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Greyhounds: Comment: Semi-final scheduling a disgrace.

THE inaugural running of the Kalooki Club Kent Derby at Sittingbourne has, by all accounts, been a roaring success. That success, however, has been jeopardised by the ludicrous scheduling of tomorrow's two semi-finals of the Category One event.

The first of the eliminators is scheduled for 8.37pm, but there is then a gap of almost two hours before the scheduled time of the second semi final at 10.24pm.

Surely this give those greyhounds running in the first semi final a marked advantage and leaves the racing manager open to criticism. Imagine the furore if ante-post favourite Smoking Bullet, who runs from trap six in the second semi, was a known bad kenneller.

As it happens he is not, but he and the other runners in the second semi face having to kennel some two hours longer than their peers in the first semi. Furthermore, it will make form comparison between the two semis less solid as track conditions will have varied given such an unusual delay.

In any competition it is imperative that all competitors are given an equal chance of winning and to this end wherever possible semi-finals should be run off consecutively.

If it is not too late, the race times should be altered. If not Sittingbourne's management should apologise to all owners and trainers connected with runners in the second semi-final for jeopardising their chances of running in next Sunday's showpiece pounds 10,000 final.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Meldrum, Peter
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Aug 16, 2000
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