Hectic program part of new racing landscape

HAVE you ever stopped and wondered how much racing has changed over the past decade or two?

To me, the biggest change has been the amount of racing that is served up for punters. It is wall-to-wall racing nowadays.

There's just so much racing of the three codes, you would need a full-time assistant, or perhaps a few, to keep up with what's going on. And that applies to greyhound racing, the thoroughbreds and the trots.

Concerning greyhounds, what's going on this week alone with feature races has me shaking my head, trying to come to grips with it all.

Heats of the Lismore Cup are on tonight in northern New South Wales.

Fourteen Queensland-trained greyhounds are engaged.

The Geelong Cup final is also being run tonight, in Victoria of course, and it's a crackerjack field.

Tomorrow night in Sydney, there's heats of the Vic Peters Memorial which is a group one series of $75,000 to the winner of the final.

Tomorrow week, the Meadows in Melbourne will conduct the glamour event called the Top Gun. It's an invitation race worth a whopping $150,000 to the winner.

Tony Brett's top-class dog Flash Reality is in the Top Gun and has drawn box four.

Brett trains the dog for Marlene Ellis who lives in Grafton, NSW.

Brett was the last Queensland trainer to win the Top Gun. He scored with the brilliant Black Enforcer in 2005.

I suppose greyhound racing is no different to sports such as cricket, rugby league, tennis and others which have so many games and competitions going on that you feel giddy trying to follow them all.

The bottom line seems to be - we live in a busy world and things aren't going to change in that regard.


Lillian's fine feat

LAST week in this column, I mentioned the outstanding success being enjoyed this year at Ipswich greyhound meetings by 21-year-old trainer Amy O'Reilly, of Lanefield.

I made the comment that I couldn't recall the last time a female trainer had won an overall Ipswich premiership, which O'Reilly may do this year.

Veteran trainer John Edwards, of Fernvale, was quickly on the phone to remind me that his wife Lillian has beaten the males at Ipswich.

He says she did that on six occasions. I'll take his word as being correct. No official records are available.

"Jovial" John is in the Ipswich hospital for major surgery. Hopefully the 74-year-old will enjoy a speedy return to good health.


Darwin switch

DARWIN greyhound racing can now be seen on Sky Racing on Sunday nights.

Negotiations with Sky have seen Darwin switch from Friday night to Sunday. Previously, there was radio TAB coverage only and Tattsbet was the only TAB betting on the venue.

Last Sunday was the first Sky meeting and early betting figures are good.

Win betting on Tattsbet showed an increase of 52 percent from the last Friday non-Sky meeting.

Strangely, the next most popular form of betting, the trifecta, only saw an increase of a mere eight dollars, which is less than one percent.

There were five races last Sunday.

Darwin club secretary-manager Craig Sant says the immediate aim is to stage six races with full fields of eight.

"In time, we hope increased betting will lead to better prizemoney then more dogs purchased to race here," Sant said.

The quality of the lighting at Darwin's Winnellie Park track looked to be of higher standard than some other Sky-covered night venues.


Consider this

THERE are two kinds of people - givers and takers. The takers may eat better but the givers sleep better.


Charity bet

Today's twilight meeting at Ipswich will be the fifth of 35 consecutive days and nights of greyhound racing at the Showgrounds, while Albion Park is closed for reconstruction.

My charity bet last week finished unplaced. But let's soldier on. This week's bet comes up tomorrow night. It's $50 each way on race five, dog seven Mister to Us which is trained by Terry Auckram.

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