Scientific research will improve our knowledge on over racing

IT WAS good to see that many people are interested in the debate about over-racing. They included a response from a reader about Gracas King which is worth thinking about. However, he should note that the dog had had two runs over the subject distance (both wins) prior to the Geelong meeting, not just one. And, while two dogs hassling each other for the lead will slow them down a bit, that effect must be compared with the extra energy a dog would use while on its own in front, and therefore galloping at a higher speed – particularly when it is racing towards the end of its comfort zone.

Unfortunately, the other respondents either forgot what the subject was, ignored the facts or just decided to shoot the messenger. Such is life.

But perhaps the variety of opinions emphasises the point I have been making – there is a degree of uncertainty which should be addressed. As in any walk of life, one person will know more about particular aspects of a greyhound’s working life than others. The next guy will be better placed to discuss different aspects. This is precisely why dogs change hands on occasions.

For my part, I could not train a dog to save my life but I do have the ability to compare and analyse career performances for some 40,000 dogs at all Australian tracks – and that’s just for recent years (I have archived the earlier stuff)..

Meantime, it is worth repeating what I have been calling for over several years – the creation of independent expert panels to scientifically review and report on …

  • The extent and impact of high frequency racing, especially over longer trips
  • The state of the breed – trends, good, bad and risky
  • Desirable design criteria for tracks and related equipment
  • Short of studies like those, the industry will continue to rely on guesswork and opinions, as it has done for the last 80 years or so. Moreover, they will probably vary from one state to another, thereby creating more confusion for customers who now could not care less where the dogs are racing. Can we afford that?

    As matter of interest, it’s not just greyhounds which are running short on the knowledge front. Here is a quote from Matt Nicholls of Justracing.com (26 March), talking about the gallops in the aftermath of the cobalt scandals.

    “It’s amazing that with hundreds of millions of dollars of turnover in the Australian racing industry, more money hasn’t been allocated for independent scientific research.”

    It ain’t easy

    Noting all the crook prices around these days it seemed useful to highlight how the better dogs are doing. I picked out three of the top ones and looked at their last 10 starts, assuming a $1 investment on each (prior to Thursday’s races).

    Past Discussion

    1. Well you are right Bruce. There was 2 runs over a similiar distance, not one. I apologise, but I still stand by what I said about the pressure in that race. 
      Take a look at both those wins at 450m. What do they have in common? No pressure. Just a stroll in the park on the bunny, solo trialling. The first run was in a 4 dog race full of average animals. That was a free win as the $1.10 alluded too. Although not brilliant to begin, showed dazzling turn of foot and clear run saw him take the lead shortly after the start and do as he liked at Ballarat. Both slick wins.

      Take a look at his “failures” – His two previous failures (Prior to Geelong) came off the back of 2 WEEK breaks. So we cant use over-raced as an excuse in these particular examples. What was the defining reason. Slow to begin and had to use up his juice to push through packs. Which then at the tail end of the race, his tank was empty. This was exceptionally notable in his Maitland failure. 

      I have no doubt in my mind, that if SHARED BONUS was not in the race and they did not rape each other THE ENTIRE RACE, GRACAS KING wins COMFORTABLY beating Elfen Bale. In fact, the end time was 25.8 or close which although not as fast as he (GRACAS KING) can go, FAR from disgraceful still.

      I see no reason why anything else should be looked into the run and to put it down to over-raced is completely silly in my opinion. Other dogs, maybe who knows. But to use this example was wrong IMO.

      Speaking of over-racing. Elfen Bale, after what I would say was a lacklustre run at Sandown, although chased the whole way in a moderate 30.06 ( This is a dog who has run 30 flat at Meadows), travelled interstate to NSW and raced less than 48hours later and turned in a ultra gutsy 29.90 win defeating one of the queens of Wenty, first look at the track on a wet night. So what can we say about that. :o

    2. Well you are right Bruce. There was 2 runs over a similiar distance, not one. I apologise, but I still stand by what I said about the pressure in that race. 

      Take a look at both those wins at 450m. What do they have in common? No pressure. Just a stroll in the park on the bunny, solo trialling. The first run was in a 4 dog race full of average animals. That was a free win as the .10 alluded too. Although not brilliant to begin, showed dazzling turn of foot and clear run saw him take the lead shortly after the start and do as he liked at Ballarat. Both slick wins.

      Take a look at his “failures” – His two previous failures (Prior to Geelong) came off the back of 2 WEEK breaks. So we cant use over-raced as an excuse in these particular examples. What was the defining reason. Slow to begin and had to use up his juice to push through packs. Which then at the tail end of the race, his tank was empty. This was exceptionally notable in his Maitland failure. 

      I have no doubt in my mind, that if SHARED BONUS was not in the race and they did not rape each other THE ENTIRE RACE, GRACAS KING wins COMFORTABLY beating Elfen Bale. In fact, the end time was 25.8 or close which although not as fast as he (GRACAS KING) can go, FAR from disgraceful still.

      I see no reason why anything else should be looked into the run and to put it down to over-raced is completely silly in my opinion. Other dogs, maybe who knows. But to use this example was wrong IMO.

      Speaking of over-racing. Elfen Bale, after what I would say was a lacklustre run at Sandown, although chased the whole way in a moderate 30.06 ( This is a dog who has run 30 flat at Meadows), travelled interstate to NSW and raced less than 48hours later and turned in a ultra gutsy 29.90 win defeating one of the queens of Wenty, first look at the track on a wet night. So what can we say about that. :o