A GREYHOUND ‘war’ in servicing the betting industry was confirmed to have broken out on Thursday as Bags announced that SIS had lost the distribution rights for its fixtures from the end of the year.
However, with SIS believed to be holding long term deals with the major bookmakers for them to take UK greyhound racing from it, Bags is facing a major struggle – although will hope that Arena Racing Company (Arc), the horse racecourse group attempting to rival SIS via The Racing Partnership and which bought the Hills tracks at Newcastle and Sunderland, will see its established service as offering a better bet.
The animosity between the two organisations has been simmering for the past year since SIS attempted a hostile takeover of Bags and it was widely anticipated that the distribution rights would not be renewed into 2018.
Trainers' rep Peter Harnden: expressed a note of caution
Media Group looks to tie up trainer deals
By Jonathan Kay of the Racing Post
TRAINERS at tracks aligned to Greyhound Media Group (GMG) have been offered, and in many cases signed, contacts to supply greyhounds which, in effect, tie the trainers to the tracks concerned for a period of 18 months.
The move is the latest salvo in the increasingly bitter battle between SIS and The Racing Partnership as both bid to provide the required greyhound content for betting shops from 2018 onwards, with the long-term future of Bags uncertain as a result.
SIS has announced media rights deals with Central Park and Henlow in recent weeks with Doncaster and Harlow expected to follow, and it already has access to racing from the four stadia owned by Ladbrokes Coral, namely Crayford, Hove, Monmore and Romford. Peter Harnden, the trainers’ representative on the GBGB board, said the current media rights battle was “good news” but did express a note of caution.
?3. Greyhounds can't go open racing without written permission..??
Not strictly true "IF" as written in the press release!
This release implies that this would only apply to hounds submitted to the racing office AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WEEK!
That's my take on things and would suggest that this is a safeguard against frivolous hound withdrawal only to find that said hound runs during the week in OR. This is surely to safeguard numbers at given tracks and no bad thing as we all moan about empty boxes come race day.
Once everything settles it will soon be business as usual - and for all the "bemoaners" - doom and gloom merchants, would tend to confirm that there is at least 18 month life left at the zoo despite the persistent rumors that the zoo is set to close by April?
I think your missing the point Alan, for the first time ever trainers are in the best position they have ever been in to get an increase in prize money for owners and themselves, but yesterday they were taken in separately to sign an 18 month contract so they wont be able to leave to go to another track where the prize money will prob be twice the amount your running for at the zoo. Of course a little sweetner has been offered according to your strength and some have signed it. CAN THEY NOT SEE THE BIGGER PICTURE. Owners are hard enough to find at the moment and I can see them becoming even scarcer when they see they can be running on a track up the road for massive prize money. Once again because they cant stand together nothing will change for owners, and trainers and kennel staff will still be struggling to make ends meet. As for getting written permission to go open racing, please don't be nieve Alan, if you want to go for an open race and the racing office need it for an A1, then you cant take it, THESE TRAINERS HAVE MADE THAT DECISION ABOUT OWNERS DOGS, OWNERS HAVE HAD NO SAY IN THE MATTER HOW IS THAT CORRECT. THE ONLY WINNERS AGAIN ARE THE PROMOTERS BECAUSE THEY HAVE GOT YOU ALL CHEAP YET AGAIN. Alison
Hi Alison - I don't consider for one moment that I have anything wrong here as I am saying it as I see it!
You certainly called the trainers position correct, but what a mess they appear to be making of it! That is if the feedback stories are to be believed.
I have been banging on about the need for Trainers and Owners to work together for years and it has never happened - not even close!
Even now you are finding trainers as a group NOT working together and "from a position of strength"! The strength in this case would be togetherness, but rarely ever have they worked together for a common cause.
I am led to believe that Trainers are supposed to have a spokesperson, were they consulted by fellow trainers before signing any commitment(s)?
I am reliably informed that this didn't happen, so if they are unwilling to work for and with each other on this - how can they be in a position to battle for more prize-money for individual owners which of course includes many of their own kind.
Your position of strength is a myth - unless that is, you bond together and work hard together for a reasonable resolution, if of course it isn't already too late!
Should the above conditions be true, if I was lucky enough to own an A1/Open racer I would be instructing him to take it off the graded strength immediately. The GRA may put the golden handcuffs on the trainers, but not the owners. Does this not show what contempt they have for the owners when they want to restrict you to where your dog can run. I would not want to put my trainer in the position of breaking that rule as the sanctions and grading afterwards could be damaging to their livelihoods. Don't think they want top class racing, just BAGS fodder, which is disappointing. Trainers being taken in individually and asked to sign contracts there and then could be construed as coercion. They could have all been addressed together but divide and conquer is the tactics used. Personally I would have liked the trainers to stick together, but as self employed or small business owners I can see their difficulty. Owners consulted, no , just keep providing the raw materials at your own expense. As has been said above, this could be a massive opportunity missed.
With some trainers already signed up the horse as well and truly bolted and as you say divide and conquer.It has Been said like in Ireland the prize money will rise but not at the GRA tracks so I would imagine some owners might be moving there top dogs where the good prize money is