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 …
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).