PEOPLE who follow greyhound racing but aren't closely involved often ask the question concerning how much can a greyhound earn?
The simple answer is - heaps, if you are lucky enough to get a good one.
The appropriately named High Earner, who was bred in Queensland by the Robartson family of Churchable, is at the top of the Australian prizemoney earnings with $610,070.
Tragically, the dog died earlier this year when his stud career was just taking off.
The way big money is splashed around nowadays in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, it probably won't be long before High Earner's tally is passed.
Still racing are Miata with $551,258, Got a Moment ($474,651), He Knows Uno ($473,764) and Glen Gallon ($447,627).
Got a Moment is Queensland-owned by the Buxton family of Leichardt and is now trained in Melbourne by Jason Thompson.
Di Buxton will have her recently won Melbourne Cup trophy on display at the Christmas-themed race meeting at the Ipswich Showgrounds tomorrow night.
The Melbourne Cup was worth $350,000 to the winner.
Other features around the land include the Golden Easter Egg in Sydney of $250,000 to the winner and the Australian Cup, run at the Meadows in Melbourne, also for $250,000.
At the other end of the scale, country track maiden races can be worth just a couple of hundred dollars. But racing is all about dreams.
With High Earner and Got a Moment being Queensland-bred and earning all that money, everyone must be a chance of success in the big gamble that is racing.
Still on figures, the field in a recent race at Casino in northern New South Wales finished in perfect racebook order of one through to eight.
You might think, so what? That would surely happen pretty often.
It doesn't actually. The odds of such a finishing order are 40,320 to 1.
Given that there are about 35,000 greyhound races run around Australia annually, you should expect to see the perfect finish about once every 12 to 15 months somewhere.
The Ipswich greyhound racing schedule for the rest of this year is today (twilight), tomorrow night (non-TAB from 6.20pm) and next Friday (twilight).
Monday morning and Thursday night trials will be conducted as normal.
In the middle of the year, I wrote in this column about the leaders in the four Ipswich greyhound racing premierships.
Toowoomba's Col Byers was the leading male trainer.
Rachel Scott led the female trainers points tally.
The Hazelgrove family partnership were the leading owners.
And the Col Byers-trained Charmed Speed was well out in front in the greyhound of the year.
As we approach December 31 when the premierships end, nothing has changed.
Byers will win the trainers premiership by about 230 points which is a staggering figure.
Scott is about 100 points clear in her premiership.
The Hazelgrove family is about 60 points ahead in the owners competition. And the ever consistent Charmed Speed is more than double the points tally of his nearest rival in the greyhound of the year section.
So even though three race meetings remain for 2012, congratulations can be extended at this stage to all the winners.
A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to readers of this column. We will be back in a fortnight.