Sometimes you just want to scream. Regular readers might recall that in early May I wrote an article about discovering the two fastest greyhounds to have raced in the history of the sport anywhere on the planet.
The claim, of course, was completely spurious. Just to recap, what I wrote back then chiefly centred on The Dogs website. As I noted, ‘This is actually quite a comprehensive and useful website, but under the track information for Broken Hill I found the 375 metre track record is supposedly held by a greyhound named Booma Herbie. The time: a sensational 7.19 seconds. Just in case you think I’ve hit the wrong set of numbers on the keyboard, that’s seven point one nine seconds. This superstar ran this time on 11 November 2010, 42 months ago…It gets worse. The track record at Lismore was supposedly obliterated on 6 May this year by Rush Of Power, who ran 6.71 seconds (yes, six point seven one) for the 520 metres. Of course this makes Rush Of Power even faster than Booma Herbie.’
One might venture to think that someone within the Greyhound Racing NSW setup would have been made aware of the errors on their website and made efforts to correct them. After all, we are talking three months since I wrote that article. Sadly, both Booma Herbie and Rush Of Power are still listed as the record holders for their respective distances.
You can also add Never Early over the 453 metres at Cowra and Salford Precinct over 346 metres at Forbes to the above pair. According to The Dogs website, Never Early ran 19.13 seconds for the trip back on 31 July 2010. So, the incorrect information has been on the site now for longer than 48 months. Maybe if I write four years it doesn’t sound as bad.
Salford Precinct is supposed to have run 14.28 seconds for 343 metres on 27 March 2011. Just under that information you can read the average times by distance and grade and the 343-metre trip tends to average about 20 seconds.
What I find simply amazing is that greyhound racing is a multi-million dollar business and while great improvements have been made in the collection and retention of data, there really are far too many simple errors being made. The argument that unpaid or poorly remunerated ‘amateurs’ are keying in the information in the first place (if that is indeed the case) doesn’t wash. Someone should be checking the information at head office to make sure the information being transmitted is as free from error as possible.
The solution is simple. All it is going to take is for somebody at the managerial level to assign someone dedicated and competent to trawl through the various facts and figures and update and correct the information available.
Don’t let the pimply-faced, 16-year-old work experience kid who still thinks a greyhound is some kind of a long-distance bus do it. Don’t let the octogenarian spinster whose sum total of knowledge of the greyhound is that it is the only canine mentioned in the Bible do it. Find someone whose eyesight is reasonable and who is capable of stringing a sentence longer than six words together and understanding the meaning of words with three or more syllables. Maybe, more important, give the task to someone who likes to have a bet, at least then there might be a chance of getting some genuinely useful and, more importantly, correct information put up on what is one of the primary racing websites in the country.