The Sunday Afternoon "Finish On"

While there is excellent prizemoney on offer in Queensland, the new year will further see owners and breeders rewarded in the Sunshine State.

Peter Davis

14 November 2021

WHILE there is excellent prizemoney on offer in Queensland, the new year will see owners and breeders rewarded further in the Sunshine State.

The bush telegraph suggests a multi-million dollar increase will be disclosed in coming weeks, with ‘bread-and-butter’ races holding most attention yet feature races will also attain a much richer reward.

And that promoted a look at the national picture.

A maiden 520m event at Ipswich on Saturday night was $2520 to the winner while in NSW, the same event is $1200, in WA – the number one ‘payer’ in the land at Cannington – a maiden winner gets $3850, at Angle Park it’s $1730 while in Tasmania a rarely run maiden is $1805 (a maiden/juvenile is $2050).

In Victoria $1600 is attained by a maiden winner beyond what is perceived as a short-course event (450m at Ballarat) and that’s where rubber hits the road.

So, the two highest income bearing states in the land reward maiden winners with meek of returns!

Is a maiden event (wagering-wise) less ‘valuable’ than a graded event? If not, why is maiden prizemoney so poor?

The positives in Queensland are tangible for day-to-day racing yet behind the scenes, breeders are rejoicing.

Queensland breeders are incentivised by, arguably, the best program in the country.

First starters get $1000, Maiden winners receive another $1000 and a Novice winner (which is any dog to have only won a maiden) also gets $1000 and more cash is handed at Masters age. The majority of the RQ bonuses are shared between owners and breeders.

The program in WA (WestCha$e) was established to improve the state’s quality of breeding  – it’s worked impressively and increased breeding numbers.

At start one and start 10 (regardless of result), Racing and Wagering Western Australia provides the breeder and owner with a return yet winners of all races at all tracks which are WA Bred reward breeders.

Thereafter feature races attain huge bonuses – the Group 1 Perth Cup has $12,500 attached.

The RWWA program  is non-contributory – additional to base prizemoney and that’s the way it should be nationwide.

Any race in Queensland attains a bonus for Queensland-bred dogs yet they are not protectionist in the way Greyhound Racing Victoria deals with Vic Bred events.

The Victorian model of ‘Vic Bred’ racing is protectionist without cause. NSW has no eligibility restrictions on nominations while Queensland and SA, for example, have very, very few.

GRV’s decision to move from and owner/breeder incentive scheme (GOBIS) came at a time when the late Paul Wheeler elected to send his youngsters to Victoria.

GRNSW (which is attending to prizemoney increases) must make breeding and owning greyhounds sustainable. It’s surely central tenet of the business model – It’s not a cost, it’s the intrinsic core.

The only way to sustain any business is to have ‘product’ is to reward excellence. GRNSW is investigating a breeding program yet, sadly, there seems to be little love for the notion and interstate options – racing and breeding wise – are certainly more attractive.

GROUND ZERO

Real Estate giant Colliers in Wollongong have just started marketing a property to be which has been stylised as “The Groundz”.

Does this facility look familiar to NSW participants?

Changing tack: The vast Dapto Showgrounds site.

The spat between GRNSW and the Dapto A&H Society regarding the cessation of greyhound racing at the famous Showgrounds site was front page news in November 2019.

While racing continues under a lease agreement for now, the site has long been the target of commercial interests and GRNSW is busy identifying new opportunities in the Illawarra.

The ad asserts: The Groundz is located in the heart of the bustling Illawarra suburb of Dapto which is seeing enormous growth in the coming decades and is home to one of the largest new greenfield housing areas outside of the Sydney Metropolitan area … A predominately flat site the Groundz has two separate entrances and several permanent structures which can be retained, re-purposed or demolished.

“… work with the Dapto A&H Society to bring the vision of ‘the Groundz’ to life. With exception leasing flexibility, this is the ideal offering suitable for a wide array of uses including retail, showrooms, food and beverage, leisure and entertainment. is located in the heart of the bustling Illawarra suburb of Dapto which is seeing enormous growth in the coming decades and is home to one of the largest new greenfield housing areas outside of the Sydney Metropolitan area; the West Dapto Urban Release Area.

“The precinct will form part of the larger showgrounds site and is located at the south-east end of the property. A predominately flat site the Groundz has two separate entrances and several permanent structures which can be retained, re-purposed or demolished.

“This is your opportunity to work with the Dapto A&H Society to bring the vision of ‘the Groundz’ to life. With exception leasing flexibility, this is the ideal offering suitable for a wide array of uses including retail, showrooms, food and beverage, leisure and entertainment.

Leases for parcels as small as 200sqm up to 10,000sqm (or 2.5 acres) are on offer.

Change is afoot on many fronts in NSW!

IN RESERVE

The MGRA have well disclosed conditions surrounding The Phoenix yet the role of reserves for the December 18 feature is still complicated.

In short, the reserves for the slot race will come down to two dogs selected by GRV from a shortlist offered up by the eight slot holders.

If, for example, SEN’s selected runner is scratched after the final field is declared, SEN can choose between the two reserves to represent them.

Injury or illness can arise at a moment’s notice yet $37,500 – half the slot fee – is at risk with a scratching and a dog, otherwise not considered as a prime candidate, is inserted.

It’s not palatable wagering wise but, maybe, a reduced field rather than an afterthought inclusion would preserve the status of the contest.

FROM DISTANT SHORES

It’s interesting that so many high profile Australian pedigrees now boast an American influence.

The rejuvenation of the Wheeler line was based on US sires and with Fernando Bale such an influence, the American flavour is entrenched.

Only this week, Australians Brood Bitch of the Year Serena Fly High was implanted to Superior Panama. Her pedigree has no outcross influence for five generations (back to Farloe Melody, the sire of her great grand-dam Smokey Melody).

What is engaging with American sires is, when racing, their performance is on tracks considered very heavy by Australian standards.

While speedy is an imperative, back-end strength is where the money is in this country and propagating a female line is a work in progress for all breeders.

On a personal aspect, Superior Panama, SH Avatar and Konomi has turned up trumps and it sets up two more generations before realignment is again on the agenda.

CLARITY

For breeders there’s more no important issue than fertility/potency when choosing a sire.

Zero pups (or misses) is a crippling outcome and there is a real need for breeders to have access to live information regarding sire’s strike rates (matings to litters born), litter sizes and which clinician is getting job done.

Fortunately, in NSW, GWIC is working with programmers to have live updates on all registered litters available next year.

The proposed outcome will be that, the day following a litter registration, the litter size and gender will be published. The updates are hoped to be in real time and not on a monthly basis – a service to industry that other jurisdictions should follow.

The initiative is long overdue and should have been an advocacy Greyhound Australasia should be undertaking but GA is asleep at the wheel!