AGRA’s Pathetic Record Keeping

Stryker's ShadowI’ve long complained at the laxity regarding record keeping in greyhound racing. While things have improved in leaps and bounds in recent years, I notice our peak body has allowed some glaring mistakes and poor record keeping to slip into its archives.

Since the introduction of Group Racing in 1995 it is possible for any interested person to go to the AGRA website and obtain the results of every group and listed event run year on year since then. That’s a positive.

What is also a positive is the records show not just the winner, but the placings of the rest of the field, margins, times, dates, first prize money and the like. All good, you would think.

Well, for some strange reason, the 2013 Group Racing results are incomplete in many cases. Yes, that’s last year, so I’m not talking ancient history.

The information contained in the AGRA results for the world’s richest staying event, the Sandown Cup, will let you know the winner (Irma Bale) only. No second, no third, no unplaced, no margins, no time. What about the Sapphire Crown? Same thing. The Albion Park Gold Cup. Same again. Three of the nation’s major Group 1 events, and the best AGRA can come up with in terms of those who competed in these races are the names of the winners.

The Harrison-Dawson final winner last year was Clone Your Own. Who ran second? third? How far did Clone Your Own score by? Don’t bother checking the AGRA files, none of that simple information is recorded. Of course, it’s only a Group 2 event.

The Ladies Bracelet and Bulli Gold Cup winners of 2013 are faithfully recorded. The rest of the finalists are a mystery as are the runners in the Lizrene, Bill Collins Memorial, Bert Bryant Memorial, Flying Amy Classic, and Macro Meats Cup.

That’s nine major races conducted in 2013 for which the industry’s leading organization has failed to record the depth of information which has been standard since 1995.

It gets worse. The 2006 Ladies Bracelet information shows Molli Tears as the third placegetter. In fact, Molli Tears (box 3) was scratched and replaced by first reserve Miss Porsca, who took third placing.

Now, the way this mistake could have been avoided would be to record the box numbers of each and every finalist in the results produced by AGRA. The extra work would add about 30 seconds per race recorded, but it would mean less mistakes and more detailed information…a win all around.

The 2009 Ladies Bracelet winner was Starfire Havoc. AGRA records show Vic Bartolo as the trainer. This is also confirmed by the GRV website. Yet, look at The Dogs information for that race and the trainer is listed as Brett Ferguson. So, who’s right? How many other mistakes are now enshrined for all eternity in the files of the AGRA?

I well recall trying more than once to get the National Coursing Association to correct its error with regard to the winners of the NSW Greyhound of the Year title. It had Tara Flash winning in 1971 and Shapely Escort in 1970. It’s the other way around. Despite this, the literature and information they continued to put out for years continued to be wrong. It’s like having Phar Lap as the winner of the 1929 Melbourne Cup, not 1930.

I accept mistakes happen. Despite the best attempts of ‘nanny states’ at trying to create perfection, we humans have our foibles. Unfortunately, unless the errors are discovered and corrected, the wrong ‘facts’ become enshrined in history. Near enough is simply not good enough.

See the original story here: http://www.australianracinggreyhound.com/australian-greyhound-racing/history/agras-pathetic-record-keeping/50335

UPDATE: Michael Floyd from the Sandown club emailed me with the missing information, saying there had been a staff change in May 2013, which had led to the records to not being updated. He said the information would be passed on to AGRA and the records should be updated.

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