More money for maiden winners will help racing

ANY time I have heard high-profile horse trainer John Hawkes interviewed on radio or television, he has spoken plenty of sense.

Last weekend I heard Hawkes questioned about prizemoney levels for thoroughbred races in New South Wales.

He thinks that maiden races should be worth more than at present. In fact he thinks maidens should be worth $35,000 at all tracks, making them in most cases the richest races of the day.

The logic of Hawkes is that if a person who owns a maiden horse wins a race for decent prizemoney, they are likely to reinvest in another horse, thereby keeping the industry afloat with numbers.

Win a maiden race for low prizemoney and a person is likely to just keep going with that one horse rather than expand.

It all made good sense and got me thinking could this be beneficial for greyhound racing.

Take Ipswich on a Tuesday as an example. A maiden winner receives $860, a novice winner gets $1100 and graded winners $1400.

Given that a lot of greyhounds win only one race, $860 isn't much of an incentive to expand one's team.

But say the reward for winning a maiden race was $2500, an owner might get pretty excited and want to get another greyhound.

There are normally two or three maiden races at Ipswich on a Tuesday and on a Friday too.

So how would we fund the increase, assuming there's no extra funds available for prizemoney allocation?

Let's make a calculation based on two maiden races per day on a 10 race card.

To take the maidens from $860 to $2500, we need to find an extra $3280. That would be $410 to be cut from each of the eight novice and graded races.

Perhaps we could reduce the first, second and third prizemoney rather than take $410 from the winner.

Or we could dispense with the $35 unplaced rebate which fourth to eighth currently receive, thereby only needing to reduce the winner and placegetters' prizemoney by a small amount.

Given that a greyhound would have earned $2500 when winning its maiden, it wouldn't be too painful to earn a bit less if your dog goes on and wins a novice then some graded races.

If you win four or five races your return would be about the same. But if you only win one race, you have received a decent return of $2500.

The prizemoney pool would be the same, just distributed differently. I'm with John Hakwes on this one.


Tight premierships

THE premierships at Ipswich run until December 31.

Approaching the halfway mark of this year, each of four categories is a tight battle.

The leading male trainer is Col Byers with 186 points. Not far away is Tom Tzouvelis on 162, then Troy Sharpe with 134.

The leading female trainer is Rachel Scott with 97 points. Deborah Simon is in hot pursuit with 89 points and the pair are well clear of Vicki Wisener's 47 points.

Peter O'Reilly leads the charge in the owners' premiership with 104 points. But Cye Travers with 98 and Deborah Simon on 94 are there ready to challenge.

Are They Now, trained by Peter Ruetschi, leads the greyhound of the year with 51 points. But Charmed Speed for Col Byers is right there with 47 points. Rylee's Ebony for Greg Stella has 45 points and Jock Campbell's She's a Size is on 44.


Night meeting

THERE'S non Tab racing at the Ipswich Showgrounds tomorrow night, with eight races from 6.30pm.

For today's twilight TAB card, celebrity tipster Berrick Barnes is betting $25 each way on race five, dog two Midnight Toast and race nine, number one Vanaheim.

Barnes had one placegetter from two selections last week for a return of $35. As that old saying goes: "Little fish are sweet.''


Early rewards

THE first "early bird" nominations for this year's Ipswich Magical Puppy Auction close next Friday with the club.

Pups whelped between October 1, 2012 and June 1 this year are eligible for the sale to be held on the last weekend in October this year.

The cheapest entry fee is $55 and that applies until next Friday.


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