The Sunday Afternoon "Finish On"

GREYHOUND Racing NSW’s showcase event, the TAB Million Dollar Chase, is about to undergo a complete refit in regards to dates due to Covid.

Peter Davis

25 July 2021

GREYHOUND Racing NSW’s showcase Million Dollar Chase is about to undergo a complete refit.

Such has been the constraints of zone racing to provide Covid Safe certainty, GRNSW, on Monday, will announce a revised schedule and qualifying process for the world’s richest greyhound event.

Changes will allow for the final to be conducted on September 25 yet the new schedule remains reliant on Government oversight and the capacity for racing in NSW – and for those arriving from interstate – to nominate without quarantine conditions impacting movement.

Should lockdowns and zone eligibility be in place in, let’s say, two weeks, a Plan B will be required.

Fortunately, GRNSW are ahead of the game and, one way or another, their showcase race for 2021 will go ahead.

WOW GOES WHOOSH

Taking no time at all social media – a crash pad platform for malcontents and the miserable – set out to deride Wow’s record-breaking effort at Nowra last Monday.

The superstar son of Fernando Bale extended his career stats to 22 wins from just 37 starts in a stunning 29.28, bettering Bandit Ned’s mark set just seven days earlier by .10 – or 1 ½ lengths.

What spurned online comment – and derision – was that Wow faced only two rivals after three were scratched from the top-grade contest.

But was this record a ‘record’?

Bandit Ned’s record came in a conventional contest (of six) and he rode pressure early on from Tomerong Blaze to lead through the pen before getting clear to score by 9 ¼ lengths.

Wow was similarly pressured early (both he and Bandit Ned exited box one) and had just on six lengths to spare over the talented Winlock On Top at the business end.

Argument was that a record can only be ratified if the contest was four-or-more-strong.

The urban myth surrounding four-plus runners for a track record arose in an era when clubs offered cash bonuses for track records.

There is no rule in any jurisdiction surrounding the merit of a track record.

Wow’s record was run under true race conditions and all integrity aspects were in place (including swabbing).

There is a view that solo trials should not be considered track records yet when a contest is a contest – be it three dogs at Nowra, a Shootout at Sandown or State of Origin decider at Albion Park – records will be acknowledged.

WHAT’S THE TIME?

Just four days after his Nowra romp, Wow showed his box-manners mojo was back with a commanding win over 440m at Goulburn.

His 24.19 offering was just .01 outside his own track record (set on July 2) yet, in a race of genuine substance and the time being of significant interest, Sky Racing switched vision to Ipswich gallops with more than 90 seconds to the jump.

There was no confirmation of the time which, to the eye, was going to be spectacular!

Turnover is income and there is no commercial value in dwelling on Goulburn but in greyhound racing, time is everything and it’s something which Sky Racing continually disregards and disrespects.

On Saturday night, on Sky Racing 2, Daniel Flanigan’s Explosive Venom went with .13 of Zipping Bailey’s track record when a brilliant 29.29 winner over the smart Zipping Yannick at The Gardens.

Slick: Explosive Venom’s near record effort at The Gardens
Turffontein now 3 minutes late

While no host might have been on deck to handle the cross back to the French’s Forest studio, Sky’s director chose to not stay with any sort of post-race analysis from Dan Russ.

The preferred vision (and audio) was for the opening race at Turffontein (South Africa) which was more than 3 ½ minutes away and that secured clear air time.

The 1000m maiden at Turffontein held just over $9300 on the NSW TAB – hardly remarkable with the delay in loading the final two runners (of three minutes) adding wagering impetus.

Just how damaging would another 15 or so seconds from The Gardens disaffected turnover? The outcome clearly identifies the lack of respect by Sky Racing’s management has for greyhound racing.

On the same night, the cutaway after Trunkey Rose won over 600m at Dapto – to get to an imminent Menangle contest – was swift.

The ‘real estate’ of live television is valuable and Sky’s role is to advance turnover yet, with interest in greyhound racing at record metrics, the live media landscape is not a level playing field.

ON THE CLOCK

It’s interesting that the corrected time (via FinishLynx) for races varies significantly at times … and the flaw is man-made.

Times can vary by many tenths of a second but it’s easily explained.

The FinishLynx operator has a (red) button to press to open the camera aperture while the race is being run.

The function allows the photo finish to clock the lure and all dogs. The lure’s time is then overlooked and, if done properly, the first time recorded is for the winner. If not done correctly, the first time recorded is the second dog (with the winner overlooked).

Board times flash up automatically and then can be corrected by the FinishLynx camera.

Take for example Redemption Day’s maiden win at Townsville in mid-May.

On debut, he posted a slick 21.77 over 380m yet the live clock ‘stopped’ at 22.25.

In fact, 22.25 was the time posted by second-placed Ohana Lea and the correct time was immediately posted once the dog’s nose was aligned on FinishLynx.

Over the time at Townsville.
Redemption Day’s winning time is amended.
The official result.
The FinishLynx module

Diligence (maybe a little more instruction too!) is all that is required for times to be displayed correctly.

GETTING THE CASH

As Victorian owners and trainers battle to get their fair share of income from Greyhound Racing Victoria, Greyhound Racing South Australia is setting a new standard of disclosure to their rank-and-file.

Over the past 12 months, GRSA has added $4.9m to raceday prizemoney by means of Wagering Activity Payments and two Industry Performance Reward Payments.

While WAP payments have been paid as accruals, GRSA has decided to not delay those payments and, with a degree of certainty, will add projected WAP payments to the daily advertised prizemoney for races.

For example, if a race at Angle Park was worth $2000 to the winner and a later WAP payment may have later been $400, GRSA’s intent is to pay that winner in the order of $2250 and have the remaining $150 accrued and paid quarterly.

The aforementioned example of ball park only yet GRSA has had an annualised increase in prizemoney over the past 12 months of an impressive nine per cent.

GRSA proposes to provide at least 50 per cent of all increased revenue back to industry – and for the last 12 months the total return industry in SA is approximately 58 per-cent of net wagering.

The excellent return is one thing, the transparency is another and something which should be an industry standard.

ONE TO GO

A sizzling 330m maiden win by Zipping Idaho at Richmond on Friday edged the Superior Panama – Zipping Katelyn one step closer to all 10 siblings having won races.

The large litter, whelped in August 2019, was Zipping Katelyn’s first and only Zipping Ventura has yet break through.

At Richmond on Friday, Zipping Ventura came from a distant third mid-race to finish 1 ¾ lengths away in 22.60 over 400m – a distance well shy of what will be his optimum.

A complete winning litter is not uncommon, yet 10 from 10 is rare.

Interestingly, Superior Panama has only six litters racing and the Zipping Katelyn litter (striking at 34.4% – 31 wins from 90 starts) has been the catalyst demand for semen outstripping supply.

From 25 offspring to race, 20 have won and it interesting that the dam’s sire in the six litters is different: Jagger Swagger, Barcia Bale, Kelso’s Fusilier, Cosmic Rumble, Turanza Bale and Brett Lee.