Due to some greyhounds not being catered for under the current grading system, Greyhound Racing Victoria are trialling a new race type, 300 plus.
300 Plus refers to greyhounds that have a ranking of 300 points or more that may not be eligible for Tier 3 racing, but cannot gain a start at the full stake provincial level. To be eligible a greyhound will need to have a ranking, per the grading guidelines, of 300 points.
After the recent consultation sessions held across the State, GRV have decided to introduce these meetings in an effort to assist trainers whose greyhounds fall into this bracket to maximise their racing opportunities.
To ascertain your greyhounds ranking you are required to access the GRV FASTTRACK system, via the GRV website.
The first of these 300 Plus Meetings is to be held at Bendigo next Wednesday March 26, 2014 and will carry normal Tier 3 Stake money.
While any amendments to the grading system to increase racing opportunities is always welcomed, I can’t help but feel that perhaps we are over complicating our system of grading. As you may know, I have not been a fan of the entire Tier 3 concept, that’s despite its overall acceptance by most in the industry.
Are we simply segregating the racing population even further and making it even more difficult for our current participants to not only manage their greyhounds, but understand the grading system, which is seemingly becoming more and more complex.
The purpose for Tier 3 Racing is surely to give lower grade greyhounds the opportunity to race against other like greyhounds. Is this in reality what is occurring, or are we promoting mediocre racing under the guise of making racing “fairer”.
The other belief by many of the supporters of the Tier 3 system is that it is primarily for the small hobby trainer, who cannot compete with the professional full time trainers.
This argument is obviously flawed, as it’s not unusual to see several of the so called professionals racing at the Tier 3 fixtures when the circumstances suit. So is the Tier 3 and now 300 Plus racing realising, in the most efficient manner, what it was originally set out to accomplish.
As an alternative, I don’t know why we can’t operate under a non-penalty system, with perhaps some covenants to protect the lower grade dogs.
At least this would be an inclusive rather than an exclusive policy, not discriminating against any trainer who wishes to race his greyhound for the lower stake money. The non-penalty system seems to be appropriate for the Midweek city programs; I cannot see any reason why this can’t be adapted to the country fixtures as well.
I get the feeling we are confusing matters more than perhaps we should, and maybe the GRV agenda in regards to these lower grade meetings has more to do with animal welfare and less to do with the standard of racing and participant longevity.
As the old adage says, KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid. I think perhaps the GRV Grading system could learn something from that old saying.