Greyhound Racing Victoria has a message for all greyhound participants – we need greyhounds of all abilities for racing.
Prize money in Victorian greyhound racing is about to climb to $46 million per year -and with fewer greyhounds in the system due to a drop in breeding numbers, the average earning capacity of greyhounds racing in this state is set to skyrocket.
GRV’s Manager Racing Operations, Scott Robins says greyhounds of lesser ability will soon be able to earn a lot more prize money than they would have in the past. Further, trainers can afford to be less fussy about the greyhounds they keep in their kennel as the issue of not gaining a run due to excessive nominations will no longer exist.
“A lot of trainers who have had high break-in standards for the greyhounds they bring into their kennel would do well to rethink that strategy,” Robins said. “Traditionally, dogs have had to run a certain time, be able to run a certain distance or be under a particular age before some trainers will take them. And that’s been fair enough as trainers have wanted to be sure that their dogs will have no trouble getting a start and that they are competitive enough to have a reasonable chance of earning a financial return. However, with fewer dogs in the system, it is about to become easier than ever to gain a start and to win races here in Victoria.”
Robins said GRV has no intention of cutting back on its schedule of 23 meetings per week which sustains the industry, and that people shouldn’t give up so easily on young dogs just because they have less ability, or are slower than others.
“We need as many dogs as possible in the system to fill all fields. Greyhounds who previously would have been retired at a young age for being on the slower side will now have a much greater chance of establishing a competitive racing career. It will be the Graders’ job to find another seven greyhounds of similar ability to race against to achieve even fields,” he said.
Robins added that participants should also keep racing their greyhounds for longer if they are still fit and healthy.
“While greyhounds may slow down a little bit with age, that’s not always a good reason to retire them. As long as the dogs are fit, sound and enjoying racing, people should continue to race them, as we will provide more opportunities for them,” he said.
GRV’s prize money increase is expected to be rolled out before the end of 2017.