Just a short update as we inch closer to a resumption of UK racing.
After much investigation, I have finally identified the race classification acronyms in Australian Dog Racing that were eluding us.
FFA = Free For All – thus equivalent to a UK Open event and these races can be treated with caution. Favs do tend to do well in them.
Rest = Restricted Wins – with further sub clauses about what the restrictions are. Generally a lower grade race so not necessarily one to be avoided.
Hope that helps for those asking about them. In the course of the investigation into Australian Dog Racing I did discover the debate on ethicacy of greyhound racing. An issue of course much discussed in the UK too by those interested in animal welfare.
Only one in ten greyhounds bred for racing in Australia makes it to the track with the others generally discarded. Greyhounds are very much an industry (as in the UK also but a declining one here and charity and animal welfare trusts for greyhounds unwanted for racing abound now in the UK) and still a flourishing one in Australia which boasts 65 active tracks and a 4 billion dollar annual gambling turnover.
Dogs bred purely to race is a concept that does concern and as the UK dog tracks do decline so animal welfare considerations in the UK have expanded. Retired Greyhound trusts abound in my neighbourhood and several friends have ex-greyhounds as pets. Only six countries in the world now race greyhounds with Australia the biggest. Mexico and USA are surprise members of that club of six with UK,New Zealand and Ireland making up the rest.
I have been very impressed with the standards on show in my time watching Australian dog racing. It does look extremely modern and efficient and very well organised. That is just the on track view of course. The nine in ten discarded dogs deemed not fast enough and thus not wanted does strike a more hollow note.
I'm thinking of promoting a retired greyhounds trust round here for Australian greyhounds only in honour of the money they have been winning me. Still doing better there than I ever have backing dogs in the UK!