Greyhound numbers are down – stop laughing, this is serious

IT ALL brings to mind that world famous cartoon by Stan Cross in 1933 in The Smiths Weekly (long since defunct). It depicts two workers, one with his trousers fallen, hanging by their fingernails from a broken girder on a high rise construction site and one telling the other “For gorsake stop laughing, this is serious”.

But in greyhound racing it’s not the live baiting, and not the viability challenge voiced by Paul Newson, interim CEO of GRNSW.

The real problem is we are running out of dogs. Without raw material, the sport is in a risky position.

This is nothing new but it has suddenly become more extreme, at least in NSW.

For the first time in living memory, or probably ever, last Saturday nine of ten races at Wentworth Park started with a short field. The lone 720-metre event attracted only five runners. The Friday meeting was not much better, with six short fields.

There is no obvious reason for the poor performance. A simultaneous meeting at Richmond had full fields but apart from the Oaks final, none were guilty of diverting custom from Wenty. Ditto for The Gardens, which also operates on Saturday evening.

Likewise, other states had no great pulling power. The WA Derby did not seem to affect NSW dogs, nor the few good races in Melbourne city last week.

Indeed, some of these also have problems. Looking back over the last four months, here is the average number of short fields in the main weekly meetings:

Past Discussion

  1. The dog numbers may be down but that could be down to recent over breeding that has gone on for several years. Hopefully people are finally realising that to breed from a bitch that has had 25 races for 1 win and 1 second on a country track and asking $2,000 wont work and should not have been bred with in the first place no matter what her breeding was or who she was mated with.
    Lets hope we will start getting breeders to limit breeding to tried bitches that have at least 50% 1st and 2nd before breeding and charge $5,000 + per pup. Along with this we need a higher standard of break in facilities where they take longer and check the dog every week to ensure its not sore. If it costs more then so be it, then people wont treat them as a commodity like some top breeders do.

    What’s wrong with a six dog field they do in Ireland and the UK and its successful, keeps injuries down and extends the dogs racing career. Punters will bet on anything, I mean for goodness sake they must sit up and watch the trots from Scandinavia and bet on it!

  2. The dog numbers may be down but that could be down to recent over breeding that has gone on for several years. Hopefully people are finally realising that to breed from a bitch that has had 25 races for 1 win and 1 second on a country track and asking ,000 wont work and should not have been bred with in the first place no matter what her breeding was or who she was mated with.

    Lets hope we will start getting breeders to limit breeding to tried bitches that have at least 50% 1st and 2nd before breeding and charge ,000 + per pup. Along with this we need a higher standard of break in facilities where they take longer and check the dog every week to ensure its not sore. If it costs more then so be it, then people wont treat them as a commodity like some top breeders do.

    What’s wrong with a six dog field they do in Ireland and the UK and its successful, keeps injuries down and extends the dogs racing career. Punters will bet on anything, I mean for goodness sake they must sit up and watch the trots from Scandinavia and bet on it!

  3. Mwk Not sure if there’s more, I know at Shepperton there were two dogs marring and third caught up in it. If it is happening more in SA it would be interesting how many of them have a certain race name!

  4. Mwk Not sure if there’s more, I know at Shepperton there were two dogs marring and third caught up in it. If it is happening more in SA it would be interesting how many of them have a certain race name!

  5. This is whats wrong with your head, and your industry Bruce.

    Without raw material, the sport is in a risky position.”


    Greyhounds are NOT “Raw Material” They are not inanimate ingredients in inanimate product. They are mammals like us. They are living breathing, feeling creatures that deserve our respect and when needed – hence the greyhound advocacy movement – our protection.


    Its dinosoaurs like you that will bring down the industry Bruce, with your archaic and heartless attitudes.


    Stop living in the long distant past and at least get your language acceptable for modern, mainstream times.