From the Callers Box

Everyone has bugbears and gripes.

That’s ok, we all do.

And they can come in all different shapes and sizes.

For the regulars at Albion Park, I’m sure most would be aware of mine.

The timing system.

Yes, the simple timing system really grinds my gears with its inconsistencies and inaccuracies.

Like most things in the modern world, when it works, it’s fine and we get on spendidly.

But when things go pear-shaped or oddball, my frustrations are very apparent.

Unfortunately, it seems to be more consistent than inconsistent nowadays.

I’m sure there’s a number of you having a chuckle or raising the eyebrows about my pet hate but this needs to be addressed.

And quickly.

Time and time again, the mile rates or sectionals in-running will malfunction providing a misnomer.

Normally, this will be corrected when the presiding judge checks and double checks all relevant information in due course.

But in this throw away society, we need that information….NOW.

Timing is everything in life and it’s no different in harness racing, the impact emanating from the timing system is far-reaching and effects many sectors of the industry.

Trainers, drivers, owners, breeders and most importantly, the punters are seriosly effected when the system fails to deliever.

Heck, even the race broadcaster is effected.

Time is money.

I’ll pose a number of scenarios; What if a horse is under offer depending on time? What if a breeder has a relation pegged for sale and the older sibling scores prior to sale to increase or decrease value? What if a owner or trainer wants a driver to run a certain time? What if a punter backs a horse based on certain sectionals to be run?

The market is constantly evolving and the North American influence is paramount.

I could go on and on, but, the bottom line is that timing is a key player at every meeting and every race staged.

So, the timing needs to be treated with utmost respect.

As we know, Albion Park was once famously dubbed as the ‘Speed Pacing Capital of Australia’ during it’s glory days, we all remember the times/sectionals being posted on the giant semaphore board on the turn out of the straight.

If we can put a man on the moon, surely we can get the best timing system installed.

And if we get it right sooner rather than later, that puts us in a great position moving forward.

Keeping in mind, next year we host another huge TAB Constellations plus, and more importantly, an Inter Dominion series returns to the Sunshine State following a 13 year hiatus.

I’m probably off the beaten path with this subject, but as you can tell, we need to get this right.

Because time is ticking!

Chris Barsby