Wednesday, September 5, 2018
From Kongorong to Koroit, Meningie to Mumbannar, Coleraine to Compton, Ararat to Allendale East, Monteith to Mount Moriac, Penshurst to Portland and Warrnambool to Worrolong – Tara Raceway’s time-graded fortnightly Friday greyhound meetings continue to attract widespread support.
Time-graded racing, introduced to cater for “lower class” greyhounds, kicked off at Tara Raceway on Friday, April 21, 2017 with the David Williams trained Proud Eagle winning the first race, a maiden over 400 metres, in 24.02 seconds.
There are a few different time-graded variations, the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club opting for a grading system of worst to best rating and only maiden to grade five races over all distances.
And with all graded races non penalty, and a prizemoney structure that rewards all greyhounds, it’s probably not surprising that the word has spread far and wide.
For example, the first four over the line in a grade six event receive $410, $165, $125 and $100 respectively while the remainder of the field pick up $70 each.
Throw in the $60 rebate that every trainer also receives and it’s not hard to see why there’s a procession of fully-loaded trailers heading down Lake Terrace East every other Friday.
In fact, Rupanyup trainer Kath Brooks and Kevin Ward of Mount Moriac have been so successful at the time-graded meetings this year that they are now among the top dozen trainers at Tara Raceway.
Also, it’s not hard to see why there’s now been a push to run time-graded meetings on a weekly basis as had been the case during July.
Take a trainer at Friday’s 12-race meeting with four greyhounds engaged that fail to run in the first four – he or she will pick up a minimum of $340. The same scenario at a Sunday meeting would return $140 although first prize is considerably more.
The proposed switch of time-graded meetings to alternate Wednesdays (26 meetings) once Murray Bridge is racing should work in Mount Gambier’s favour as far as its 52 Sunday meetings are concerned.
However, with the Gawler Greyhound Racing Club reported to be still unhappy with the proposed revised schedule of racing days which now has it racing on Tuesdays and Fridays and not alternate Wednesdays and every Sunday night, it will be interesting to see whether any further changes take place.
Writing in the latest edition of the Flyer, Gawler secretary Bob May said the club had welcomed the decision to continue with two weekly meetings at Gawler . . . but had been dismayed by the proposal to shift the club’s successful Sunday night meeting.
“We have written to Greyhound Racing SA, providing many reasons and comments, and have requested that a meeting be held between the Gawler club and GRSA in order to discuss the matter further,” he said.
“And while it is not our position to speak on behalf of other clubs, we note that one of the consequences of the revised schedule will be the Sunday clash of Mount Gambier and Murray Bridge.”