UNABLE to find my usual Horsham fields this Tuesday I suddenly realised that Warrnambool had taken over to run their annual picnic race meetings, titled the Warrnambool Classic, spread over 14 heats on Tuesday and Wednesday with semis and final to follow. 109 dogs have been drawn.
Like getting your kid into kindergarten, this requires owners to put the names down at birth and pay out some hundreds of dollars in entry fees on the way to the race. The end prize is nice but the odds against getting it are enormous.
To some extent this system parallels Maiden Auction series run at Ipswich and Dapto. They are lotteries. Still, at least the Auction series are aimed at the future.
Anyway, the outcomes at Warrnambool are always the same. A few decent dogs win through while the rest are trying to beat the ambulance home, so to speak. Presumably, owners like the drama but betting is modest at best and invariably lopsided with a majority of very short odds-on pops – probably too short, actually.
This year 18 of the 109 starters were still maidens and 21 had won just the single race, even though several have had 30 to 50 attempts.
In general, the series is no more exciting than watching the Lotto draw on TV.
Now the above numbers were taken from the full GRV formguide on Monday, prior to the Tuesday meeting. No reserves were listed. However, on checking for scratchings on the day we found out that two reserves were added to 11 of the 12 heats and both got a run – in races three and seven. Very peculiar!
However, that meant the adjusted numbers were 104 total runners, 12 maidens and 14 with the single win under their belt.
In any event, trying to do the form under these conditions would be a thankless task so I will give the whole thing a big miss.
It is always good to see clubs trying for more interesting challenges but this one does not work. Some owners and trainers may like it but it does not meet sensible customer expectations and should be dumped.
Not so beautiful today
The odds of getting hold of the $10 million promised long ago for a new track in Southeast Queensland are getting longer. The Gold Coast replacement will be even more difficult to organise as the state is having terrible trouble keeping its head above water. Its debt is already the highest of all the states and it has lost its AAA credit rating, which makes borrowing more expensive.
The temporary but highly-paid Racing CEO (an accountant from KPMG) is unpopular and making no headway. The new Racing Minister has no idea about racing and is under fire for putting up “mates” for jobs on the proposed new board.
The state government’s latest brainwave is to merge two of its state-owned electricity companies but it will not allow any redundancies following union pressure. Instead, it is to create a retail organisation using surplus electricians and send them out to sell and install solar panels and the like to householders. The number of permissible units in each street is limited so that means all the private contractors now doing that job will have their viability at risk.
There are more jobs, though. The public service is now being expanded to levels not seen since the Bligh administration. Efficiencies built up while the LNP were in charge have been lost.
Incidentally, do you know that the state government once owned 90 butcher shops and was involved in retail activity with beer, timber and fish? Only in Queensland!
Very quick indeed
We must mention a maiden win by Burn One Down (Buck Fever x Fancy Jaffa) at Sandown on Sunday last in the extraordinary time of 29.16, which is rarely bettered in top quality races. The second dog was 18 lengths away yet Burn One Down did not get to the lead until midway along the back straight.
Interest was piqued because this was in a Restricted Win (0-1 wins) event and Burn One Down was a veteran of three previous runs – all bad – yet started at $1.60. Presumably someone noted the J. Thompson dog trial privately somewhere. That would have been nice to know.
Buck Fever was all the rage a few years ago after it broke the Bathurst track record. Fancy Jaffa has thrown several Group winners.
Race 1 The Meadows, April 16.
“Blue Surfonic crossed to the rail approaching the first turn checking Milestone.”
This never happened. Blue Surfonic was always clear and continued to race in the centre of the track. Milestone suffered no interference.
“Noosa Jet crossed to the rail soon after the start checking Nockabout Aussie and Dr. Toretto.”
Never happened. The other two were slow to begin, particularly Nockabout Aussie. Noosa Jet was always in front of them and clear.
“Stewards issued a warning to Trainer, Mr J. Borg, regarding the greyhound’s (Jalapeno Flash) racing manners on the second turn.”
Hullo! Jalapeno Flash ran smack into the backside of another runner. Not a good idea, but hardly illegal.