WA Recognises A Problem

WA authorities have recognised a longstanding trend in Australian greyhound racing and have now implemented a plan for “INDUSTRY REVITALISATION” because they are running out of dogs.

We have been banging on about this for some years now, only to see other state authorities go in the opposite direction or, as we suggested in a recent article, “whistling on the way through the cemetery”.

A GWA statement says that “Some of the amendments to Grading Policy have been implemented as part of a revitalization concept for the WA Greyhound Racing Industry; the major issues being the current difficulties being experienced in sourcing quality interstate racing stock and the ever-increasing reliance on short-course chasing in WA”.

Let’s re-state the position; the nation has run out of dogs, or at least competitive ones. Breeding has been on the decline, more races have been added, city races now include Novice or Maiden greyhounds, provincial meetings embrace more short course events, and around a quarter of all races start with empty boxes.

One outcome has been that outgraded dogs in the east are no longer flowing over to WA and those that are on offer are just not worth paying good money for. A longstanding pattern is coming to a halt. The cause and effect is obvious.

This is a natural issue for Greyhounds Australasia to look into, providing it fits into its self-imposed narrow charter. The shortage of starters is of national importance. The basic structure of racing and the strategies the code adopts are now critical to its future, especially if it wants to achieve a degree of excellence.

The WA solution, if it can be called that, is to reduce the entry barriers for imported dogs. Relatively, a higher graded dog from the east will be able to run in a lesser event in WA. That is not excellence but amounts to a reduction in the quality of the average race. But it is no less than has already occurred in the east.

Already Queensland has possibly a bigger problem than WA but the new management seems to think that throwing more cash at the issue will solve all the ills. It won’t. Paying higher prize money will simply put it on a par with NSW, for example, meaning no fresh blood is likely to move north. In any event, as WA is finding out, the other states are short themselves. And in both cases, if we are not breeding more dogs, where can the growth originate?

On a brighter note, the WA government has now approved the allocation of $13 million to finalise the funding for the new Cannington track complex. A sigh of relief for all!

MYSTERY BETS

Dogs were not the only competitors in Perth at the Nationals. With impeccable timing, it is possible there was also a meeting of Greyhounds Australasia Ltd at the same time. We can’t be absolutely sure of that as our national body operates very much in the background, keeping itself to itself.

The GAL team comprises 11 members plus 6 alternates from various states, and possibly the odd helper or spouse. Doing some quick sums to work out what they paid to get there we consulted our favourite travel agent and learnt that four-day trips to Perth from Sydney, including accommodation, go for between $900 and $1,400 depending on the quality of your pub. Economy class air travel and twin share, of course. Those figures would go up or down a bit for trippers from other places, and with or without spouses or offsiders.

Adding in the cost of meals and “ahem”, incidentals, would bump up the average considerably and so would using business class instead of economy.

Even allowing for some locals taking part, it seems probable that upwards of $25,000 of punters’ money was invested in the talkfest. So was it worth it?

Well, we would expect to hear about three things, at a minimum:

(a) The agenda,
(b) A brief summary of discussions on each subject, and
(c) A list of decisions taken.

All that would help us understand how the industry is going and what great plans are in mind for the future. We might even hear about why the 2011 industry statistics have not been updated. It would be a bit like the quarterly statements we get from Tabcorp, Tatts, Qantas, Virgin, BHP, the Federal Treasurer or any company you might like to name.

So, what did we get? Nothing, actually. Zero. Zilch. Not a very good return on our investment, is it? We are not even sure they met, but they do it four times a year.

VIEWING PUZZLES

Sandown stewards are still besotted with the “crossing to the rail” syndrome but continue to get it wrong. See their comments on the meeting on 4 September. (Box numbers added here).

Race 8
“Dyna Beth (4) crossed to the rail soon after the start, checking Jewel Bale (3) and Ozzie Bullet (2)”.

No. If Dyna Beth brushed the slow-beginning Jewel Bale, and I don’t think it did, it was very minor and of no importance. It had no effect whatsoever on Ozzie Bullet.

Race 12
“Praise Chorus (5) crossed to the rail soon after the start, checking Young Hawek (sic) (3) and Big Bad Tom (4)”.

No again. Never touched them. By the time they got to the judge Praise Chorus was still outside another runner. It did not get to the rail until well around the corner.

THE BIG QUESTIONS

How will Xylia Allen’s and Sweet It Is’ relative times compare in the heats of the Chairman’s Cup at Wentworth Park tomorrow? How well has Xylia Allen recovered from the gutbuster at Cannington two weeks ago? If they both get through to the final, how will they take the shortish seven-day break? And will a refreshed Dusty Moonshine scupper them both – it’s in Xylia Allen’s heat and will also have to endure the short break which worried it last time.

And I am still waiting for someone to explain why Sweet It Is started at odds-on against the better performed Xylia Allen in Perth – after opening very short two days prior on Fixed Odds books. And how did Sweet It Is exceeded all its previous form in that near record run?

Let’s also remember that in their previous battle in the Victorian run-off on August 17 Xylia Allen beat Sweet It Is by 3.5 lengths.

Past Discussion

  1. You cant be serious Bruce. It was already explained in your article “the long distance runner” and that article was not up to scratch and you have replied with a similar post (RE: The big questions). I commented there and will comment again.

    Lets look at the Victorian final which was basically the lead up to the
    final. Xylia Allen had the greatest draw on earth with Echolonic Action
    holding every dog outside of it up giving Xylia the absolute gun run.
    Margin 3.5L. Sweet it is lost 5 to 6L in running. Did you take this into
    account ?? I dont think so. Margin for improvement given she was second
    up from a 2 months spell ?? I dont think you took this into account. That is where the difference is. Go back and do the video for the Victorian final and count the lengths lost by Sweet It is and look at the saloon passage Xylia got through. Its not rocket science.

    Then have a look at the box draw in the final with Sweet It IS needing to draw out wide to stop the railers going across her face. Box draw perfect. The box draw really suited Sweet it is with connections praying that
    she drew out wide with Xylia Allen unsuitably drawn on her inside to
    carve across. 8 and 7 was preferred but alas 7 and 6 was next best. The
    red looked the likely leader and wag tail was a chance of kicking up and
    worrying Xylia Allen. 
    Sweet It is Monday trial at cannington over 530m was awesome on a bog
    track. But most importantly she was put up the wrong odds. Probably
    because the peanuts around the country working for the tab and the
    corporates for absolute minimum wage, framed the market looking at the
    race the same way as you. 
    Dont forget the DMAC factor – obviously the difference between winning
    and losing. Did you take this into account ?? A horrible mistake on
    yours and the peanuts working for the TAB.
    This is what the market should have looked like in the final. This was most important. This is why every man and his dog stepped in and knocked the fleabags off their stands. 

    Painted Dotty – 501
    Wag Tail – 5.5
    Ash Flash – 51
    Bingle Monelli – 41
    Token McLaren – 51
    Xylia Allen – 2.8
    Sweet It Is – 1.60
    Queen Marina – 501
    The
    TAB have a database of smart punters and a workforce of exactly the
    opposite. Hence why the avalanche of support. She was a moral at the
    price and this was justified. 
    You said she had consistently run about 42.00 or 42.10 at Sandown. On 01/05 in the Lizrene she ran equivalent to 41:40ish give or take a tenth in a group 3 final running what was one of the best runs ever seen. She has had 10 starts for 5 wins and 5 seconds with 3 group 1 wins for DMAC. 2 Group 1 wins going into Perth. 
    OBVIOUS to everyone i know
    OBLIVIOUS to everyone that doesn’t know.

  2. You cant be serious Bruce. It was already explained in your article “the long distance runner” and that article was not up to scratch and you have replied with a similar post (RE: The big questions). I commented there and will comment again.

    Lets look at the Victorian final which was basically the lead up to the final. Xylia Allen had the greatest draw on earth with Echolonic Action holding every dog outside of it up giving Xylia the absolute gun run. Margin 3.5L. Sweet it is lost 5 to 6L in running. Did you take this into account ?? I dont think so. Margin for improvement given she was second up from a 2 months spell ?? I dont think you took this into account. That is where the difference is. Go back and do the video for the Victorian final and count the lengths lost by Sweet It is and look at the saloon passage Xylia got through. Its not rocket science.

    Then have a look at the box draw in the final with Sweet It IS needing to draw out wide to stop the railers going across her face. Box draw perfect. The box draw really suited Sweet it is with connections praying that she drew out wide with Xylia Allen unsuitably drawn on her inside to carve across. 8 and 7 was preferred but alas 7 and 6 was next best. The red looked the likely leader and wag tail was a chance of kicking up and worrying Xylia Allen. 

    Sweet It is Monday trial at cannington over 530m was awesome on a bog track. But most importantly she was put up the wrong odds. Probably because the peanuts around the country working for the tab and the corporates for absolute minimum wage, framed the market looking at the race the same way as you. 

    Dont forget the DMAC factor – obviously the difference between winning and losing. Did you take this into account ?? A horrible mistake on yours and the peanuts working for the TAB.

    This is what the market should have looked like in the final. This was most important. This is why every man and his dog stepped in and knocked the fleabags off their stands. 

    Painted Dotty – 501

    Wag Tail – 5.5

    Ash Flash – 51

    Bingle Monelli – 41

    Token McLaren – 51

    Xylia Allen – 2.8

    Sweet It Is – 1.60

    Queen Marina – 501

    The TAB have a database of smart punters and a workforce of exactly the opposite. Hence why the avalanche of support. She was a moral at the price and this was justified. 

    You said she had consistently run about 42.00 or 42.10 at Sandown. On 01/05 in the Lizrene she ran equivalent to 41:40ish give or take a tenth in a group 3 final running what was one of the best runs ever seen. She has had 10 starts for 5 wins and 5 seconds with 3 group 1 wins for DMAC. 2 Group 1 wins going into Perth. 

    OBVIOUS to everyone i know

    OBLIVIOUS to everyone that doesn’t know.

  3. Another thought provoking article from Bruce. Especially in regards to Greyhounds Australasia.
    Where is their (GA) foresight? Do they have their own strategic plan?
    What powers do they have?
    What do they actually do?
    Most importantly who represents them and therefore the participants they are supposed to represent?
    Kevin Pitstock
    Damien Oborne

  4. Another thought provoking article from Bruce. Especially in regards to Greyhounds Australasia.Where is their (GA) foresight? Do they have their own strategic plan?What powers do they have?What do they actually do?Most importantly who represents them and therefore the participants they are supposed to represent? Kevin PitstockDamien Oborne