Greyhound Racing Victoria’s Chief Grader Andrew Mills believes it is crucially important for the sport’s Members to gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the grading process.
GRV hosted its second Grandstand Grading session on Monday 28 July at Ballarat to help achieve exactly that, as Members were given the opportunity to observe Mills grade four race meetings live on a big screen.
Racing Manager Scott Robins and GM of Integrity, Racing and Welfare Glen Canty were also on hand to answer questions about the process, including new grading changes to be implemented next week.
Grandstand Grading fits as part of GRV’s Strategic plan, ‘On Track for a Great Future’, and came about as a result of consultation sessions held earlier this year where the Grading process was high on the agenda for comment and improvement from participants.
Grandstand Grading provides Members with the opportunity to view the Grading process in its entirety, ask questions and seek clarification on various issues within the grading process.
Mills took the time answer a few questions about the session…
Q: How were interest levels at Ballarat compared to the first Grandstand Grading session at The Meadows back in June.
Mills: Many members were curious and a lot of different questions were asked, particularly in relation to the grading of their own greyhounds. At The Meadows we were located in the upstairs dining area, and while there was a solid level of interest from people on that day, more people took an interest at Ballarat as we were located in a more central location on course.
Q: From your personal perspective, why are these sessions so important?
Mills: These sessions are important to allow Members to gain an understanding of the grading process, to take away the ‘mystery element’ and provide transparency, with the aim of educating Members so they can gain a better appreciation of the task. It also provides the Members with an opportunity to ask questions in relation to the grading process in person, rather than just in a written format or over the telephone.
Q. For people who have yet to take up the opportunity to be involved in Grandstand Grading, what can they expect?
Mills: It’s a great opportunity for Members and participants to view the entire grading process, which runs as follows:
a. entering the start times of the races from Sky Racing
b. selecting the race program from the nominations received
c. sorting the fields of eight greyhounds plus reserves
d. placing the races in race order, and finally
e. locking in the time of the Box draw
Many Members had not viewed the Box draw via the website before and were pleasantly surprised at the manner in which it was performed.
Q. Are there any upcoming Grandstand Grading sessions scheduled?
Mills: There are a number of upcoming sessions programmed with the next at Healesville on Thursday 28 August. It is anticipated that each track will be host to this process over the coming months. Members can refer to FastTrack for future dates.