Prizes And Other Oddities

is now easing up a little on its plot to uncover distance champions. Added prize money is being dropped in some cases. Not a surprise. No doubt reasons would be (a) insufficient dogs to fill the races and (b) most starters run out of puff by the time they reach the home turn.

The late would have been the last big influence on the staying population, so what does the future hold? Expert advice needed, please.

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El Grand Senor is a marvel. I wonder how many records he would hold if only he could get out of the box quicker. Rarely does he lead at that point but then he goes like the wind to the first marker.

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Need dividend information? Always use the TAB website, not the racing authority‘s pages. Last week’s Cranbourne results on helped punters to a $200.00 win in Race 1. Sadly, it should have read $2.00. Then in Race 5, winner Sir Lee was priced at $39.90 when it should have been $4.00. A mixup with Sir Tastic caused that problem.

And be careful. GRV’s otherwise very useful form pages are prone to show sectional times which have no bearing on reality. Apparently, no-one checks the input on the way through. Still, it has improved since earlier in the year.

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GRNSW is the only Australian authority to hide box numbers in its meeting results. You can see them on-line but you cannot download them or print them out – the program is designed to blot them out if you do either of those things. This annoys customers so why the secret?

Mind you, it’s not so many years ago that I had to nick down to the newsagency and buy three different papers to get this information – or much of it – so I guess we have made some sort of progress.

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In a similar vein, SA is the only racing authority to show race results in box order rather than finishing order. Very hard to read – and non-standard.

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Racing Ministers are often happy to assure us that they are hands-off when it comes to making decisions about running the sport – it’s the job of the relevant racing authority, they tell us.

As the GRV website says, “Greyhound Racing is the statutory authority responsible for the regulation, management and promotion of greyhound racing in Victoria”. Even so, Victorian Minister Napthine is keen to assure us the “rationalisation of clubs or tracks” is not on the Baillieu Government agenda”.

It seems it is not on anyone’s agenda really but doesn’t this confuse the issue?

Further, Mr Napthine was then responsible for a release detailing some action taken on illegal habits by club employees. That would seem to be a GRV matter, too.

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It’s hard to make head or tail of the numbers at the new Geelong tracks – especially the outside one. Early figures show a very heavy bias towards the inside box and quite a few dogs are running wide for not much reason. It bears watching.

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AGRA risks downgrading its awards system after giving the run-of-the-month trophy to Punk Warrior for its 595m win at Sandown. The dog is strong but normally a poor beginner. Last to first (or wherever) is what it always does.

In fact, its moderate 34.53 award run was exactly the same as it produced two weeks earlier – same track, same time, same slow start – when it did not gain AGRA’s approval. It compares with the average 5th grade time at of 34.50 (GRV figure).

The AGRA media release emphasised the anomaly when it earlier 2011 runs-of-the-month by He Knows Uno, Symmetry, Enry Walt, Bobby Boucheau and Bogie King, all in a totally different class to Punk Warrior.

It also brings to mind an ordinary win by occasional chaser Elektra, now retired, which also gained an AGRA award with a last-to-first win over an equally ordinary field at Sale. It recorded pretty standard 35.49 and 35.55 (the award run) times in successive weeks but never won again in Victoria.

Chaps, please take a look at the clock and the opposition before you decide.

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Last Saturday – the peak greyhound racing night – 14 races at the six TAB meetings started with a short field, which discourages exotic punters. Many other races had no reserves. Since big money is available for many of these races it suggests the dog population does not match the hopes of administrators.

On top of that, the overcrowded SKY1/SKY2 program on Saturdays routinely causes confusion and wild fluctuations in betting pools. It’s really annoying when the Timbuktu trots suck turnover away from the dog race you want to bet on.

Short term gains may cause long term pain.

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