Trial TAB status for Ipswich night meets

HERE'S big news.

The Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club's current fortnightly Saturday night non-TAB meetings are about to be converted to TAB status.

There will be a trial period of six consecutive Saturday night TAB and Sky Channel covered meetings from February 23.

Currently, Lismore in northern New South Wales is conducting six Saturday night meetings with a late start and finish.

Ipswich will follow with a similar trial.

The first Ipswich race will be at 8.15pm with the last of 10 around 11pm.

Ipswich GRC manager Merv Page said the reintroduction of continuous Saturday night racing was something that had been pushed by the various club committees for many years.

"It's a trial, the success of which will mainly be gauged by TAB turnover," Page said.

"Our meetings are designed to slot into the TAB and Sky coverage as the Toowoomba and Perth gallops finish and the Perth greyhounds join in."

"The club has done its groundwork.

"Now it's up to owners and trainers and the general public to show that they want this return to Saturday night racing to become a permanent thing."

Now it's up to owners and trainers and the general public to show that they want this return to Saturday night racing to become a permanent thing.

The only potential drawback I can see is that the Saturday night meetings will be of class four standard for low prize money.

I reckon it would make sense to transfer either Tuesday or Friday twilight to Saturday night and make Saturday the highest prize money meeting of the week, with stronger quality fields to attract wagering.

But one step at a time.


Curry heats

THERE are 92 greyhounds drawn to contest 23 heats of the Rosewood and District Community Bank-sponsored Vince Curry Memorial Maiden at the Ipswich Showgrounds tomorrow night.

It's a four-week series culminating in the $40,000 to the winner grand final on Thursday night, February 21.

Given that this is Australia's richest maiden race for greyhounds, I'm surprised trainers from Sydney and Melbourne have not nominated any runners.

I guess the fact that competing would involve up to four lengthy trips is a discouragement to them.

High profile Northern Rivers trainers Andrew Monaghan and Matthew Reid have runners.

Tomorrow night's races are non-betting qualifiers with the first heat at 7pm.

Admission is free and the tote will be open to bet on Saturday night greyhound, harness and thoroughbred TAB meetings.


Good grades

THE grading of greyhounds for races in Queensland had a recent short experiment of being outsourced to New South Wales.

Fairly widespread dissatisfaction among Queensland licencees occurred.

The main gripe was that trainers did not know what grade their greyhounds were and that a number of errors were being made.

Control body Racing Queensland Limited made a quick decision to revert to the previous method of grading locally.

This happened just over a week ago and already feedback has been positive.

High profile trainer Ron Ball echoed the sentiments of many licencees when he stated that he couldn't understand Queensland joining the New South Wales grading system in the first place.

"I opposed the move because there had been so many complaints from trainers in New South Wales," Ball said.

"But my thoughts fell on deaf ears."

Ball suggests the current Queensland grading system is far from perfect and he would like to see some changes.

"We only have two TAB tracks in the south-east, that's Albion Park and Ipswich," he said.

"And by the sound of things, a one-turn track to replace the Gold Coast doesn't seem likely in the near future.

"I would like to see the opportunity at Albion Park to win two fifth grades over each distance of 331, 395, 520, 600 and 710 metres.

"At Ipswich, the same to apply over 431, 520 and 630 metres.

"And I reckon shave some money off the shorter events and add that to the longer distances.

"That would be an incentive for people to have a go at taking their greyhounds up in distance."

Everyone has a theory on how to best alter the grading.

For the moment, abandoning the New South Wales method has been a hit.


Consider this: When a man opens a car door for his wife, it's either a new car or a new wife.

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