I truly wonder how a multi-million dollar industry’s website can fail to mention that the sport is in chaos, rocked by the revelations of the training methods used by some in the sport.
First of all, the Racing Queensland website looks quite clean and user-friendly. On the left-hand side are three panels marked ‘Thoroughbred’, ‘Harness’ and ‘Greyhound’. Click on the ‘Greyhound’ panel and you are taken to the greyhound racing information section.
In the centre of the page is a heading, ‘Latest News’. Now, I don’t know about you, but I would expect that under ‘Latest News’ there would be a series of stories about events taking place across the sport in Queensland, and possibly beyond, that would be reasonably recent.
Well, the lead stories on March 19 are as follows: ‘Flash Reality draws box seven in Temlee’; ‘RQ Statement regarding 4 Corners’; Trainers issued with show cause notices’. The dates appended to those three stories are, in sequence, February 16, 17 and 17. Yes, three ‘latest news’ stories and all of them 30 days old.
What Racing Queensland is telling anybody who bothers to visit its website and look at the greyhound section is nothing, zero, zilch, bugger all, has happened in the industry worth writing about since February 17 this year.
Yes, I know, the four-round Ipswich Auction series, a Group 2 event, has commenced, but from the website that’s obviously not enough to count as ‘latest news’. Something called the Golden Easter Egg (a Group 1 race) commences in New South Wales this weekend. Yes, the only Queenslanders engaged are the ageing Yogi Blue and Frost Yourself (now trained by some bloke named Jason Mackay, who apparently might have an idea of how to win big races), but clearly this is not newsworthy.
A whole host of local greyhound trainers have been outed or called to account for their alleged actions in the live-baiting scandal, but nary a word of the ongoing investigations is on the website. Simple things like who is under investigation and, just as importantly, who has been cleared of any wrongdoing. As well, there are the large numbers of greyhounds impounded and whose whereabouts and welfare are largely unknown.
We also had the announcement the ‘Girls on Track, Celebrating Women in Racing’ greyhound component has been canned. The message from that must surely be obvious: all females involved in greyhound racing in Queensland are to be tarred with the same brush as those who were involved the live baiting scandal. Having the greyhound component of the Girls on Track promotion go ahead would only be a reminder of what has happened in recent times.
Then there’s the fiasco over the new one-turn track at Logan. According to the annual Queensland All Codes report submitted at the end of August 2014 the Cronulla Park, Logan complex was ‘to be completed in July 2015. The state-of-the-art one-turn track will be the first new greyhound facility in Queensland since 1988…’ Just to be clear, the track is to be completed by July this year. And they say pigs can fly.
To me there are only two conclusions to be reached. Either much of what I have recounted above is gross incompetence or it’s a deliberate attempt to emasculate greyhound racing in Queensland and turn it into, at best, a rump, or at worst, preside over its demise.
If it’s incompetence, then those at the top of the tree should, like those in NSW and Victoria, have been well and truly removed from their positions. If it’s the latter then the greyhound industry in Queensland needs to get out from under and instead of being part of the We Run As One tagline, perhaps it should take full control of its own future in the northern state. There is almost no way they could do a worse job.