1. Punter woes
Queensland’s premier track Albion Park continued the recent trend of short fields, scratchings and a ten race card being made up of multiple maidens and novice fields.
As an industry relying on betting turnover for survival and growth these fields do little to inspire participants or encourage the punters – especially the mug punters that the industry now relies upon.
A quick review of the Queensland Tote showed that the win betting investment reached only $7000 in two of the ten races. In race ten win betting was lucky to reach $3000. With no chance of a third dividend punters and fans are turning away. Exotic markets were also down.
If the industry wants people to invest their hard earned dollars then they need to provide a product worthy of the same.
2. Maiden Races
Lets look at the maiden fields in races one and two. Both races were 7 dog fields that were even further reduced after scratchings.
Race 1 had 7 dogs drawn in the field and of those 7 four were first starters. After race day scratchings 5 dogs faced the starter at box rise. The small field took the gloss off the performances of the winner Zafonic and the second place getter You Think So who was ultra impressive. Both greyhounds are from strong kennels and both look to be stars of the future.
Race 2 was devoid of scratchings and 7 dogs faced the starter.
Each Monday we continue to witness multiple maiden events with short field sizes – something that RQL must address.
3. Novice Novice Novice
The two novice events were just the same.
In race 4 only the 7 dogs were drawn to race. In race 9 it was worse still with just 6 dogs being drawn.
Its not good to see greyhounds missing out on a run but surely race scheduling needs to be urgently improved. With the focus of Albion Park racing on other days being shorter races, namely 331m and 395m events, a proposal could be to include some of these events to Monday night – at least we would see full fields and increased competition for starts.
It would also improve betting turnover and improve the image for spectators, with stronger fields and competition as race starting spots would be more competitive. 520m events could be added to Wednesday and Sunday racing in return.
4. Mixed Finals – Prizemoney
It was interesting the see the prizemoney for the two mixed finals the same as the other races on the card. To qualify for the 520m final greyhounds contested 4 heats the previous week racing for a $1,400 first prize and a top two finish guaranteeing a start in the final.
The final was worth the same. No beating the grader or increased prizemoney.
The 600m event had 2 heats with the top four finish earning a final start. Again, prizemoney and incentive for the final was the same.
Could we have boosted prizemoney for these finals by dropping a novice or maiden from the card? Or are we still required to provide 10 races every Monday regardless or field size and quality?
5. Brilliant Berella
The 520m mixed final saw another great front running performance from the Jamie McHugh trained Berella Kathryn. The August 2010 black daughter of Meticulous-Tawny Shiraz continues to excel at headquarters bringing up win 3 at the track and distance.
With improved box manners she continues to find the bunny and now has the outstanding race record of 16 starts for 7 wins and 4 placings. She has been a great performer for McHugh in her short career so far with highlights including making the final of the rich Coonamble Maiden last October, to a blistering 19.77 BOD win at Capalaba. She has also won at Ipswich in BOD and has now surpassed $10,000 in prizemoney.
With her excellent box manners she looks a good thing to progress through the grades at headquarters and improve to Thursday night class.