Questions need to be asked regarding Cup favourite’s performance

I HAVE now read four different accounts, including reports from the stewards and GRV, of the running of “world’s richest greyhound staying race”, the 715m Sandown Cup, and not one has discussed the abysmal performance of No Donuts (aside from a brief mention of a swab). All the stories carried not much more than good news items about the winner and its trainer.

As a $2.20 favourite, No Donuts ran an inglorious last, carrying with it some $100k-plus of punter’s cash and no-one has asked questions. No injuries were observed, no special checks during running were recorded, no interview made with the trainer, no vet check was made, yet the dog ran 13 lengths slower than in its heat win and looked like it wanted to be somewhere else – maybe out of the rain.

For yonks now I have been commenting on the Victorian stewards’ shortcomings, week after week, yet even so I have supported the continuation of their place within the existing GRV organisation rather than their removal to the upcoming tricode Victorian Racing Integrity Unit (VRUI). My confidence has been sadly misplaced. Indeed, their failure to act seriously on this occasion warrants a separate investigation itself. Justice was not “seen to be done”.

At the least, given the importance of the race, No Donuts should have been impounded for forensic examinations.

Can you imagine what would happen were thoroughbred stewards to take comparable non-action after the running of the Melbourne Cup? It does not bear thinking about.

Disclaimer: The author had no financial interest in this race – for reasons which were explained in a couple of recent articles. However, we did caution punters and the public about the risks associated with racing too frequently over longer trips, and particularly with No Donut’s irregular history, but the owner strongly disagreed. In the event we were right, he was wrong.

Revealing the Sandown Cup facts

Three distance races were run on Cup night – the Cup, a Listed race and a 4/5th Grade. The 24 runners had all competed in Cup heats a week earlier. Below is a comparison of the times they ran in the two events.

Sandown Cup
1. Who Dey – 2.7 lengths
2. Dublin Bull + 2.6 lengths
3. No Donuts + 13.0 lengths
4. Wind Whistler + 4 .0 lengths
5. Bells are Ringin – 4.1 lengths
6. Luna Jinx + 5.4 lengths
7. Zipping Kane + 5.8 lengths
8. Kilkee Flex + 3.9 lengths

Listed Cup Night Stayers
1. Mepunga Rosie + 0.4 lengths
2. Dr Leonardo + 0.9 lengths
3. Gunmetal Rebel + 14.1 lengths
4. Brazen Bomber + 8.4 lengths
5. Beks – 2.9 lengths
6. Rynos Raider – 3.4 lengths
7. Esparza + 1.9 lengths
8. Ring The Bell + 5.0 lengths

4/5th Grade
1. Springvale Bryne – 1.0 lengths
2. Tambay Bale – 1.8 lengths
3. Alpha David + 10.1 lengths
4. Aston Harvey + 8.8 lengths
5. Jaimandy Hatty + 2.8 lengths
6. Lektra Kelly + 2.4 lengths
7. Fantastic Tail + 5.4 lengths
8. Tricky Mover + 7.4 lengths

So six runners actually improved their times, including the three winners, mostly due to better boxes or comparisons with very slow runs in the heats. But 18 dogs, or 75% of the total, did worse. That is consistent with all the other studies I have done over recent years.

Conclusions

1. Most dogs cannot handle two distance races in seven days. The fact that a minority can do it is no excuse for chancing the arm in a vain hope of winning some prize money.

2. As well as running welfare risks, the practice will mislead punters.

3. Computer grading programs should be adjusted to prevent the practice.

4. Clubs should change their race programming.

5. Racing authorities should initiate studies to better determine the impact of racing more often or over longer trips.

6. They should also examine any longer term effects.

Past Discussion

  1. Great article. Highlights the dearth of knowledge at GRV board level or any in Admin to properly advise them. Time to start listening to critics not just the yes men.

  2. Great article. Highlights the dearth of knowledge at GRV board level or any in Admin to properly advise them. Time to start listening to critics not just the yes men.

  3. Well well Bruce. No surprise not a word from the snipers. Lets face it, No Donuts is a front running squib who has the heart of a goldfish when the going gets a bit tough. Breeders take note. The dribbling crap man Canty can get back to NSW and commiserate with his mates and fine upstanding gentlemen in the Brunkers, Kutnjak and Vanderberg.

  4. Well well Bruce. No surprise not a word from the snipers. Lets face it, No Donuts is a front running squib who has the heart of a goldfish when the going gets a bit tough. Breeders take note. The dribbling crap man Canty can get back to NSW and commiserate with his mates and fine upstanding gentlemen in the Brunkers, Kutnjak and Vanderberg.

  5. Bruce, the 8 runners in the Sandown Cup were 7 winners of the heats and fastest 2nd therefore the fastest 8 qualifiers from last week, With only 1 winner in the final how can the remainder of the field improve on there time from last week? Just shows how dumb you really are

  6. Bruce, the 8 runners in the Sandown Cup were 7 winners of the heats and fastest 2nd therefore the fastest 8 qualifiers from last week, With only 1 winner in the final how can the remainder of the field improve on there time from last week? Just shows how dumb you really are

  7. Bruce, back in the real world No Donuts is a dog, if you bothered to do the stats, that has a shocker habit  working against him, he tap dances  before the lids open.

    The stat on these dogs is bad enough with sprinters, but  with a sprinter/stayer such as Donuts it works in practice to discount their real percentage of winning by 33%.

    No Donuts is a lovely dog, but  he cant give away over 715m, against what was a field of good quality dogs that chase, a start and a beating, he is not an unbeatable champion, and how much of his price is actually dictated by the bookies(TAB), playing the mugs for what they are, mugs?

    His true price last week was around 9/4 if you loved the dog,  7/2 if you were confident he would be led, as wide as 7/1 if you were certain he would be led.

    Now, back in the day when there were 50 bookies at Wenty, I was the no 3 holder, and I usually opened the market. You can argue with most people, but when it comes to pricing greyhound markets, to argue against me you are going to have to state some fairly conclusive stats, and offer and argue  through a market for the rest of the field.

    Betting markets are a tool bookies use to separate mugs from their money. Only fools argue otherwise, so unless you can offer a statistical defense of your opinion, then you are being foolish.

  8. Bruce, back in the real world No Donuts is a dog, if you bothered to do the stats, that has a shocker habit  working against him, he tap dances  before the lids open.

    The stat on these dogs is bad enough with sprinters, but  with a sprinter/stayer such as Donuts it works in practice to discount their real percentage of winning by 33%.

    No Donuts is a lovely dog, but  he cant give away over 715m, against what was a field of good quality dogs that chase, a start and a beating, he is not an unbeatable champion, and how much of his price is actually dictated by the bookies(TAB), playing the mugs for what they are, mugs?

    His true price last week was around 9/4 if you loved the dog,  7/2 if you were confident he would be led, as wide as 7/1 if you were certain he would be led.

    Now, back in the day when there were 50 bookies at Wenty, I was the no 3 holder, and I usually opened the market. You can argue with most people, but when it comes to pricing greyhound markets, to argue against me you are going to have to state some fairly conclusive stats, and offer and argue  through a market for the rest of the field.

    Betting markets are a tool bookies use to separate mugs from their money. Only fools argue otherwise, so unless you can offer a statistical defense of your opinion, then you are being foolish.

  9. Bradcanty You are a dead set clown Candy Man. Do you know anything about greyhound racing, apart from dubious betting activities? It is possible, but unlikely, for every dog in a final to improve their (not there, brain wave) time. The dog that improves the most is most likely the winner. Cant you see that? If not go take up dominos.

  10. Bradcanty You are a dead set clown Candy Man. Do you know anything about greyhound racing, apart from dubious betting activities? It is possible, but unlikely, for every dog in a final to improve their (not there, brain wave) time. The dog that improves the most is most likely the winner. Cant you see that? If not go take up dominos.

  11. Well written Jeff, couldn’t have had a worse draw outside 2 and drawn nearer the fence but tab still only want to go up 1.85, spot on with your price assessment

  12. Well written Jeff, couldn’t have had a worse draw outside 2 and drawn nearer the fence but tab still only want to go up 1.85, spot on with your price assessment

  13. trained many stayers and except for the top class ones like No Donuts, most wouldn’t stay 700 unless they were racing every week and they win after consistent racing . Just be same as many 500 m dogs, they get fit through racing week in and week out . How many stayers or for that many any greyhounds have you trained Bruce ? You have lost the plot on this one Bruce

  14. trained many stayers and except for the top class ones like No Donuts, most wouldn’t stay 700 unless they were racing every week and they win after consistent racing . Just be same as many 500 m dogs, they get fit through racing week in and week out . How many stayers or for that many any greyhounds have you trained Bruce ? You have lost the plot on this one Bruce

  15. Tony

    How is your 5 year suspension going for gearing up dogs ?

    Have you paid mr john Stephens the ,000 you owe him ?

    Has sal pernas office or the police been in contact with you for publishing illegally obtained footage which is a crime ? It’s only a matter of time before they all go knock knock.

    I’m not sure who to believe here on all things greyhounds ? The 2 leading punters that can earn 7 figures betting on greyhounds or the destitutes wanting their say.

    As every bookmaker will tell you, the beauty of this game that is racing, is that every person has an opinion, and every person knows how to find a winner. The reality is that most have shit for brains and are clueless. Bruce, your only hope is the new management at GRV because the last management used to ridicule every email you sent them and rightfully so.

  16. What a load of dribble.. Punting is not chess  and there is more to form than times. Especially over the distance. Once the box draw came out No Donuts was a 3-1 chance.  drawn outside the checks. It is also obvious to anyone who follows dogs that over 700 the dog must be racing  near the lead, and once he wasnt he was millions.

    I think your right Bruce. You are a modest punter

  17. Bruce, I have agreed and disagreed with you on a few issues, but you are outnumbered on this one.

    If Anthony Azzopardy could be bothered to debate you in these columns I know who I would be listening to.

    Give it up Bruce.

  18. Wrong on all counts Davis, If you think keeping a bitch off season is gearing up dogs you have shit for brains. No one has knocked on my door about anything. In fact I am in contact with the new CEO on an as needed basis and he acts on my recommendations.  As he did over the Brad Keel video.

  19. jeff holland what a joke greyhound racing is going down hill fast very fast  no bookies on track or 1 at most bush tracks that want to bet over 200%  tell me how a dog that runs last 4 of its previous 5 and beaten allmost 80 lengths can go up 5/2 please explain and in the bush allso we have paul wheeler and family running the industry with out there 500 or so greyhounds how many full fields  will we have form guides cant even get info right and we wonder why people are leaving the industry in numbers as regards to azzopardi was no real suprise no donuts did nothing most of his dogs are very hard to follow  bookies u say seperate  the markets to get the mugs in what a joke most bookies dont have the balls to take a real bet if they did mayb we would still have them on track

  20. Race 5 – UBET Gold Cup Bne 710 (G1) H 8:08 PM OPENH 710 Metres -1170-585 Box   Last 4 Greyhound Trainer Best Time T/D
    8125 KILKEE FLEX Peter Dapiran NBT
    3111 MY BOY BRODIE Trevor Rice NBT
    4636 GOLFING AMY Michael Brauer 42.10
    2431 TREBLIG LUCIA Garry Gilbert NBT
    6222 VEGAS BOUND Tony Apap 42.08
    4118 NO DONUTS Anthony Azzopardi NBT
    1357 SPLIT SYSTEM Darren Makowiecki NBT
    2788 TRON BRADMAN Tom Tzouvelis 43.31

    Bruce No Donuts is backing up again after 7 days and has to fly to Brisbane also in between, what is your theory with this situation? LAY LAY LAY?

  21. Bruce, the article you should have written here based on this story and others you have written on the performance of stayers is one based on just how much dogs are losing through the first bend when trapped wide outside of dogs that can run time for at least the first 300m.

    So many of the tracks are designed for the main distance, with obviously not much thought given to the run to what is the first bend for stayers, but the 3rd bend for sprinters.

    The damage done to the chances of not just No Donuts, but also Zipping Kane by Dublin Bull shows the importance of reading the interference at the first bend even more closely than sprint races. Distance events are in many cases like races on u-turns, because the interference happens so far away from either where people stand to watch the race, or from the camera, that feeling we have for judging the interference is lost.

    Growing up I hung around quite a lot of professional punters/trainers, and they all had a common habit, they went around to the top turn to watch for themselves the 720m starts, they didnt trust the video replay to inform them as to what was happening.

    At Sandown if you can read that a dog is going to get trapped wide, checked and will run off(which on these banked tracks involves running uphill), those dogs are going to lose a lot of momentum and use up a lot of their limited energy.

    Safe tracks arent always fair.