Worrying patterns in box draws bad news for greyhound racing

Greyhound box draw news

On May 14, 2021, a public report was published by Curby McLintok, a specialist firm engaged by the Greyhound & Commission (GWIC) to conduct an independent review of the box draw process.

Representatives from the firm, along with GWIC, attended the offices to view a live grading and box draw process, which took place on February 1, 2021.

The following was observed from looking at the results of Wentworth Park, which would have been graded and box draw completed in front of these representatives on February 1, 2021:

  • One greyhound had box 4 three times out of their past six starts
  • One greyhound had box 8 three times out of their past six starts
  • One greyhound had box 6 three times out of their past six starts
  • One greyhound had a pattern of box 1,3,1,3 amongst their previous six starts
  • One greyhound had the pattern of box 8,1,8,1 amongst their past four starts
  • One greyhound had the pattern of 2,4,6,4,2,4 in their past 6 starts
  • One greyhound had the pattern of boxes 7,6,1,6,7,6 in their past 6 starts
  • One greyhound had box 8 twice, box 6 twice and box 1 twice in their past 6 starts

These patterns were emerging in the greyhounds after just the first four races of the meeting.

Other examples of evident patterns in box draws include:

  • One greyhound drew the following boxes over consecutive starts – 5,5,6,5,5,5
  • One greyhound drew the following boxes over consecutive starts – 8,8,8,8,7,8,8,8
  • One greyhound drew the following boxes over consecutive starts – 8,8,7,7,7,7,8,7
  • One greyhound drew the following boxes over consecutive starts – 2,2,1,2,1,2,1,1,7,2,7,7,1,1,7
  • One greyhound drew the following box over consecutive starts – 6,6,6,6,6
  • One greyhound drew the following boxes over consecutive starts – 5,7,8,7,5,8,7,8,7
  • One greyhound drew the following boxes over consecutive starts – 6,5,6,5,6,7,6
  • One greyhound drew the following boxes over consecutive starts – 5,5,6,5,5,5
  • One greyhound drew the following boxes over consecutive starts – 5,6,5,5,5,5,8,8,5
  • One greyhound drew the following boxes over consecutive starts – 1,7,7,1,7,8,1,1,8

The Racing & Western Australia () audit report released in 2016 detailed that every greyhound is allocated a unique contestant ID when graded into their races, which has no resemblance to any data relating to the dog or their trainer. That being said, given the frequency and consistency of patterns relating to box draws with certain greyhounds, it is evident the system is making some correlation with the data inputted during the grading process.

While it is acknowledged there is no flaw in the process itself or the people who follow this process, which was clearly explained in the RWWA audit report, it must be said there is a continuous and concerning issue with the program being used to conduct these draws. These patterns are being detected and recognised continuously and it only takes a small amount of research from a single meeting to understand the widespread frustration among participants.

For the safety and welfare of greyhounds, those in particular who may be drawn next to a chaser who likes to jump left or right, the system needs to be further scrutinised, in particular the program which is being used to conduct the draws. You cannot blame a greyhound on occasions for not possessing the desire to chase or the act of marring if they’re continuously getting hampered because of box draws, which only hurts a dog’s confidence and fuels the frustration of .

If these same draws were conducted manually, you can be confident in concluding that it is mathematically impossible these same patterns would be emerging. In an era where we are trying to attract new participants and aid our current owners and trainers, a box draw system that takes the pressure off graders who would be continuously barraged with phone calls regarding these box draw patterns is a no-brainer. At least a new system should be explored and trialled to discover any discrepancies in the current system, to ensure the draw is truly randomised for all greyhounds.

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Daryl Barrett
Daryl Barrett
22 days ago

I have been saying that there is a major problem with the ” Random Computerised Box System ” ,for the past two years. I have even concluded,& agree,that the probability of drawing the same box,or combination of 2 boxes,being drawn consecutively,or regularly is obsurd,the system unfortunately,IS flawed & placing Greyhounds at a disadvantage,& also reducing their chances to either win races or being placed in 2nd or 3rd placing. I conducted my own test using playing cards,the Ace being Dog 1,two being Dog 2 etc up to 8,& then in the same manner using the same numerical order for the… Read more »

Sue Absalom
Sue Absalom
21 days ago

Great article. I would like to see a table showing each recommendation, whether or not it has been adopted, if so how was it adopted, if not why wasn’t it adopted.

Mark Small
21 days ago

I DO NOT agree with “computerised box draw via greyhound I.D which may or may not be flawed. Anything electronic CAN duplicate its sequence or be manipulated ….. why not go back to the BANJO which was fair, fun to use and minimal time would be spent entering the box draw results into the computer system 🤔 🤗

Lewis Ellul
Lewis Ellul
20 days ago

Make box draws live on the dogs