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Michael Floyd explains all the ‘Razldazl’ Surrounding this Year’s Launching Pad

With an exciting new format that is creating a buzz in greyhound racing both nationally and overseas, there is plenty of interest leading into Thursday night’s Group 2 Razldazl Launching Pad heats (515m) at Sandown Park. Racing Manager Michael Floyd (pictured), who this week celebrates 10 years of service at the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club, answers a few questions about the revamped series.
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Q. What are the key elements that make the new Razldazl Launching Pad series so unique?
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Michael Floyd: The Razdazl Launching Pad is unique in that there is a $2000 entry fee for each of the 64 spots in the heats. The entry fees (and a bit more) go to towards the increased prize money for the final (from $58,000 in 2014 to $200,000 in 2015). The entry form is fully transferable, giving the owner of the form the option to enter a greyhound of their own, sell it to another participant, or work out an arrangement with the owner or trainer of another suitable greyhound. Several clubs also purchased tickets and ran a series of their own with an entry form as an additional prize. All of those clubs’ series were very strong and will be represented by some very talented greyhounds on Thursday night.
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Q. Is the revamped concept modelled on something similar to another racing code or a concept overseas?
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MF:
The concept is loosely based on the Irish Coursing Derby.
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Q. What is Sandown hoping to achieve by putting on such a unique concept and have these objectives been met so far?
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MF:
There were a number of goals we wanted to achieve. We wanted to create a truly unique series that would create a talking point within the industry, to create a race with prize money to attract the best young greyhounds from across the country, to give people who may not have a greyhound to run in a series like this the opportunity to still have a group race runner, and to give other clubs the opportunity to run a series with the potential for a large prize as well. The response to this initial series has exceeded our expectations – entry forms sold out in little more than a day – and there are a number of options we’re looking at to grow the series in 2016.
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Q. Right at this point in time, for the 64 greyhounds drawn in Thursday night’s heats, what differentiates this series from any other with eight heats and a final?
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MF:
From a racing point of view, it’s a standard heats and final series, restricted to greyhounds with 1-6 wins and no more than 30 starts.
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Q. Is there a list of transfers of entry forms that occurred and what each was sold for?
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MF:
The initial sale of entry forms was conducted online via a third party site to ensure that all participants had an equal chance to purchase an entry form. Since then, there were 32 transfers completed in the lead up to the series (with some forms changing hands more than once). Arrangements between buyers and sellers is private, but most were transferred at cost or for a small profit.
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Q. In what forum did the transfer of Entry Forms happen (eg. online)?
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MF:
Sandown helped to facilitate transfers where possible, but all transactions were private. Available entry forms were advertised on the Sandown website as well as a number of other media. Entry form transfers were registered with the club by 12 noon the Friday before close of nominations.

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Q. Is Sandown aware of any prize money arrangements that have been made between connections and Entry Form holders? If so, are all these arrangements available for public?

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MF:
There have been a number of arrangements reached between entry form holders and greyhound owners and trainers. These arrangements generally involve a percentage of prize money, but the specifics are a private arrangement between the parties.

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Q. On paper this looks a very strong series, but were there many local greyhounds that weren’t entered into the series because connections weren’t clear about the concept?

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MF:
Not that I’m aware. The series conditions were confirmed almost a year ago, entry forms on sale in September and information around the series online since.
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Related
Launching Pad Set for Blast Off
Sandown Park Formguide

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