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Greyhounds: Its a late draw again for Masters.

THE Michael Meade Waterford Masters has been fixed for Sunday, November 6, and it will again be a one-off spectacular with a winner's prize of E20,000 and a total prize-fund of E40,000.

That's the good news, but the bad news is that the Irish Greyhound Board has incredibly given its blessing again to have the trap draw for the race delayed until after the weigh-in on the night of the race.

The Masters has been a great success since it was introduced after the closure of the old Dundalk and the departure of the Dundalk International. However, it has continued following the opening of the new Dundalk Stadium and the rebirth of the International.

This year there was much talk that the Masters would become an 18 dog two-run event but this hasn't materialised. Instead the race will move back to a Sunday date, it was staged on Saturday last year, and the composition of the field will be decided by a selection panel.

However, while the field will be decided well in advance, the trap draw won't be made until about 20 minutes before racing commences on the Sunday evening. The thinking of the sponsor Michael Meade, a Waterford track bookmaker, is that the delayed trap draw will mean more betting on the track rather than the big bookmaking concerns dominating the market in the days prior to the race.

Unfortunately, for the track bookmakers, this won't be the case. They will hold their regular money but the firms will advertise betting once the draw is made and the mobile phones will be very busy from the track and all around the country.

What the sponsor and the IGB obviously fails to recognise is that the delayed trap draw will affect the publicity in advance of the race and surely publicity is what both parties require!
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 30, 2005
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