Victorian greyhound racing changes to another new box model

Victorian greyhounds

The only thing we can be certain of during this coronavirus crisis is that changes will be happening on an almost daily basis. Greyhound () have today made a change to the greyhound race box procedure.

GRV made changes last Monday to move from the traditional greyhound race box procedure to the new four-wave model, which was then adopted by all states. Just days after that change, we have a new race boxing model: the eight-wave greyhound box procedure.

Four-wave greyhound box model

  • 1st wave: 1 & 5
  • 2nd wave: Boxes 3 & 7
  • 3rd wave: Boxes 2 & 6
  • 4th wave: Boxes 4 & 8

The four-wave model was implemented to comply with government restrictions around social distancing. While it appeared to be working, there has been a lot of discussion about the length of time the dogs are spending in the boxes. Anecdotally it would appear those boxed later have an advantage of the those boxed earlier. The greyhound in box one would appear to be the most affected.

There have been several instances of the past few days where the greyhound with the red rug has uncharacteristically missed the start. Is this just variance or is it a result of the four-wave box model adopted by all states?

Since the change to the four-wave model was adopted nationally on Tuesday, there have been 268 races. The box one dog has started in 246 of them and won 45 races at a rate of 18%. A very rough comparison to the year-to-date prior the change showed 9,270 races with the box one dog starting 8,746 times and winning 1,802 of them at a rate of 21%. Obviously there are some other considerations such as the track winning box profiles in those two periods, but the preliminary data from a small sample suggest that the box one greyhound is 3% less likely to win under the four-wave box model.

Four Wave Model (FWM) vs Traditional Box Model (TM)

Box Starters FWM Winners FWM Winning % FWM Starters TM Winners TM Winning % TM Change FWM vs TM
1 246 45 18% 8,746 1,802 21% -3%
2 247 47 19% 8,477 1,316 16% +3%
3 204 22 11% 7,282 1,084 15% -4%
4 252 35 14% 8,404 1,158 14% -%
5 189 25 13% 6,824 892 13% -%
6 214 34 16% 7,183 885 12% +4%
7 241 33 14% 8,265 1,025 12% +4%
8 249 27 11% 8,430 1,108 13% -2%

As of today will move from the four-wave model to an eight-wave model. This means every greyhound will be boxed individually starting with box one and in order through to box eight. This new model will be in practice for the foreseeable future.

All handlers are to be at least two metres back from the greyhound in front of them.

Eight-wave greyhound box model

  • 1st wave: Box 1
  • 2nd wave: Box 2
  • 3rd wave: Box 3
  • 4th wave: Box 4
  • 5th wave: Box 5
  • 6th wave: Box 6
  • 7th wave: Box 7
  • 8th wave: Box 8

How will the new model affect greyhounds boxed earlier? We will have to wait and see. The four-wave model did seem a little clunky in practice, although we don’t expect the eight-wave model to be any quicker. The inside greyhounds will be boxed for quite some time prior to the start. will keep watching the statistics and report any significant findings.

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