Is Anyone Counting?

Where would you take your overseas visitor for a punt on Wednesdays?

Apart from , there were 77 dog races yesterday. Half of those were for maidens or squibs over short distances, many with bend starts. Happily, there were no all-maiden meetings but they are quite common, particularly in .

21 of the 77 were Non Penalty races, some with further limitations of the number of past wins. For the most part, anything with NP against it means lower quality. What is the point of NP races anyway? Are they a bribe to obtain more nominations, a means to reward struggling trainers, a sop to crook dogs, or just an admission that the grading system is no good? Only 8 of 36 Victorian races were normal graded events. At , 6 of 11 races were NP. These are the two states using the NP system, while also has a unique Grade 6 for youngsters.

Quite a few favourites won, so someone must have known what was going on. But a great many did not. Good luck finding out which was which. And there was a handful of good runs, notably at . But mostly it was rubbish. Currently, Mondays, Tuesdays and Sundays are no different.

Even tonight, Thursday, the Brisbane club has given way to for a special occasion – a Maiden final. Local trainers love these because there is a bundle of money involved. For punters they are a great yawn, particularly as it is run at a disruptive track. Let’s hope they get around the first turn in one piece.

Maidens are a very necessary thing but they should be treated with great care – or, as occurs elsewhere, sacrificed in an effort to bring more snowfalls.

Let’s also hope that someone, somewhere, is adding up the cumulative effect of putting poor product before the public.

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