Is There No Shame?

There are a number of clues about the mysterious disappearance of serious punters from the greyhound ranks and their replacement by mug gamblers.

For a start, good luck to all the punters trying their luck in the Hobart Thousand tonight. Just don’t rely on the published sectional times. As usual, they are mostly lies, being attributed to dogs that did not run them, including in some of the heats. For example, Hellyeah Bolt, which never looked like leading, is given the leader’s sectional time while Clone Your Own, which did lead, is assigned nothing.

The NSW-produced formguide repeats these lies without question, so two states are guilty of misleading punters.

Further, the five Victorian-based runners, which are likely to dominate the final, all own lashings of previous sectional times (correct ones), but none are shown on the GRNSW formguide, which Tasmania now uses. That offers punters a choice of nothing or lies. I suggest assume nothing unless you keep a note of what happens on Victorian tracks.

How often must this be mentioned before authorities do the right thing?

In any event, the practice of supplying only the (alleged) leader’s sectional belongs in the dark ages. All runners should be covered so that form students can obtain a balanced picture of a dog’s capabilities. Until Tasmania can do this, it doesn’t warrant Group status for any races.

NSW is also in the sectional wars itself, with Casino clearly needing some new equipment.  The semaphore board did not display any overall times last week, while 2nd sectionals varied over a 1.2 second range (that’s a good 18 lengths). That is, when they are available, which is far from always. In any event, the first sectionals for 484m races are more or less useless as they are of the order of 2.8 seconds, which is too small a number to tell you what the dogs are capable of. This adds to an existing problem, as the Casino track boasts the second highest rate of race falls in the country (after Bathurst), and is strongly biased towards nippy railers, all of which hardly encourages punters.

More confusing last week was that the broadcaster was heard to state that overall times were hand-timed, yet there was no mention of this on the official results pages. Since hand-timing involves slower times than electronic timers, punters are left wondering which was what.

Many other NSW tracks are little better off.

Bathurst records some sectional times but assigns them to the appropriate dogs only for 520m races. The others are therefore of no value whatever. Nowra and The Gardens do not assign them for 365m and 400m races, respectively. Maitland, Bulli and Goulbourn do not assign them for any trips. Wentworth Park has occasionally started posting 5 second sectionals for 280m races, but not for 720m races, which use the same boxes (the 16 sec times are essentially for a 2ndsection).

The NSW Ozchase system is now hosting WA races, which is alright as far as it goes, which is not very far. Running numbers are no longer there. And formguides are in the usual elaborate page-sucking format, despite the use of very small fonts which make them highly impractical for everyday use, or in poor light. No downloadable data formats are available, as is the case in Victoria. WA claims some options will still be available on its own website.

It adds up to an administration which is not geared to the needs of punters, surely a fatal flaw when the state is badly in need of more revenue to avoid what GRNSW says is a threat of future track closures.

To the NSW difficulties, we must add all the other jurisdictions when interstate visitors arrive. Almost invariably their home sectionals are omitted (as for the Hobart Thousand), even though they are freely published at home. Probably the worst off are Queenslanders as their formguides never, repeat never, show sectional times from the nearby Northern Rivers tracks in NSW, even though such dogs show up for Ipswich and Albion Park races in large numbers. Racing Queensland is apparently too busy to collect them.

A related note – almost as bad is the continuing practice of Tabcorp and Tattsbet to publish lies in the form of First Four dividends, and sometimes Trifecta and Exacta dividends as well. Both calculate figures which bear no relation to the size of the betting pools. Amongst thousands of examples here is one from Sandown last week in Race 4 (NSW tote), when the bet jackpotted.


Published dividend


Pool Size


Maximum Possible Dividend



This point also materially affected the legal discussion in the Northern Territory Racing Commission of the Brunker incident at Ipswich (mentioned here last Monday), where the punter’s claim and, indeed, the betting firm’s offer, far exceeded the amount available in the pool. But it also occurs routinely from race to race, even when there is no jackpot aspect. The tote companies refuse to publish a dividend for a $1 investment, as occurs for all other bets, and instead use their own fanciful methods of inflating the First Four figures by using fractional bets as a base. The end figure is of no use to anyone, including the tote companies’ accountants, so winning punters may never know what they will get paid until they try to cash in their ticket.

Incidentally, in the above example, the Victorian dividend on Tabcorp was $2 815.60 from a much larger pool of $7 164.65. Had these pools been combined the outcome would have been a more realistic dividend for all. The bigger the pool, the more likely someone will pick the winners. And bigger pools will also attract more punters. It would be win-win. Does anybody realise this? And, if so, what are they doing about it?

Past Discussion

  1. the first 4 dividend declared is 76% of double the pool size divided by the amount of winning tickets, always has, always will be.  no ‘lies’ in that.  can we believe your other claims of lies?

  2. the first 4 dividend declared is 76% of double the pool size divided by the amount of winning tickets, always has, always will be.  no ‘lies’ in that.  can we believe your other claims of lies?