubs, but a decision to go one way or the other should rest with racing authorities, not service providers. Meanwhile, GRNSW and others are seeking to have the government remove the cap of 1.5% of turnover, or its equivalent.

LATER, lawyer David Landa, who was briefly the Integrity Commissioner until he resigned in 2012, asked the committee to recommend significant changes to the way the office was structured. Landa pointed out that it had proved impossible to carry out his tasks due to a lack of resources – mainly finance – and the need to rely on support from the GRNSW CEO, which was not easy to obtain. Financial and management independence was essential, he claimed.

Currently, the Commissioner can act only if he gets complaints or has a matter referred to him by GRNSW. He cannot initiate his own investigations or inquiries.

Greyhound racing has been without an effective audit process since 2009, according to Mr Landa.

MICHAEL Eberand from the Greyhound Action Group highlighted the need to introduce a fresh stimulus to the code’s income base, citing the beneficial effect arising out of the entry of online bookmakers in past years. That boost has now disappeared and growth has flattened out again.

In preferring to see government intervene in the RDA squabble, Eberand pointed out that the original agreement included a clause requiring the parties to conduct reviews “in good faith” and to meet regularly (quarterly) to discuss topical matters. Advice to him from the GBOTA indicates that has never happened. (There have been some meetings but apparently not in good faith).

LENGTHY but often defensive evidence from Brent Hogan, GRNSW CEO, covered animal welfare, expenditure on the failed project at The Gardens, reasons for the rise in authority costs and changes for country tracks. Chairman Eve McGregor was also present but spoke rarely.

A current joint initiative by GRNSW and GRV to upgrade welfare issues and trainer education had been announced the day prior to this hearing. Other steps taken in this area had commenced last November, or well after the establishment of the inquiry, something the committee seemed to regard as a happy coincidence.

Mr Hogan was at pains to reject any validity in submissions that GRNSW was not responsive to complaints from participants. Committee deputy chair, Dr Kaye, had asked him to respond to “issues raised by greyhound industry participants that are not necessarily directly related to money.  The issues relate to the behaviour of your organisation and the stewards, and particularly their behaviour towards people who have spoken out against decisions you have made.”

Hogan responded that this was all prompted by the lack of sufficient increases in prize money in the last few years.

THE RSPCA and other animal welfare organisations spent much time lambasting the industry for its lack of attention to welfare matters, including the use of drugs, but generally lacked definitive evidence of abuses and were short on figures. By one measure, it turned out that of 5,562 shortcomings referred to RSPCA, only half related to dogs of any sort and only 35 related to greyhounds, which is 0.62% of the total. Separately, the RSPCA said of 15,000 complaints, half involved dogs but only 79 of those were greyhounds. That’s 0.5% of the total.

Note that these percentages relate to complaints and the like. When compared with the total number of dogs bred or racing, the proportions are miniscule. Consequently, the committee was not impressed by claims that these problems were “systemic”, as claimed.

The RSPCA was not able to advise of any figures for other breeds of dogs or for horses, which weakens their arguments and poses some serious questions about how the organisation is run. Curiously, it made no comments about poor track designs, which would be a major factor in greyhound injuries.

The RSPCA’s main thrust was to adopt the Chinese solution – a reduction in breeding numbers so as to also reduce euthanasia rates. It would do that by issuing permits to intending breeders. Who would assess the numbers? Not sure. Who would pay for the clerical work? Not sure. Would other breeds be targeted as well? Not stated. Who would police the breeders? Not sure either, but perhaps extra RSPCA inspectors?

MORE interesting was evidence from Dr Karen Cunnington, a vet who runs a rehoming centre and also works for the Racing Science Centre in Brisbane. Her own experience and testing revealed that many greyhounds offered for rehoming were found unsuitable because they were unable to adjust to new environments. Dr Cunnington’s work suggests that this is due to a lack of socialisation amongst dogs as they are growing up. The inability to regularly relate to other dogs at this time, due to kennelling practices, led to emotional barriers that were hard to overcome in later life.  This offers food for thought.

MANY discussions at the hearing were inconclusive as witnesses concentrated more on making speeches than giving the committee the hard information they needed and asked for. Dozens of items were parked as witnesses disappeared down a “take under notice” escape route.

Still, the committee appears to be relentlessly unearthing the facts and should end up with a fairly good appreciation of what makes greyhound racing tick. How it will weigh up conflicting evidence remains to be seen.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Greyhound Box Draw For The Meadows – Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Race No. 1Cosmic Chief Grv Vicbred Ht112:12 PM (VIC time)
Maiden Heat event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $1,415 Prizemoney.
1st: $990 2nd: $285 3rd: $140.


1START DEE ACTION [M]53F8FSHD Irby (Rosebud)
2WHY NOT JETTA [M]32766FSHW Gray (Wendouree)
3EMAJOE’S BOY [M]3FSHJ Thorpe (Arthurs Creek)
5BALLISTIC FIRE [M]622FSHM Mallia-magri (Avalon)
6COSMIC LACE [M]343NBTE King (Sulky)
7ICE FLICKA [M]FSHJ Rinaldi (Lethbridge)
8ICE COSSACK [M]FSHE Rinaldi (Lethbridge)
9VIENNA MISS [M]Res.774FSHT Womann (Lara)
Race No. 2Cosmic Chief Grv Vicbred Ht212:27 PM (VIC time)
Maiden Heat event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $1,415 Prizemoney.
1st: $990 2nd: $285 3rd: $140.


1LAVIE BELLE [M]FSHP Akathiotis (Reservoir)
2MISSY BEE [M]5FSHJ Thorpe (Arthurs Creek)
3ICE TORONADO [M]FSHJ Rinaldi (Lethbridge)
4LILLY’S HAND [M]86375FSHD Dean (Nyora)
5PRAISE CHORUS [M]FSHK Bravo (Lovely Banks)
6ZELDA’S GIFT [M]66NBTM Craggill (St Albans)
7DASHA MIKADO [M]FSHM Barber (Hoddles Creek)
8BEKS [M]4FSHP Bouchier (Dennington)
9VIENNA MISS [M]Res.774FSHT Womann (Lara)
Race No. 3Cosmic Chief Grv Vicbred Ht312:47 PM (VIC time)
Maiden Heat event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $1,415 Prizemoney.
1st: $990 2nd: $285 3rd: $140.


1PUNK PIRATE [M]12FSHM Mallia-magri (Avalon)
2DEWANA LASS [M]FSHB Dewan (Edithvale)
4LE CREW [M]7623FFSHS Fisher (Lara)
5CHOCO ROCCO [M]54646NBTT O’donovan (Devon Meadows)
6CHLOE’S HAND [M]75FSHD Dean (Nyora)
7DESTINI LOBO [M]FSHE Rinaldi (Lethbridge)
8CHASIN MIKADO [M]FSHP Jones (Hoddles Creek)
9VIENNA MISS [M]Res.774FSHT Womann (Lara)
Race No. 4Cosmic Chief Grv Vicbred Ht41:04 PM (VIC time)
Maiden Heat event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $1,415 Prizemoney.
1st: $990 2nd: $285 3rd: $140.


1LEMON PATCHWORK [M]FSHE Rinaldi (Lethbridge)
2MANBO MAN [M]FSHD Geall (Lara)
3SPEED CHILL [M]446NBTE King (Sulky)
4SMOULDERING ICE [M]FSHJ Rinaldi (Lethbridge)
5BIG BAD TOM [M]42278FSHC Davis (Murrabit)
6LAZZA MIKADO [M]FSHM Barber (Hoddles Creek)
7VENOM’S LAD [M]13FSHJ Thorpe (Arthurs Creek)
8SURVIVOR SAL [M]23375FSHT Cortese (Hampton Park)
9VIENNA MISS [M]Res.774FSHT Womann (Lara)
Race No. 5House Pumpui1:22 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 No Penalty event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1WOLEEBEE LAD (NSW)[5]15113FSHS Humphries (Locksley)
2THOR BALE (NSW)[5]4523330.48(2)S Collins (Lara)
3ALLEN PARAGON (NSW)[5]22132NBTS Collins (Lara)
4ULTOR BALE (NSW)[5]15353NBTJ Hunt (Avalon)
5KUBAN KANGAROO (NSW)[5]31613NBTS Stefanos (Longwood)
6SLIPAWAY PENNY [5]31653NBTB Haintz (Brown Hill)
7JUDY’S MY NAME [5]24T72FSHJ Kantzidis (Richmond)
8MAHOGANY BART [5]34422NBTA King (Sulky)
9REGAL PATCH [5]Res.143FSHD Mcdonald (Devon Meadows)
10OUT OF ORDER [5]Res.1446430.54(8)S Stefanos (Longwood)
Race No. 6Le Pine Funerals1:39 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 No Penalty event over 600 metres at The meadows Of $2,175 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,525 2nd: $430 3rd: $220.


1WHY NOT MAGGIE [5]66673NBTW Gray (Wendouree)
2ROYAL TONE [5]61155NBTJ Hunt (Avalon)
3CRACKERJACK BABE [5]1766534.83(5)P Hunt (Lara)
4DEWANA HOLD ON [5]3321735.45(1)B Dewan (Edithvale)
5MAHOGANY SPIRIT [5]2445334.82(1)B Haintz (Brown Hill)
6MISS MIYAKE (NSW)[5]4255134.97(3)P Lambert (Melton)
7CALL ME SCARY [5]24875NBTD Cortese (Hampton Park)
8VICKY POLLARD [5]57266NBTD Pell (Toolleen)
9SHANLYN JOHNNO [5]Res.55665FSTDG Borg (Maryborough)
10ILLEGAL PATH [5]Res.47566NBTK Wright (Elphinstone)
Race No. 7Ajs Corporation1:57 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 No Penalty event over 600 metres at The meadows Of $2,175 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,525 2nd: $430 3rd: $220.


1WHY JULIE [5]3133FNBTA Costa (Shepparton)
2MAHOGANY SAPHIRE [5]5121735.15(8)E King (Sulky)
3SLIPAWAY TWISTER [5]3251134.77(1)A Jeffrey (Ballarat)
4WILL HE BOLT (NSW)[5]44125NBTF Tasca (Greenvale)
5ILLICIT TWIST [5]63565NBTM Cauchi (St Leonards)
6KRAKEN CASSY [5]83431FSTDK Eyles (Murchison)
7DI’VOIRE BELLE [5]13632NBTP Akathiotis (Reservoir)
8PREMIER PORSCHA [5]36423NBTC Capuano (Broadford)
9SHANLYN JOHNNO [5]Res.55665FSTDG Borg (Maryborough)
10ILLEGAL PATH [5]Res.47566NBTK Wright (Elphinstone)
Race No. 8Downtown Cleaning2:14 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 No Penalty event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1DOUGIE ALLEN (NSW)[5]8F543NBTJ Hunt (Avalon)
2BOGNER BALE (NSW)[5]1141130.16(3)J Hunt (Avalon)
3OUR PALE ALE [5]5342230.12(3)M Quick (Haddon)
4RUSTY ROGERS [5]1283430.36(1)G Moss (Craigieburn)
5QUIVER BALE (NSW)[5]48543NBTJ Hunt (Avalon)
6KRAKEN FLOORO [5]56522NBTK Eyles (Murchison)
7PERRO RAPIDO [5]31841NBTD Dooley (Maffra)
8ALBO GOLD [5]4333230.64(2)M Quick (Haddon)
9MISS HOT VEGAS [5]Res.3147730.44(4)T Womann (Lara)
10SPEEDY IN OZ [5]Res.41114NBTJ Formosa (Heathcote)
Race No. 9Cosmic Chief Grv Vicbred Ht52:32 PM (VIC time)
Maiden Heat event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $1,415 Prizemoney.
1st: $990 2nd: $285 3rd: $140.


1BOOMA MIKADO [M]5FSHM Barber (Hoddles Creek)
2SPEEDIE RIOLI [M]2672NBTP Kelly (Longwarry)
3RUBY ROO [M]FSHP Bartolo (Little River)
4DESTINI DIAMOND [M]FSHE Rinaldi (Lethbridge)
5HESSION BOOTS [M]6FSHR Clark (Toolleen)
6GRAY’S HAND [M]22FSHD Dean (Nyora)
7PAPPA GALLO [M]24FSHM Cortese (Hampton Park)
8DEWANA BABE [M]FSHM Dewan (Carrum Downs)
9VIENNA MISS [M]Res.774FSHT Womann (Lara)
Race No. 10Cosmic Chief Grv Vicbred Ht62:49 PM (VIC time)
Maiden Heat event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $1,415 Prizemoney.
1st: $990 2nd: $285 3rd: $140.


1UNCLE MORE [M]44334FSHM Cortese (Hampton Park)
2ICE CONTRACTOR [M]FSHE Rinaldi (Lethbridge)
3DAS AUTO [M]FSHR Clark (Toolleen)
4MEPUNGA HAYLEY [M]6FSHJ Britton (Anakie)
5SNOW LANE [M]FSHM Carter (Violet Town)
6FLYING TOSCA [M]52NBTB Kantzidis (Bundoora)
7MY MINION [M]54132FSHB Bonaccurso (Airport West)
8KOKO CABANA [M]FSHT O’donovan (Devon Meadows)
9VIENNA MISS [M]Res.774FSHT Womann (Lara)
Race No. 11Cosmic Chief Grv Vicbred Ht73:07 PM (VIC time)
Maiden Heat event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $1,415 Prizemoney.
1st: $990 2nd: $285 3rd: $140.


1BLURRED LINES [M]23222FSHK Bravo (Lovely Banks)
2LEAD INTO DEMISE [M]45NBTR Clark (Toolleen)
3SHATTERED ICE [M]FSHE Rinaldi (Lethbridge)
4PRESTO DESTINI [M]FSHJ Rinaldi (Lethbridge)
5PREMIER WOOFIE [M]FSHM Briganti (Tuerong)
6DEE RUNK [M]2FSHG Hansen (Daisy Hill)
7LITTLE TURN [M]FSHD Mcdonald (Devon Meadows)
8TINA TWO [M]3446FSHM Davis (Altona Green)
9VIENNA MISS [M]Res.774FSHT Womann (Lara)

GRV and GRNSW Announce Animal Welfare Strategy

The greyhound industry in Australia is set to walk a tightrope in future years as the issue of animal welfare challenges the very survival of the sport.

Animal welfare is perhaps the single biggest issue for the industry to confront as wagering and profitability clash with emotion and changing community sentiment.  While some underestimate the power of the animal welfare lobby, overseas experience has shown the power of the animal welfare faction is potent enough to see the sport in both England and the United States severely dented.

In England, greyhound tracks have been in steady decline over recent years, and although this is not solely related to animal welfare, there is no doubt animal welfare issues have been a contributing factor in this wane.  The USA has also experienced a sharp fall of tracks in recent years, with 27 tracks closing since 2001.  As of August 2013, there are only 21 tracks left operating in the entire United States, with the popularity of the sport, in both attendance and wagering, falling dramatically.  Again, the Animal Welfare antagonists are not entirely responsible for this fall from grace, but their continued bad-mouthing of the industry has ensured the general public have a slanted, if not misinformed, view of greyhound racing.

So what implications does this have for Australia and New Zealand.  We have already witnessed the animal welfare lobby trying to ban hurdle racing from thoroughbreds, and there is no reason this sort of protest will not lend itself to greyhound racing in the future.  There has already been negative web sites and social media designed to rally animal activists to campaign against the sport of greyhound racing, some of which I am sure you have seen in one form or another.  While the future is always difficult to predict, the greyhound racing authorities in both Australia and New Zealand have recognised the importance of animal welfare and have been preparing for issues of animal wellbeing for some time.

This week Greyhound Racing Victoria and Greyhound Racing New South Wales have adopted a joint animal welfare strategy to provide new standards of animal welfare for participants in both states.  Some of the initiatives include tighter controls on breeding regulation, improved inspection and compliance on greyhound properties and a tiered system of trainer types which will stipulate how many greyhounds a trainer can train.

While I applaud the proactive approach provided by our racing authorities, I wonder if we are going down a slippery slope with regards to some of the measures proposed.

The sovereignty of our racing landscape in Australia is something most of us treasure.  The option to breed, rear and train our own greyhounds is a facet of our sport that should be supported and promoted.  We surely don’t want to have contract trainers supplying large numbers of greyhounds to tracks while our hobbyists are lost to the sport.

The recommendations surrounding breeding should also be looked at carefully.  Should I wish to breed with a bitch which perhaps does not meet the criteria, should I be excluded from doing so?

Should an authority be able to legislate against me doing so?

Should I wish to increase my race team to compete on a level playing field, should the authorities have the right to stop me?

So long as the said greyhounds are cared for properly and well educated, who should be able to prohibit me from training as many greyhounds as  I like.

Breeding especially, is not an exact science.  So should GRV or GRNSW have the authority to stop a participant from breeding with a certain bitch.  I would hope not.  As almost any experienced breeder will tell you, predicting a successful brood bitch is almost impossible, it’s almost always a try and see approach.

I worry if we employ some of these strategies without question, would we then be placing some of our rights in jeopardy, limiting our options and losing some of the sovereignty greyhound racing in this country has always offered.

There is no doubt the issue of animal welfare, whether it’s retirement of ex-racers, placement of young greyhounds which are not of race standard, or protection of our breeding stock requires much thought and planning.

I fully support animal welfare contingencies and the protection of our noble greyhounds, so long as the rights and interests of all in the industry, professionals and hobbyists alike, are also maintained.

Horsham Meeting Cancelled

The weather in Horsham is expected to hit 42 degrees today.

Due to this extreme weather forecast GRV has cancelled today’s meeting.

Kade Joske Suspended And Fined For Salbutamol Positive

Following advice from Racing Analytical Services Laboratory, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing
Victoria conducted an investigation into the results of a pre-race urine sample taken from
greyhound ‘Daintree Puzzle’ at the Traralgon Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Saturday,
28 September 2013.

During the investigation, Stewards received evidence from registered trainer Mr. Kade Joske,
Ms. Naomi Selvadurai (Racing Analytical Services Laboratory) and Dr. Steven Karamatic
(Greyhound Racing Industry Veterinary Officer).

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Joske with a breach of Greyhounds
Australasia Rules 83(2) and (3) in that he did fail to present the greyhound ‘Daintree Puzzle’
free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Traralgon Greyhound Racing Club meeting
held on Saturday, 28 September 2013 given that the pre-race urine sample taken from the
greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance salbutamol.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules this constituted a Serious
Offence. As a result, on Tuesday, 21 January 2014 this matter was heard before the Racing
Appeals and Disciplinary Board in the first instance under Greyhound Local Racing Rule 47.3
and Sections 83C(b) and 83M(1) of the Racing Act.

Mr. Kade Joske represented himself.

Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) with the assistance of Catherine Williams represented the
Stewards Panel.

Mr. Kade Joske pleaded guilty to the charge.

After hearing all the evidence tendered and having regard to GAR83 (6), the RADB determined
that Mr. Joske was guilty as charged and disqualified him for 6 months (with 4 months of this disqualification suspended for 12 months pending no further breaches of GAR83 during this 12 month period), plus a fine of $500, effective from Thursday, 30 January 2014.

Acting under GAR83(4), the RADB also disqualified ‘Daintree Puzzle’ from Event 4 – GRV VBIS Maiden Series Heat 4 513m – at the Traralgon Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Saturday, 28 September 2013 and amended the placings accordingly.

Queensland – Beautiful One Day, Astonishing The Next

Just when you thought you had seen it all in the Sunshine State, they have done it again. Racing Queensland has just announced that TattBet’s stranglehold over the local tote licence is up for grabs when it’s current license expires in July.

RQ says it is looking for proposals from wagering operators to “submit their vision for wagering growth … through innovation, customer development and greater promotion” by the end of February. That’s all very well, but consider some related points.

1.      RQ does not issue betting licenses. That’s the government’s responsibility. Why has RQ made the announcement? And why did it come from the CEO, not the much-criticised Chairman?

2.      It implies that the tote can supply the necessary impetus to an industry that has numerous internal problems that are holding back development. The cart seems located before the horse.

3.      RQ itself makes almost no effort to stimulate growth, other than its peculiar “Werunasone” campaign which tells participants to be nice to each other. That’s unlikely to help much.

4.      Field sizes and quality are getting worse in all codes, but certainly in greyhounds, which now almost never fill all the boxes in its major Thursday night slot.

5.      TattsBet turnover is consistently declining, with Queensland and Tasmania contributions trending worst. Its tote product is therefore noncompetitive in an era when punters can easily access a range of other operators.

6.      All codes, including greyhounds, are being managed by industry insiders, a policy which has failed miserably over the last two decades, and which has generally been discarded elsewhere.

7.      The mind boggles at what might happen if TattsBet were to lose its Queensland licence but still had to persevere with its NT, SA and Tasmania business. In that event, the end product would be virtually unusable.

To its credit, RQ has apparently realised that the current modus operandi is a dead duck and needs revitalisation, but only so far as the tote is concerned. Still, that’s a good start and also may serve to shake up incumbent operators elsewhere, even though they all have long term tenure.

However, the concept of someone else taking over from TattsBet is barely realistic, given its wide spread of betting shops and the like across the state, and elsewhere. Possession is virtually nine points of the law, even though monopolies like the TABs produce many negatives. Anyway, given TattsBet’s, Queensland’s and Tasmania’s parlous financial positions, it is almost a national emergency.

There is only one possible saviour for Queensland and its sister states and that is the prospect of creating a national betting pool, after which the size of local pools will no longer be so critical.

So let’s hope some interesting ideas emerge.



It was a funny night at Warragul last Sunday for the Cup heats. Three favourites won well, including Black Magic Opal and new record-holder Walk Hard, and three lost. Every winner either jumped in front or got a saloon passage along the rails when others got tangled up.

Actually, that’s the reason it is difficult to bet on Warragul’s 460m trip – there is just too much interference going into the first turn. Something about the track’s configuration has never been right. It’s something GRV and others need to study more carefully in order to achieve cleaner running.

But that’s not the big thing. The staging of the Cup heats at an oddball time, like other Cup series before it in Victoria (eg Horsham, Cranbourne), invariably costs the industry big money. Shifting away from a club’s standard slot is always risky. People get used to patronising their favourite tracks and can get lost in the backwash when a different time is chosen. Of course, Warragul’s main Tuesday night slot is not a bed of roses from a turnover viewpoint, but Sunday night has to be the pits. People have knocked off mentally by that time of the week and obviously prefer to spend time with the family, go to church, or whatever.

If you compare the takings with the previous average-fair meeting at Warragul on its normal Tuesday night, here’s what you would find in the average Win pools.


Previously       Cup Heats       Change

VicTAB          $14,662           $12,336           -15.9%

NSWTAB       $6,265             $4,626             -35.4%


In other words, including the exotics, Australian turnover was down by well over $100,000, compared with what might have been expected if Warragul had stayed on Tuesday. That’s money lost forever, and without real justification.

Race schedulers might have considered the need to put a five day gap between heats and final (on the following Friday) but, even then, there are two further points to consider; first, five days is a bare minimum between major races, especially if any of the finalists need work done on them and, second, in the normal course of events any extra Warragul meetings are typically scheduled all over the week, not necessarily Friday – indeed, almost never Friday. Any number of combinations would have been better than what was chosen. Whatever the idea was, it failed on every count.

Aside from that, promotion of one of the better nights of the year – many top sprinters were engaged – was almost non-existent, as evidenced by the appalling ratings given the meeting in NSW. Moreover, the night of the heats is usually going to be more attractive financially than the night of the final – ie six good races versus one – so the heats should have been given at least equal pride of place.

It was no way to run a business.

The Future Of Straight Racing In Australia

The long term outlook for the continuation of straight track racing in Australia, be it coursing or Straight track full field events, is in some doubt after the number of tracks conducting these meetings slowly decline.

While the premier racing state of Victoria continues to enjoy huge nominations and strong support for the revamped Healesville venue, interstate contemporaries do not seem to enjoy the same enthusiasm for straight track racing.

The falling popularity of coursing is also of great concern, with only Victoria and South Australia conducting coursing events.  The stakemoney for these coursing events, other than the Classics, is poor. Without a renewed vigour from Greyhound Racing Victoria and Greyhound Racing South Australia, these once popular events may be consigned to history.

The powers that oversee Greyhound Racing in these two states have already shown their hand to some extent, offering only modest increases in stakemoney for coursing events in recent years.  Without a decent jump in returns to participants, coursing in Australia may cease to exist, which would see the end of some 140 years of history.

Some would argue coursing is from a bygone era and should be wound up because coursing fixtures do not directly raise revenues for their State controlling bodies due to being non-tab events.  It could also be argued that this is the reason behind the seemingly indifferent attitude to these events shown by GRV and GRSA.  For mine however, there is still a place for coursing on our racing schedules and it should not only be preserved and protected by GRV and GRSA, it should be promoted and supported as well.

With regard to normal straight track racing, we have seen the demise of the once popular Wyong (NSW) and Wentworth (NSW) tracks, while most recently Appin (NSW) has also fallen by the wayside, conducting their final race meeting on December 15th, 2013.  The final closure of Appin has left the once revered state of New South Wales with no straight race track racing venue, while in South Australia Kulpara ceased to race in June 2008.  So at is stands in 2014, just two straight racing venues survive, Capalaba in Queensland and Healesville in Victoria.

Capalaba has been resolute, surviving floods and a show cause notice, among other perils. It still continues to be popular with owners and trainers in the Sunshine State.

The Capalaba Club race each Saturday afternoon throughout the year and their Melbourne Cup Day fixture is always very popular and remains their biggest revenue raiser.  The returns on offer for participants at Capalaba continue to be reasonably low, thus the quality of the fields are fairly average apart from special events. The Club has continued to meet every challenge so far in an effort to stay relevant and viable.

In 2009 the Management of Capalaba was handed over to the Brisbane Greyhound Club to ensure the club remained operational.  Then in March 2011 Capalaba was issued with a show cause notice by Greyhound Racing Queensland.  Despite this, the Capalaba Greyhound Racing Club has continued to work hard and have survived not only as a racing club, but as a training facility as well.

Healesville in Victoria is a different scenario altogether.  Beginning as picnic meetings, the Don Road venue has gone from strength to strength in recent years.  Originally a grass track racing over 340 metres on a right side lure, recent upgrades have seen two distances installed, the grass removed and loam installed, a revamped pavilion area, upgraded kennel block and the lure being switched to the left hand side of the track.  Along with these enhancements the club also attained full TAB and Sky Channel coverage, which has markedly raised the profile of the Healesville Club.  Perhaps the only criticism of Healesville may be the question of why, if the club has full tab and sky channel coverage, do they continue to race for Half-Stakes, or Tier 3 stakemoney.  Surely with the quality of fields usually as good as any other provincial club, it’s time Healesville went to full stakes, and rewarded those who continue to support the venue.

Appin in New South Wales has been a curious case.  The Club has been closed once before and re-opened by GRNSW; however the closure this time around looks to be final.  Any loss of a track is always sad, especially for those who have frequented the venue over a long period of time and utilized the track not only for racing, but as a training tool as well.  At least Appin is still available to owners and trainers for trialling, so at this stage, the venue is not lost completely to the industry.

The long term future for straight track racing and coursing is far from assured. It would be a travesty should these options disappear from the racing landscape completely. We can only trust the authorities in each state work hard, along with owner and trainer groups to retain the spectacle of straight track racing and coursin, for the benefit of all involved in the sport of greyhound racing in Australia.

The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg Has A Sore Leg

Confusion, rip-offs or just good business? How can you describe the range of odds now on offer for greyhound punters? The situation has worsened over the last three or four years as the number of Fixed Odds operators has increased and the size of the average tote pool decreased.

The former reflects firms wanting to jump on the gravy train while the latter is an outcome – in major part – of TABs and racing authorities jamming more races into limited prime time space. They failed to work out that there were no extra punters to match the jump in race numbers. Or maybe they did, but just didn’t care.

Fixed Odds had its genesis in the attempts by TABs, mainly Tabcorp, to compete with online bookies, which had started selling the TAB’s own product – ie by offering tote odds or, even better, best of tote odds. Tabcorp could see its core business being white-anted by the newcomers and had to react somehow.

Of course, the online bookies then took the obvious next step and added a Fixed Odds option to their own product range. It all must have worked for them as they now control over one dollar in every five of Australian wagering. Tabcorp is also recording declines in its traditional tote business, but claims its growing Fixed Odds turnover is making up for it. TattsBet belatedly followed suit, but it really had nowhere to go because its pools were always much smaller and looking less competitive with Tabcorp as each day went by.

But how does the greyhound punter fare? Essentially, he has lost on both counts. The tote service is less satisfactory because of smaller and more erratic pools, whilst the Fixed Odds caper is not the escape he thought it might be (or not if he examines what he is buying).

The simple reason for that is that the prices are terrible. TABs and online bookies are all setting up books of around 130% for Fixed Odds, a figure once limited to bush meetings involving unknown runners. That means that, over a period, the average punter is going to get back only 75 cents on his dollar. He is getting no help from the two main racing authorities – GRV and GRNSW – because they are also posting similar 130% books, more or less, on their formguides. No guidance there.

How those authorities dream up the odds is a mystery – presumably someone’s opinion – but you can be sure that the online bookies will smartly follow them or Tabcorp, with only minor variations from one to the other.

Tabcorp may well claim it needs to charge more for its service because it is hard to run a balanced book. (No doubt Fixed Odds would tend to attract slightly better educated punters who would be less inclined to speculate on long shots). But this ignores the logic that they run thousands of races under these conditions, every one of them with runners offered at big “unders”. On that basis they can never lose, never mind the odd bad result.

Whatever excuse Tabcorp has, it is not acceptable. But what can you do about it? It is not a parimutuel pool, where government oversight of deductions is always present (as a condition of its license), but an open slather for the operator. Grab what you can while the going is good.

On top of that, all parties operate on a “belt and braces” system. The online bookies, which enjoy very light regulation, are gaining a big reputation for cancelling accounts for winning customers (the evidence is all anecdotal but it is widespread), and therefore relying on bad punters. That is their privilege of course, but it does reflect the absence of the usual rules of racing. An on-course bookmaker has no such luck and must follow the local club’s practices, including one which requires the bookie to accept any bet up to a certain pre-determined limit. Those which consistently offer poor odds would soon find punters going elsewhere.

For their part, it seems the TAB attitudes are little different. We have managed to obtain a copy of Tabcorp’s instructions to its staff about handling incoming bets. This illustrates how they manage to take extra care (for which, read extra profits).

“Fixed Odds … requests will be intercepted by TAB for Fixed Odds operator assessment prior to either;

1. Full bet acceptance.

2. Full bet rejection.

3. Counteroffer – reduced stake.

4. Counteroffer – reduced odds.

5. Counteroffer – reduced stake and odds”.

Presumably, the operator will accept or reject the incoming bet on the basis of whether Tabcorp looks like making a profit on the race. And don’t forget this is based on a price structure which already is set up to ensure the house never loses anyway. It’s win-win for Tabcorp but bad luck for consumers.

But also consider some competitive options. Gallops punters, particular at the Sydney and Melbourne races, will see trackside bookies usually structuring prices to 110% or less, always with one eye on the tote which works on a 117% book for Win bets (that’s the equivalent of the legislated 14.5% deduction from the punter’s dollar). At the same time, Tabcorp is offering Fixed Odds on a book of around 120%, which is theoretically not competitive but still pulls in a lot of money.

But why, you might ask, does Tabcorp use 120% for the gallops but punishes greyhound punters with 130% books? In either case the house has to win over time, whichever structure is chosen. The extra margin, unfortunately encouraged by greyhound authorities in NSW and Victoria, ends up as fruit for the sideboard and has to be classed as a rip-off.

But there’s more. GRV only recently reported how great it was to see Fixed Odds Betting rising sharply, and presumably paying more commission to the authority. So, not only is GRV supporting the concept of publishing crook odds, but it is also hoping for more of the same. How could such a policy be counted as ensuring the “development and progress of the industry”, as all authorities are bound to do? High interest rates always turn off house buyers and high betting takeouts will do the same for serious punters – or any punters really.

More deeply, as we have warned previously, the very concept of high takeouts from the punting dollar poses risks for the industry’s future. The diversion of wagering business at American greyhound tracks to nearby casinos has been accompanied by numerous track closures, while others would like to follow if they could vary the conditions under which they were licensed. Loss-making racing in Florida, by far the country’s biggest greyhound state, is already under review by the state legislature. (USA takeouts, including taxes, start at 20% and go upwards, depending on the jurisdiction).

Back home, if the pokies pay better (and they all do), is it any wonder that racing’s market share has been waning for two decades now? All that stops it collapsing is the emotional attachment of gamblers to the racing scene – a very fragile foundation, particularly for greyhounds which generate nowhere near the affection that the public feel for horses.

Racing authorities’ short term tactics may have brought in a few extra dollars but their strategies pose long term risks for the industry.

Meanwhile, study the form carefully, avoid odds-on and demand value for your dollar.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Greyhound Box Draw For Geelong – Friday, 17 January 2014

Race No. 1Sita Australia7:08 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 event over 400 metres at Geelong Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1ELITE BLUESTONE (NSW)[5]7127722.88(6)S Dervish (Stanhope)
2FRANCESCO (NZ)[5]1743FFSHT Womann (Lara)
3MONARCO [5]3716622.89(8)E Deglaitis (Moolap)
4THUNDER HAWK [5]51253NBTP Simone (Pirron Yallock)
5HOT AND LONESOME [5]76118FSHR Henness (Heathcote)
6ENNIS BALE (NSW)[5]24124FSHP Hunt (Lara)
7MAYBE VEGAS [5]6543522.84(5)V Awramenko (Waurn Ponds)
8GHOST ROASTER [5]7363622.78(1)G Watts (Lara)
9HUMMER KEEPING (NSW)[5]Res.15FSHJ Thompson (Pearcedale)
10FINNY [5]Res.5154523.14(8)P Jones (Hoddles Creek)
Race No. 2Merv Jennings Signs7:28 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 event over 460 metres at Geelong Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1NEW YEAR JET [5]2431FSTDJ Karamatic (Lara)
2JACK THE BLACK [5]145F6NBTJ Vassallo (Cape Clear)
3MOLLY MICHELLE [5]T325126.20(4)S Cachia (Anakie)
4SPA CHEANG [5]72587NBTJ Mccoll (Daylesford)
5SEA ROOSTER [5]42473FSHS Gibson (Harcourt)
6HUSTA HUSTA [5]46867NBTJ Maple (Little River)
7KUKLINSKI [5]516F3NBTP Mccoll (Kooroocheang)
8SIENNA’S FANTASY [5]F6227NBTG Rossin (Yarrambat)
9CALISTA [5]Res.41477NBTJ Karamatic (Lara)
10FINNY [5]Res.51545NBTP Jones (Hoddles Creek)
Race No. 3Karamatic Carpentry (1-3 Wins)7:49 PM (VIC time)
Restricted Win event over 680 metres at Geelong Of $2,175 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,525 2nd: $430 3rd: $220.


1SOHO SENORITA [5]64815NBTS O’brien (Gordon)
2MYSTIC GRILLE [5]34325NBTC Bahen (Yuroke)
3KURZKE [5]17133FSHB Wells (Romsey)
4POACHER FLASH [5]11128FSHR Henness (Heathcote)
5SYMINGTON [5]12755FSHS Gibson (Harcourt)
6OSCAR DE LARGO [4]2111439.73(1)R Henness (Heathcote)
7INNER SANCTUM [5]17666NBTK Karamatic (Lara)
8TARKS NEMESIS (NSW)[5]52477NBTA Langton (Anakie)
9WARRANTY [5]Res.65374NBTJ Formosa (Heathcote)
10ZUZANNA [5]Res.65286FSHD Saunders (Somerville)
Race No. 4Bemfhens8:06 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 event over 400 metres at Geelong Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1CHAD’S NITRO [5]41617FSTDL Harris (Somerville)
2SENORITA DAPHNE [5]1186522.92(1)T Womann (Lara)
3CHOCOLATE FROG [5]6345422.88(4)N Rooney (Lara)
4CARAMEL MIX (QLD)[5]17812NBTW Hansen (Daisy Hill)
5EXODUS BALE (NSW)[5]15327FSHS Collins (Lara)
6CANDLE BOY [5]5346622.58(2)J Maple (Little River)
7CONNEMARA FLAME [5]25663NBTJ Maye (Drysdale)
8SAVAGE STORM [5]13225NBTT Attard (Altona Green)
9CALISTA [5]Res.4147722.87(3)J Karamatic (Lara)
10TEQUILA ROCKET [5]Res.6127823.10(2)E Lloyd (Anakie)
Race No. 5Austins Wines8:28 PM (VIC time)
Mixed 4/5 event over 520 metres at Geelong Of $2,005 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,405 2nd: $400 3rd: $200.


1SUPER VENUS [5]77446FSTDK Tirchett (Pascoe Vale)
2BIRTHDAY BONUS [5]36863NBTK Karamatic (Lara)
3POPPINS [5]85651FSHS Gibson (Harcourt)
4COURAGEOUS GIRL (NSW)[5]72252FSHR Britton (Lara)
5VALENTINE GOODS (NSW)[5]75484NBTR Britton (Lara)
6EL ROSCOE [4]6354730.32(1)M Karamatic (Lara)
7SUSHI BALE (NSW)[5]47556NBTS Collins (Lara)
8MAGNETISM [5]65772FSHG Flynn (Ballarat)
9FRED BEST [5]Res.86686FSHT Jones (Devon Meadows)
10BRICKIE’S CHICK [5]Res.77887FSHG Wood (Warragul)
Race No. 6Jim’s Mowing – Grv Vbis (1-4 Wins) Final (gobis)8:48 PM (VIC time)
Restricted Win Final event over 460 metres at Geelong Of $6,710 Prizemoney.
1st: $4,000 2nd: $1,140 3rd: $570 GOBIS: $1,000.


1HANKOS [5]12562NBTM Briganti (Tuerong)
2SELECT KNOCKA [4]5832126.10(7)J Maple (Little River)
3ACCOMPLISHED [5]112NBTJ Thompson (Pearcedale)
4ROZEHILL LISA [4]4441125.82(1)J Forrest (Rosedale)
5DINOSOUL [4]811125.96(8)K Hellmuth (Pearcedale)
6GREYSYND FANTASY [5]42152NBTP Anderton (Devon Meadows)
7LONESOME PIRATE [4]2383125.50(1)G Kantzidis (Plenty)
8TIGER TOY [5]1385226.47(6)N Gost (Little River)
9THERE’S A EARN [5]Res.21223NBTD Mcdonald (Devon Meadows)
10DYNAMIC PUNCH [5]Res.163NBTR Tartaglia (Newcomb)
Race No. 7Buxton Real Estate9:06 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 event over 460 metres at Geelong Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1EVANESCENT [5]87327NBTA Britton (Lara)
2ALLEN HODNEY (NSW)[5]47755NBTJ Hunt (Avalon)
3RASHAD (NSW)[5]21153FSHJ Thompson (Pearcedale)
4ALBO GOLD [5]2554325.91(6)M Quick (Haddon)
5LUCA BRAZZI [5]31583NBTR Britton (Lara)
6BIG BAD BAZ [5]32536NBTR Dunne (St Albans)
7RADINKA BALE (NSW)[5]71413FSTDS Collins (Lara)
8LEKTRA CONCRETE [5]24237NBTP Simone (Pirron Yallock)
9CONNEMARA FIRE [5]Res.2734226.03(4)J Maye (Drysdale)
10WICKED FOUR [5]Res.31377NBTJ Maple (Little River)
Race No. 8Krock Gdr (gobis)9:28 PM (VIC time)
Special Event event over 596 metres at Geelong Of $5,710 Prizemoney.
1st: $3,295 2nd: $945 3rd: $470 GOBIS: $1,000.


1ALVIN STREET [5]45643NBTK Lloyd (Anakie)
2IMMY ROSE [5]38728NBTN Rooney (Lara)
3QUO VADIS (QLD)[4]5648534.97(8)A Langton (Anakie)
4ARAPAHOE [5]23476FSTDG Flynn (Ballarat)
5ROCK DOMINATION (WA)[4]14154FSTDJ Briffa (Lara)
6WENT WOOSHKA (NZ)[3]6258734.73(5)T Womann (Lara)
7BOMBER JACK (NSW)[5]43421NBTG Green (Lethbridge)
8GAZZELLIOT [5]55344FSTDD Beasley (Footscray West)
Race No. 9P & R Food Services9:48 PM (VIC time)
Mixed 3/4 event over 400 metres at Geelong Of $2,360 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,650 2nd: $475 3rd: $235.


1ALLEN BARRY (NSW)[4]2633422.61(3)S Collins (Lara)
2BET BET TAHLIA [4]7635F22.65(8)P Patterson (Bet Bet)
3PIPPA SHIRAZ [4]4311822.65(3)R Britton (Lara)
4YELLOWROCK MAGIC (NSW)[4]1163322.69(5)O Mcgovern (Rosedale)
5EXTRAORDINARY (NSW)[3]3637422.62(5)Y Andrews (Cranbourne North)
6BEST PERFUME [4]6616422.50(2)T Womann (Lara)
7LEKTRA CANDY [4]3512422.57(3)H Collins (Lara)
8BETTY JANE [4]1666622.78(8)P Hunt (Lara)
Race No. 10Top Cat Video Productions10:06 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 event over 460 metres at Geelong Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1COSMIC TEQUILA [5]1182826.18(5)G Watts (Lara)
2MITCH SPARRABUSH [5]44114NBTL Mitchell (Teesdale)
3JAY JAY MIKADO [5]5586226.14(6)P Jones (Hoddles Creek)
4WILMA BALE (NSW)[5]11175FSHJ Hunt (Avalon)
5DYNAMO’S GIFT [5]5151FSHR Darby (Drysdale)
6SUBERUSHIE [5]66474FSTDH Collins (Lara)
7HURRICANE YELLA [5]47282NBTV Awramenko (Waurn Ponds)
8HAVES (NSW)[5]21121FSHJ Thompson (Pearcedale)
9EL GRAND SEAL [5]Res.415FSHJ Britton (Anakie)
10COOPNARCHA (NSW)[5]Res.41856FSTDZ Aleksov (Brookfield)
Race No. 11Advertising Associates10:30 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 event over 400 metres at Geelong Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1RIVER OF DREAMS [5]22257NBTJ Shaw (Anakie)
2MISS CHAPARAL [5]7174522.84(7)T Womann (Lara)
3REVEREND MATCHY [5]7743422.67(4)T Womann (Lara)
4THIRD LETTER ARE [5]4528622.59(3)T Womann (Lara)
5NAT’S JOY [5]31616FSHG Wood (Warragul)
6BENNY BOWEN [5]52644FSHM Barber (Hoddles Creek)
7MINI MITCH [5]3387722.73(6)T Womann (Lara)
8RONRAY MISS (NSW)[5]51272NBTT Reid (Yuroke)
9TEQUILA SUN [5]Res.15848NBTJ Frewin (Anakie)
10DREAMING ANNIE [5]Res.45672NBTK Tirchett (Pascoe Vale)

Beware The Stuffability Factor

There should really be no comparison between Horsham and Sandown Park. The city meeting will have better class dogs, four times higher prize money and an established spot in the national hierarchy. Yet the public are not so sure. Horsham may be three and a half hours from Melbourne and only a modest sized town yet it often puts more into the GRV coffers than Sandown.

The greater city of Horsham has 23,000 people. It thrives on wheat, tourists and people taking a break on the way to Adelaide. The first week of next month will also see a week-long gliding festival at the local airport – a sight to behold! It’s their 50th anniversary and once hosted the national championships.

Horsham greyhounds run on Tuesday afternoons, which is not the greatest time of the betting week. However, the twilight slot is all the rage these days and this is no exception. Folk stopping off for a bet on the way home from work might be one reason for its popularity. It’s also a pretty reliable track, far more so than the often disruptive Sandown. Read any steward’s report to see how much bump and shove occurs there.

But the proof is in the pudding.

Last week, for example, Horsham actually outranked Sandown in the betting stakes. Here are the Win pool averages per race.

NSW Tab Vic Tab Total
Sandown (Thu) $10,952 $18,687 $29,639
Horsham (Tue) $10,519 $19,409 $29,928


That was no accident. At Horsham five races pulled in over $20 000 on the Victorian TAB but only four did at Sandown. On the NSW TAB seven races at each track managed to get past $10 000.

Of course, there is a contributing factor. Horsham’s afternoon-twilight slot is shared with only three other well spread out greyhound meetings although a number of gallops and harness meetings usually get preference. On the other hand, the relentless forces of Tabcorp/SKY and racing authorities have forced nine greyhound meetings into Thursday night programs (two at twilight and seven at night) plus four or five gallops and harness meetings, some from overseas. All these are there simply because they can be stuffed in and shown on two SKY channels.

Basically, the outcome at the premium meetings is that race quality and betting pools are being trashed. There is virtually no opportunity to talk up the chances of the top dogs – which on that Thursday included the heats of the SA Sprint Championships at Angle Park, featuring Ernie Bung Arrow. Albion Park had a fairly ordinary meeting but still attracted about the same amount of money as Sandown on both totes. The average gambler is simply getting in the long queue of races and hoping for the best.

Personally, I like Horsham and would be little concerned if Sandown disappeared altogether – it’s just too hard to make money there. But is that the way to run the industry?

Other items of interest:

(1) Turnover by race at Horsham (or anywhere else) is unpredictable. Races before 4 pm do not do so well but otherwise betting volumes bear no relation to the time of day, the grade of the race or the quality of the runners.

(2) The biggest influence on turnover is the amount of betting space available prior to the jump. Clashes or delayed harness starts reduce turnover.

(3) First Four takings at Horsham in both TABs vary wildly – from under $2,000 to almost $9,000 – and are not consistent with the fluctuations on Win totes, with the class of the race or with the price of the favourite. However, this might indicate that serious punters take an interest on occasions.

(4) Turnover at Sandown drops substantially after 9:30 pm, Albion Park turnover a bit less so, despite it running nearly an hour later during daylight saving periods.

(5) On my calculations, race outcomes at Horsham over its three distances are more consistent than any other track in the country, suggesting that no more than minor adjustments need ever be made to the layout (some significant but unknown changes are in the offing).

All of this points up a shift in the long term pattern of greyhound patronage, no doubt mostly in sympathy with social preferences. Originally, daytime racing was the most dominant while night racing was limited to more prominent tracks which could afford the lights. This paralleled people’s habits of knocking off work and then going to the track for a night out. Gradually, the advent of suburban TAB facilities made twilight racing more accessible, and then the arrival and rapid growth of SKY pictures completely changed the ball game. Even so, greyhounds were still pushed towards night slots because the space was there and they avoided clashes with gallops meetings.

However, in recent times work and other obligations have seen twilight timings and early evening races become more important to casual punters. Simultaneously, overcrowded programs have reduced average pool sizes at night. Late betting habits and the increase in mug money (from Mystery bets and the like) have made races more difficult to fathom.

All of which is being accompanied by a clear reduction in the amount of business coming from serious punters – as indicated by erratic or poor value dividends and such things as the introduction of Fixed Odds Betting. The latter may be popular with some but they routinely involve books of 130%, and therefore scrounge twice as much out of the punter’s dollar as normal tote pools. If small tote pools are a problem then moving to Fixed Odds is going from the frying pan into the fire. (GRV is aiding that trend by also presenting 130% odds in its own formguide).

The reasons for all this are not hard to work out. Supply has exceeded demand. At night, there is too much racing for the volume of business on offer and there are virtually no resources going into the education of future punters. Tipsters dominate and greyhounds have become four-legged poker machines. In what must be years I can recall no gambler ever consulting his own formguide at a TAB outlet. Tragically, no known poker machine is as greedy as Fixed Odds Betting is, something which has caused huge dramas in America where high tote takeouts have seen patrons move from the track to the adjacent casinos, with many tracks then closing down.

Both those elements need careful treatment from industry bosses. They should focus not just on how much cash they will bring in this year but on what they are doing to the structure of the industry over time. Indeed, there is a strong case that a slightly smaller operation, when coupled with the above two “fixes” could well produce much greater profits than what we are doing now. More and better Horshams, that is.

And, to those who might want to point out that this is a not-for-profit industry – well, it’s about time that changed.

Stranger Than Fiction

Do you know that at Wentworth Park last Saturday Victorian punters bet 2.3% more on the Sydney meeting than NSW people did? That was despite the home track offering two heats of the Summer Cup and eight heats of the Paws of Thunder. These were some of the best dogs in the land. Was everybody at the cricket? Or the tennis?

Friday, 10 January 2014

Greyhound Box Draw For Geelong – Friday, 10 January 2014

Race No. 1Sita Australia Final (gobis)7:08 PM (VIC time)
Maiden Final event over 400 metres at Geelong Of $2,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190 GOBIS: $1,000.


1TENNESSEE GAL [5]7122.74(5)C Hayes (Mill Park)
2TRAIL BLAZING [5]6122.59(1)T Womann (Lara)
3SPRING LOL (NSW)[5]6122.77(3)A Dailly (Anakie)
4FURIOUS MASTER [M]482NBTN Punshon (Parwan)
5BING’S BRO [M]22722NBTB Lock (Eaglehawk)
6SPRING CHARLOTTE (NSW)[5]6122.54(7)A Dailly (Anakie)
7SPRING COUNT (NSW)[5]122.84(6)A Dailly (Anakie)
8CHAPPY [M]72NBTT Deglaitis (Moolap)
9CINCINNATI LEE (SA)[M]Res.62NBTA Sultana (Maddingley)
10GIANTS DANCE [M]Res.72NBTT Deglaitis (Moolap)
Race No. 2Geelong Australia Grv Vbis Ht17:27 PM (VIC time)
Restricted Win Heat event over 460 metres at Geelong Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1MIND BENDER [5]46118FSHM Pirani (Boronia)
2BIG TEX ROCKIN’ [5]23324FSHP Giles (Moe)
3DOING DONUTS [5]78124NBTC Hayes (Mill Park)
4DON JULIO [5]F1511FSHL Ketelaar (Yuroke)
5SUKI SUKI [5]1423FSHA Grimmond (Trawalla)
6FINNY [5]75154FSTDP Jones (Hoddles Creek)
7HANKOS [5]81256NBTM Briganti (Tuerong)
8DINOSOUL [5]811NBTK Hellmuth (Pearcedale)
9TEQUILA ROCKET [5]Res.86127FSTDE Lloyd (Anakie)
10GO HOOTIE [5]Res.F6167FSTDT Womann (Lara)
Race No. 3Austins Wines Grv Vbis Ht27:49 PM (VIC time)
Restricted Win Heat event over 460 metres at Geelong Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1LONESOME PIRATE [5]12383NBTG Kantzidis (Plenty)
2SENORITA DAPHNE [5]61186FSTDT Womann (Lara)
3GLAMOROUS INDIE [5]8641426.14(6)P Ellul (Noble Park North)
4THERE’S A EARN [5]12122FSHD Mcdonald (Devon Meadows)
5UNO WHIRL [5]4137F26.08(4)J Maple (Little River)
6OUR ARANDT [5]25418NBTM Zammit (Exford)
7GREYSYND FANTASY [5]74215FSHP Anderton (Devon Meadows)
8TOMMY TOYMAN [5]3625526.28(7)N Gost (Little River)
9CALISTA [5]Res.4147FSTDJ Karamatic (Lara)
10TEQUILA ROCKET [5]Res.86127FSTDE Lloyd (Anakie)
Race No. 4Nardi Produce Grv Vbis Ht38:06 PM (VIC time)
Restricted Win Heat event over 460 metres at Geelong Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1FOX IN SOX [4]7451726.10(5)B Finn (Herne Hill)
2TIGER TOY [5]6138526.47(6)N Gost (Little River)
3THERE FOR ME [5]1343FSHS Coulson (Balliang)
4WOOD CUTTER STAN [5]11762FSHS Berriman (Ballarat East)
5SEABROOK GIRL [5]71458FSTDK Dillon (Wyndham Vale)
6FRANKLIN SENIOR [5]31121FSHD Ryan (Boronia)
7SELECT KNOCKA [5]3583226.23(7)J Maple (Little River)
8ACCURATE [5]46814FSHP Dedes (Devon Meadows)
9EUPHORIC [5]Res.74F58FSHC Brett (Euroa)
10SPA CHEANG [5]Res.72587NBTJ Mccoll (Daylesford)
Race No. 5Happy Birthday Samantha (gel To Mea) Ht18:27 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Heat event over 520 metres at Geelong Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1SHAMROCK PETAL [5]2523130.56(2)A Hyde (Lara)
2GOLD BULLION [5]37323FSTDL Kraemer (Cranbourne South)
3MENACE BALE (NSW)[5]35865NBTS Collins (Lara)
4GREYSYND JET [5]12124FSTDP Anderton (Devon Meadows)
5CORRINE CORRINA [5]43467NBTS Cachia (Anakie)
6VALENTINE GOODS (NSW)[5]17548FSHR Britton (Lara)
7NOCKABOUT AUSSIE [5]15424FSTDP Akathiotis (Reservoir)
8KALDEN BLANCO (WA)[5]16213FSHB Keel (Devon Meadows)
9SPA CHEANG [5]Res.72587FSTDJ Mccoll (Daylesford)
10COSMIC JIM [5]Res.85686NBTJ Psaila (Little River)
Race No. 6P & R Food Services (gel To Mea) Ht28:48 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Heat event over 520 metres at Geelong Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1LUCA BRAZZI [5]53158NBTR Britton (Lara)
2PETA BALE (NSW)[5]48442FSTDS Collins (Lara)
3THIRD LETTER ARE [5]14528NBTT Womann (Lara)
4MIDNIGHT KNOCKA [5]11887FSTDJ Palma (Lara)
5SISCO COMET [5]18544FSTDJ Galea (Lara)
6GAZZELLIOT [5]25534NBTD Beasley (Footscray West)
7ZULTAN [5]77543NBTE Deglaitis (Moolap)
8ZIPPING MAKKA (NSW)[5]22223NBTJ Delaroche (Cranbourne North)
9DUNDEE SATIN [5]Res.66365FSHG Scott-smith (Pakenham South)
10MATLOCK [5]Res.86636FSTDP Dedes (Devon Meadows)
Race No. 7Advertising Associates (gel To Mea) Ht39:06 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Heat event over 520 metres at Geelong Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1WICKED FOUR [5]73137NBTJ Maple (Little River)
2SIR LENNY [5]32322NBTB Bunworth (Casterton)
3HE’S BUZZIN’ [5]14217NBTJ Hunt (Avalon)
4WHO TOLD BLACKIE [5]38124FSTDR Britton (Lara)
5SNAPPER’S MATE [5]34526NBTR Fisher (Lara)
6BUKATY (GA)[5]23473NBTR Britton (Lara)
7COULTA HARVEST (SA)[5]43668NBTG Watts (Lara)
8COSMIC BLACK [5]35376NBTJ Psaila (Little River)
9DUNDEE SATIN [5]Res.66365FSHG Scott-smith (Pakenham South)
10SPA CHEANG [5]Res.72587FSTDJ Mccoll (Daylesford)
Race No. 8Buxton Real Estate9:28 PM (VIC time)
Mixed 4/5 event over 460 metres at Geelong Of $2,005 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,405 2nd: $400 3rd: $200.


1MICKY MAMBO [4]8156626.33(7)P Abela (Parwan)
2STRIKING BLAZE [4]1432526.17(3)D Mcdonald (Devon Meadows)
3CHAMPAGNE SHOT [5]28811FSHK Gorman (Tanjil South)
4MIDNIGHT SWIRL [5]41627NBTA Cole (Avalon)
5CLINICAL FINISH [4]4385125.99(4)A Galea (Sunshine North)
6BLACK AND COOL [4]6525525.92(2)P Burley (Wattle Glen)
7FORT ALLEN (NSW)[4]1824325.80(4)A Dailly (Anakie)
8IMA APPLE [4]4132F26.04(4)J Riley (Wallington)
9SUBERUSHIE [5]Res.66474FSTDH Collins (Lara)
10SPA CHEANG [5]Res.72587NBTJ Mccoll (Daylesford)
Race No. 9Krock (gel To Mea) Ht49:48 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Heat event over 520 metres at Geelong Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1DR. LEEZA [5]26576NBTN Bell (Point Lonsdale)
2IN THIS WAY (NSW)[5]11125FSHB Weis (Portland)
3CHIEF TYSON [5]4P386NBTR Fisher (Lara)
4CHERIA BALE (NSW)[5]33133FSHJ Hunt (Avalon)
5BEES LEE [5]36456NBTD Beasley (Footscray West)
6YABBA DABBA DEE [5]33745NBTD Irby (Rosebud)
7KNOCK THE TOP [5]36271FSTDP Mccoll (Kooroocheang)
8BIRTHDAY BONUS [5]73686NBTK Karamatic (Lara)
9MATLOCK [5]Res.86636FSTDP Dedes (Devon Meadows)
10COSMIC JIM [5]Res.85686NBTJ Psaila (Little River)
Race No. 10Jims Mowing Grv Vbis Ht410:06 PM (VIC time)
Restricted Win Heat event over 460 metres at Geelong Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1ROZEHILL LISA [5]54441NBTJ Forrest (Rosedale)
2ACCOMPLISHED [5]11FSHJ Thompson (Pearcedale)
3KOOL PUPPY [5]21725NBTP Galea (St Albans)
4MITCH SPARRABUSH [5]14411NBTL Mitchell (Teesdale)
5FINE DINER [5]321FSHL Hellmuth (Pearcedale)
6WHY NOT WAYNE [5]45444FSTDW Gray (Wendouree)
7JACK THE BLACK [5]2145FFSHJ Vassallo (Cape Clear)
8MORSON SENOR [5]28514FSTDW Vassallo (Devon Meadows)
9DYNAMIC PUNCH [5]Res.16FSHR Tartaglia (Newcomb)
10HUSTA HUSTA [5]Res.46867NBTJ Maple (Little River)
Race No. 11Millers Muzzles10:30 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 event over 460 metres at Geelong Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.


1HURRICANE YELLA [5]74728NBTV Awramenko (Waurn Ponds)
2QUESTION BALE (NSW)[5]1112NBTJ Hunt (Avalon)
3PERFECT NINA [5]7641626.43(6)G Rossin (Yarrambat)
4BELLA MIKADO [5]88771FSHM Barber (Hoddles Creek)
5NIGHT WITH SALLY (QLD)[5]33454FSHD Mcdonald (Devon Meadows)
6ATRO BALE (NSW)[5]72543NBTS Collins (Lara)
7DICKY [5]6176625.87(7)T Deglaitis (Moolap)
8BIG BAD BAZ [5]83253NBTR Dunne (St Albans)
9SUBERUSHIE [5]Res.66474FSTDH Collins (Lara)
10SPA CHEANG [5]Res.72587NBTJ Mccoll (Daylesford)

Sale Of The Year

Dyna Nalin’s win in the 2013 Sale Cup was not only a gutsy one, but also a much improved run – from 37.53 in its heat to 37.27 in the final. It had faded in the heat, as well as in its two previous middle distance runs at Cannington, but it seems the experience made the difference.  Still, it is mystifying that it started at around the same price as Lucy Wires and Dyna Willow, both well proven over the trip, with the latter a much better beginner.

Also surprising was the favourite’s short price ($1.40 or $1.60, depending on your location), given that this was a final, with much more pace in the race and an ordinary box (7). Dyna Willow was also coming off two near-record runs at Wentworth Park and a heat run of 37.23 which was very competitive with the favourite’s 36.96. Still, that’s the nature of the beast these days. Last start wins always count.

But pay attention to the layout of the Sale track. Nominally, the 650m run is a good one and unique in Australian middle distance racing as it offers a three long straight runs – one at the start, one down the back and one on the way home. Yet the track falls well short of excellence because of its turns.

The first one is short and tight so many dogs do not handle it well. Note, for example, the heat run by Alpe d’Huez, a box one bandit, yet it still speared off at the first turn, losing whatever hope it had of beating the favourite.

The home turn is more of a puzzle, particularly the last half of it. It is common in any race for leading dogs to lose their course in small but significant ways, causing clashes and resulting in some putting paid to their winning chances. That to and fro is a function of the detail of the curve. The unevenness has been there for years, before and after the major re-building of a few years ago. That change, incidentally, also saw a poor 511m bend start become an equally poor 520m bend start. GRV forgot that it had a firm policy of not creating any more bend starts and failed to take the opportunity to fix this one. There is buckets of space there to allow for a straight-in approach to the back straight, but that option was not taken (shades of the nation’s best-ever middle distance trip – the now-deceased Toowoomba 555m).

The main suspect for the home turn query seems to be that the boxes were put in position first and only then was the circuit completed, almost as an afterthought. When that happens (The Gardens is another example) cambers become flat or irregular, thereby confusing the racers.

Back to the Cup. Noaki Spitfire led into the final turn, but then Phenomenal, which earlier had no trouble going underneath Dyna Willow, was noted running into its backside. Well, true enough, but why did that happen? This is a reasonable field dog and it had found its way through to that spot without hassle. The most likely answer is that some combination of levels, turn radius, lure type, etc, created the confusion.

Note that not only did that hold up Phenomenal, but the bunching and the camber also pushed Dyna Willow way off the track, ruining its chances of a win. Even so, it was taking ground off Phenomenal by the time the post arrived. Anyway, with both top dogs in trouble, Dyna Nalin whizzed through on the rail for a smart win.

Some will say that’s the luck of racing, and that’s fair enough. But the cause of that “luck” was a poorly designed turn. A good home turn must have an even velodrome-style shape which encourages runners to maintain a consistent course. Sale doesn’t.


They Have Done It Again

Last week’s article on “Business Sense” pointed out the folly of ramming yet another meeting (Shepparton) into a space already fully occupied by three codes of racing on Thursday nights – a period of peak greyhound interest. The available cash was then spread over more races, diluting all the pools and further confusing patrons.

Last week it was on again. But this time the addition was quite ridiculous. The extra meeting to make up the eight was at Warrnambool, which at first glance was pretty similar to the week before. Look closer and you will find that all those extra races were maidens which could well have been put on any time from breakfast to midnight on any day of the week. Instead, they did battle with the best dogs in the land racing in five capital cities. There were eight competing greyhound meetings in total.

The dominance of mug gamblers meant that the Warrnambool debutantes pinched turnover from well performed dogs, including some competing in the Laurels final at Sandown, as well as in the Cup final at Sale.

Here are average Win tote turnovers on the NSW TAB that night at selected tracks (Victorian turnover would have been higher for their local meetings):

Sandown $10 217
Albion Park $10 349
Sale $8 916
Warrnambool $7 047


All of those pools are really too small for good punting, especially as only about half those amounts would have been visible before the betting deadline arrived. Removing the Warrnambool meeting would not have revolutionised turnover, but that money would almost certainly have filtered through to the better quality meetings.

Instead, mug gamblers invested in unpredictable dogs. That does not look like a sensible policy.

The point authorities are missing is that there is a finite amount of money available from punters at any one time, so the more races on the schedule the smaller each pool will be. Even if winning punters wanted to bet more often, the constant flow of close-spaced races makes it physically difficult to do that.


By Hand

A message to this column claimed that hand timing produced quicker times than electronic timing. Well, that has not been so for the last 50 years so I will stick with increasing my times when hand timing is involved.

Quirky Habits Can Win Races

An interesting sidelight to last Thursday’s Hobart Thousand was the interaction between dogs’ running styles, the way the race was run, and the nature of the track.

First, Paw Licking excelled itself out of the box and in the run to the turn. Yes, it did run quicker than Black Magic Opal in its heat (5.04 v 5.11) and even quicker again in the final (4.99) with BMO hot on its heels. Relatively, these were marginally better times than its career average. So be it, that’s the fortunes of racing.

(Note that, this time, the above sectionals are pretty accurate, unlike most of the nonsense published in Tasmania).

Anyway, in doing that, Paw Licking not only took the other dog’s running but forced it to race where it is less comfortable. BMO had to keeping thinking about what it should do. There was never more than a length between them all the way to the turn and Paw Licking likes to race one or two off the fence

Around the turn Paw Licking got even further away and BMO had more ground to make up by the time it entered the straight, got to the rail, and reached maximum speed. Overall, BMO is definitely the better dog but not on this night.

A reason for that is that Paw Licking not only got away really well, but it also is extremely quick on the bend, more so than most dogs. That’s the nature of its galloping action. For another example of the same thing, go back to the final of the Ballarat Cup. Ronan Izmir led down the back straight but Paw Licking, on its outside, then overtook it on the turn and led into the straight, only for Ronan Izmir to pour on the power in the run home for a strong win, much as BMO tried to do in Hobart.

All these episodes, incidentally, tell us that most of these dogs are optimised for races around the 450m mark, not for 520m (which would have been a good reason for BMO to head to Hobart in the first place, rather than compete in the Brisbane Cup series over the longer trip).

Go back to my article on 25 November (Magic, Yes, But Not Yet a Champion), where I demonstrated that, relatively, BMO’s win in the Melbourne Cup at Sandown (515m) was at a substantially slower rate than its wins in shorter races, more so than might be expected over the longer trip. That was noticeable in the Geelong Cup, where the box positions were the reverse of Hobart and it easily beat Paw Licking and created a new record. In practical terms, the Melbourne Cup was lost by other dogs while the Geelong Cup was won by sheer brilliance.

This underlines a somewhat misleading description of such dogs as one-turn specialists. In practice, the nature of the track has little to do with it – the real answer is that they are better over the shorter trips. That’s where their speed is optimised.

There was a time when big track and circle track dogs were more clearly defined. For example, I once ran a survey of hundreds of dogs racing at each of Maitland and Wentworth Park and found that the former lot averaged 2 kg heavier – ie there was a tendency for them to be big striders, needing space to work with. Of course, that check occurred well after Harold Park had closed, but the remnants of the breeding patterns were still there in the Hunter greyhound community, and so were their big tracks. Their historical focus had been to launch them locally at Maitland and Cessnock, and then head to the wide open spaces of Harold Park. Geelong played a roughly similar role in Victoria, as did the Gold Coast in Queensland.

It seems that progress, if you can call it that, has involved an increasing preference for speed sires and speed racers, perhaps even smaller or less robust dogs (although I cannot verify that). That trend has paralleled – or prompted – a rise in the proportion of shorter races today. Yet all the big cash (except at Hobart) is being offered at circle tracks and big striders will often have problems there – at least on average (although the versatile Farmor Las Vegas is a hefty 37 kg). The Quinella dogs in the Hobart Thousand are both in the 31-32 kg range while the field averaged 33.1 kg.

To some extent, none of this is new, but it does point out that oils ain’t oils. Some dogs get around tight tracks better than others; some are the reverse, while others don’t care one way or the other. But BMO lost this race because of circumstances, not because of raw ability. Such is racing.

More widely, is this a further clue to the declining number of dogs capable of running out a distance race?


Last Thursday night posed another peculiar move. In its wisdom, GRV grabbed hold of an opportunity and rammed into the program an additional meeting at Shepparton, made up of lowly maidens and T3 campaigners. This on greyhound racing’s busiest night of the week with four capital cities racing, plus a feature night at Dapto, plus Warrnambool and Mandurah.

All told, the evening saw eight greyhound meetings, including the Hobart Thousand final and heats of the Laurels, as well as three harness and one gallops meeting in a space of five hours or so. How on earth is it possible for a punter to find his way through all that? The answer is he can’t. Clashes are unavoidable, confusion reigns, some meetings are just ignored and betting pools are diluted below the level of true interest.

Is that dilution worthwhile? If you are chasing mug gamblers alone, it probably doesn’t, as they are going to bet on something with whatever they have in their pockets. But for anyone wanting to see how the betting market develops, preferably to a high level, it is disastrous. Not only is the patronage split every which way, but it takes more time to funnel the information through the communication system and more space to display it to live customers, meaning they tend to see even smaller portions of the final pool, while race clashes are inevitable.

A minor factor complicating this process is the continued presence of Duet betting, one of the most nonsensical products ever dreamed up in racing history. Each successful gambler will end up splitting $100 or so with an unknown number of fellow gamblers, achieving a totally unpredictable dividend. It’s clearly not worth the TAB’s administrative costs in running it and it certainly diverts business from Quinella and Exacta pools which are always in need of a boost. In short, the product is a lemon. Why don’t racing administrators call for a ban?

What effect did all that have on other betting? Hard to tell but note that Paw Licking paid less on Tattsbet ($7.90) than in the other two jurisdictions. Considering the high quality of the field, the pool sizes on the Hobart Thousand were pretty ordinary, and often exceeded by week to week pools at the major tracks.

Tote Win First Four Winner Favourite
Victoria $27 515 $12 761 $11.00 $1.30
NSW $16 517 $15 349 $9.30 $1.30
TattsBet* $15 549 $22 759 $7.90 $1.40

* TattsBet covers Northern Territory, Queensland, SA and Tasmania. WA is in the Victorian pool.

Having the home track did not help TattsBet much. The high Victorian figure no doubt reflects Tasmanians deserting the local tote in favour of the more robust one in Melbourne.


Timers still wonky. Hand-timing for 484m – not noted on results page – and no sectionals. Been going on for weeks. Some modest repairs are called for, but no big money, please. The track does not meet modern standards and, in NSW’ stringent financial climate, is overdue to be amalgamated with the adjacent Lismore operation.

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