The Sunday Afternoon "Finish On"

High speed is the calling card for Saturday’s Golden Easter Egg Final and the four super competitive Launching Pad semis at Sandown on Thursday.

Peter Davis

3 April 2022

HIGH speed is the calling card for Saturday’s Ladbrokes Golden Easter Egg Final and four super competitive Launching Pad semis at Sandown on Thursday.

The Easter Egg semis did not disappoint with a rampant She’s A Pearl equalling her previous best time at the track (29.46) – her fourth sub-29.50 seconds win at the track.

Next best was Idolize’s 29.63 and, by means of the 5.30s first section, her zip might have been considered enough for the daughter of My Redeemer to offset box four and lead at the first turn in the big final.

That 5.30s (as per the semaphore board) shaved .03s or just on a half-length from her previous best but it was not correct.

Unoffical: Saturday night’s sections for Idolize.
Official: Corrected sections for Idolize.

Greyhound Racing NSW’s official FinyshLynx results (posted as 5.36s) represent the official times, with She’s A Pearl’s 5.35s .01 quicker than Idolize’s offering.

GRNSW, when contacted, were aware of the anomaly and are investigating the variance.

Interestingly, the sectional times at Victorian venues are not nearly as precise as the NSW metrics and a number of stark errors populate GRV’s sectional records’ page.

A prime example was Always Yours being credited with the 460m first section record at Warragul in December 2012 at 6.26 seconds.

A Tier 3 performer, Always Yours finished her career with only one win from 30 starts yet credited mark is 2 ½ lengths to-the-good of what Robbie Rotten posted in his Group 2 Warragul Cup win.

More recently, Gotcha Laz was credited with a section of 8.24s at Warrnambool over 390m – a clear .25s inside her previous best and more than .40s clear of recent efforts at the western districts track.

Records at also awry at Shepparton (450m), Horsham (410m and 485m), over 460m and 520m at Geelong as well as the Ballarat 450m mark.

Sectional times in Victoria are imprecise in respect to all dogs other than the leader. The leader’s section is electronically record while the rest of the field is an approximate by a member of the race night staff and that deserves immediate attention.

What is of significant concern is that clear errors pass ‘through to the keeper’.

Surely the integrity of wagering is at risk when stewards (or a results analyst – if such a position exists) cannot immediately identify a statistical error as important as early speed.

FAIR SHARE

The program at Wentworth Park on Golden Easter Egg night includes the Association Cup along with another five finals while inaugural staging of the Paul Wheler Appreciation is a grand addition.

Offering $12,000 to-the-winner in addition to a service to Fernando Bale, the bitches only feature is sure to attract a quality line-up and, in time, will gain a profile of its own.

What is interesting about Golden Easter Egg night – and feature races around the nation – is the tiered prizemoney levels.

In Queensland, total prizemoney is split 65/20/10/5 per cent from first to fourth and there is no variance from track to track or race value.

WA is similarly structured yet at Wentworth Park on Saturday, there’s no rationale or consistency with any prizemoney.

The Easter Egg winner gets $250,000 while second is $40,000 – or 12.5 per cent of total prizemoney and third ($25,000) represents 7.81 per cent.

Variances abound across all events. The Association Cup runner-up, for example, secures 14.63 per cent of the race’s total whole third snares 9.75 per cent.

Whether prizemoney structure is set by the host club (the Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers’ Association in respect to Golden Easter Egg night) or GRNSW, a fairer return to all needs to be investigated.

What’s on offer at Wenty falls outside the Group Racing Calendar guidelines (set by Greyhound Clubs Australia) which have been in place for decades.

INCOMING

News out of Victoria is that Scott Wuchatsch has been appointed as the new Chief Executive at The Meadows while Robert Vellar has been appointed as the new independent Chair of Greyhounds Australia.

Wuchatsch has vast greyhound racing experience and is a welcome addition to a role which cries out for intimate greyhound racing insight.

The Meadows has gone from strength to strength in recent years and his appointment somewhat rights the ship considering GRV made the conscious decision to exclude persons with prior greyhound racing professional engagement for any roles some six years back.

A change of management at GRV has come and a more understanding approach under Stuart Laing has begun in his caretaker CEO capacity.

Meanwhile, a steady hand is required at Greyhounds Australasia. Mr Vellar’s appointment comes with great responsibility – key admin positions need to be adequately filled given the unstable recent past.

Also within Robert Vellar’s view of the GA ‘business’ is relevance. For more 80 years, GA (formerly the ANGZA) has resisted change and no longer has  impact or the respect of member states.

Greyhound racing’s rules are set by a national standard which are mocked by local rules and that makes Greyhounds Australasia an entity which should be cast aside.

The cost of GA is extreme and, in a modern computerised workplace, a central data base with state bodies responsible for their own jurisdiction (access and data oversight) would save the code 100’s of thousands of dollars.

It’s just another level of admin which has passed its use by date and effectively swallows vast sums.

Just who will pull the rug from under this cash munching operation?

GET WITH THE PROGRAM

While trolling websites for prizemoney and feature races schedules, the inadequacies of the Racing Queensland site, for greyhound racing info, was apparent.

Navigation around RQ’s site is tedious and there has been no calendar update for features and Albion Park, they suggest, is still in play for next Thursday.

We all know that’s not the case and surely someone can update that in an organic way.

New races added to the calendar (which include the 40th Anniversary race at Ipswich, for example) remain a secret.

Whether Steve Kavanagh heads that way with Louis Rumble – he’s eligible for $15,000 to the winner event – remains to be seen as he might otherwise head back to Wentworth Park for a Million Dollar Chase campaign but without web site presence, the race won’t get the attention it deserves.

For those interesting, the pathway to the greyhound online racing calendar is navigated via the racing tab then events – greyhound – race programs and feature events. It’s a tedious click-a-thon.

YOUNG AT HEART

A small yet important step pathway for youngsters wanting to play an active role in greyhound racing was opened by he Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission in NSW this week.

A Junior Associate Attendant registration has commenced with 12 and 13-year-olds now able to be actively role in the industry.

GWIC Chief Executive Steve Griffin said the new role will be an important introduction and allow young people assist their families at home and, later, get involved at the track as well.

“The industry is currently looking at ways to promote the sport to our younger generations, and we are pleased to support this initiative,” he said.

The Junior Associate Attendant permit will require sign off by a parent or guardian, and a nominated industry participant to supervise them when they are performing their role.

“In 2021, we introduced the Associate Attendant registration which allows 14 to 18-year-olds to perform a number of roles at the track in an attendant or race official capacity,” Griffin added.

“It is our hope that our juniors will then move into these roles as they get older, and the industry develops a young cohort of experienced and passionate participants with a strong understanding of welfare and integrity.”