Busting the wastage of non-performing greyhounds lie

ONE of the big lies being spread by the NSW premier and his coterie of political ‘yes’ persons and drawn from the information contained in the McHugh report is that greyhounds are being killed or ‘wasted’ if they are not fast enough to be competitive. Basically, so the line seems to go, if a greyhound fails to earn its keep then in the majority of cases it is sent off to be euthanized.

While it is true that some chasers have been put down because they aren’t much good on the racetrack, even the most cursory glance through almost any form guide from any race meeting you care to name across the country will reveal an incredibly large number of starters who can in no way be considered to be earning their keep.

Yet week after week the owners and trainers of these poor conveyances turn up and race their charges, you would think more in hope of a lucky break than any real thought that their chaser is suddenly going to grow another leg and become the next Zoom Top, Rapid Journey or Fernando Bale.

City race meetings are generally considered to be where the best chasers race. So, it would stand to reason that if there are clearly a number of starters competing at a city-class meeting which could be regarded as failing to pay their way, then widening the net to look at TAB-class and non-TAB-class meetings would reveal even greater numbers of what could be regarded as relative ‘failures’ on the racetrack.

As an exercise I decided to trawl through the form guides for the Saturday night main city meeting at The Meadows on September 3 and then looked at Canberra (TAB) and Muswellbrook (Non-TAB) for September 4.

As any regular greyhound racing follower might expect, it wasn’t hard to find a lot of starters whose racing records are at the lower end of the consistency scale and whose earnings are well below subsistence level. It’s also an exercise that I could replicate every day of the week.

Dusty Roy: 24 starts, two wins, 12 placings $6,935 at $289 (per start)
College Graduate: 85 starts, two wins, 19 placings $6,910 at $81
Roadrunner Thief: 39 starts, three wins, four placings $2,465 at $63
Sunday Sess: 76 starts, four wins, eight placings $8,348 at $110
Gia: 57 starts, five wins, 19 placings $15,825 at $278
Serena Bernea: 75 starts, six wins, 25 placings $10,773 at $144
Craze’s Gift: 21 starts, two wins, five placings $1,310 at $62
One For Anne: 62 starts, three wins, 25 placings $12,601 at $203
Rocky’s Empire: 15 starts, one win, seven placings $2,840 at $189
Ragnarok: 43 starts, four wins, 18 placings $5,361 at $125
Cape Skyblue: 24 starts, two wins, five placings $1,290 at $54
Myalla Griffo: 61 starts, four wins, 22 placings $6,320 at $104
Angry Annie: 18 starts, one win, eight placings $1,870 at $104
Cranky Snagrow: 59 starts, three wins, 15 placings $4,365 at $74
Hillbilly Jo: 17 starts, one win, five placings $860 at $51
Watta Miss: 31 starts, one win, 10 placings $1,225 at $40
Kim Can Dashian: 49 starts, three wins, 13 placings $4,150 at $85
Connie Bear: 75 starts, three wins, 14 placings $4,430 at $59
Chasing Action: 31 starts, one win, 11 placings $1,865 at $60

The message that comes out loud and clear to me from this quick exercise and the above 19 starters is there are plenty of people who race greyhounds for the sheer enjoyment of the sport.

All those greyhounds mentioned above are never likely to make headlines in the racing press, but to me they represent great examples of why greyhound racing is such a wonderful sport for so many people across the nation.

These chasers simply aren’t fast enough in most races to be genuinely competitive, but every now and again they get a break and occasionally break through for a win or pick up a few dollars for their owners by running a place. I would imagine most are destined for the family couch at the end of their careers.

It’s also why people like Mike Baird, Troy Grant, Pru Goward and their ilk can never get their heads around the greyhound racing scene and the people involved in it, because they can’t believe there are people who actually engage in activities which don’t necessarily involve turning a profit at every turn of the annual balance sheet.

Past Discussion

  1. Thank you Duncan you have summed it up beautifully- there are runners week in and week out that their owners know will never make them money but love and feed them anyway.  I have a couple myself grand total of in prize money but will have a good home till the end of their days.

  2. As pets Greyhound demand very little, our Staffy is full on yet Pixie the greyhound chills out and just needs a kind word and a cuddle and a seat at the table to feel included that’s why they are so loveable, a walk and a cuddle is all that is required and that is for me and the dog.

  3. Todman  You cannot give some one a cuddle on the internet so I gave you a like instead- you will have to take yourself for a walk with the dogs.

  4. You are absolutely correct about these people thinking only about money. Prepared to demonise decent greyhound people, force many to give up their dogs, have no income or any joy and passion in their lives for a LAND GRAB without compensation. I have never seen anything quite as disgusting as this campaign against ordinary decent people in Australia.

    As for some of the Animal Activists well they have closed most of the mental health facilities and programmes in NSW as well and now we have these nutters not just roaming the streets but parking their arses in parliament.

  5. One of the comments Mike Baird made for closing down greyhound racing was that it was not viable for the participants anyway, he could not understand why they would bother. 

    Massive losses by the thoroughbred industry participants are apparently a welcome tax dodge but that’s acceptable, he understands.

  6. lone widow  You made me laugh out loud at that one. No he doesn’t understand passion, joy, excitement, the company of decent people with a similar passion-  no way would he understand any of that. In fact I think that he is suffering from a syndrome known as PFB- poo for brains.

  7. Duncan,

    I think that anyone as excitable about accepting without question emotive burley on greyhound welfare like the council assisting the commissioner needed to be kept on a short leash. The commissioner failed to do this and instead appeared to rubber stamp every uttering from the council assisting molars braking the unoffending air. History has a record of special commission and Royal commissions into racing being thrown into drawers for a couple of years because the nature of the commissions requires evidence rules to be broken to get an understanding of the situation. The UK royal commission recommending the banning of greyhound tote wagering stayed locked up for two years and then the parliament overturned the recommendation. The longer this debate goes the worse the Government will look. The government is racing in top gear and the greyhounds are not out of first gear yet.

    This is the greatest mess in Australian Political history, I was a part of the prosecution in the previous record mess _”Labelled the Greek conspiracy” and I am happy to hand over the title to others.

  8. John Tracey  Yes the council assisting the commissioner was the talk of a lot of legal insiders- his enthusiasm and his view that this was “his” commission. I always thought he just took over and McHugh did not play the main role. Nasty little man and his opening statement could hardly be described as unbiased.

  9. Deborah555 John Tracey The council assisting  was exactly the same at the ICAC inquiry 2000 into the corruption and bribery o a public official and he turned the inquiry half into welfare issues around the lab and the unauthorised drug profiling being carried out without accreditation. The CEO of the control board (who acted in good faith) had to show cause why he should not be charged under a criminal act carrying a two year maximum sentence and the commissioner of ICAC made an oblique recommendation for the authority to check its options on the employment of a lab (value for money. The commissioner recognised that the greyhound people loved their dogs.

    The ernest drivings of the council assisting did not make the press as the sensational stuff was elsewhere and he was making sense anyway just going on forever.

  10. lone widow I had the same experience with one of my friends who said they should close down greyhound racing because the participants put on their dogs at 4s which should be 25.and they cost a lot to run. (He comes sway on bush trips). All sports and arts enterprises only have about a 1.8% active participant event capacity  over the a working wage. and at one stage the greyhounds had an abs statistic of 2% was slightly higher than average. Generally these things follow the bell curve graph  of normal distributions.

  11. Deborah555 John Tracey Dr John would be delighted with the council assisting ,one wonders how he assisted the Dr  in many different ways , its been said by many, they where close?

  12. I read an article today in a British newspaper where one of the most vocal anti greyhound people said the last thing she wanted was a sudden closure as this would result in rehoming places being overwhelmed and many dogs would be put down. Some of the pollies in NSW should have thought of this as well and they would have if their reasons for banning greyhound racing was actually about animals welfare. Yes they will be praying everyone keeps their dogs and a lot will but nobody can afford to feed 20 or 30 dogs as pets with no race money. The old ones that everyone has and feeds with race money including unplaced prize money are in trouble.  Already rehoming places are screaming for help even to the point of saying we do not want any criticism of greyhound people we just need a hand. Motivated by animal welfare- bullshit. Motivated by political opportunism that doesn’t seem to be going real well at the moment.

  13. PS The person was commenting when asked about would the UK anti greyhound people be following NSW’s lead. So even a spokesperson for the anti racing crowd think Baird and Grant have done a poor job.