Tuesday, March 8, 2016
The first day of the International All Star Series was a good one for the world, thanks to Yannick Gingras' two wins and a second out of four starts at the Geelong at Tabcorp Melton race meeting yesterday. Gingras leads the standings with forty-two points followed by Australia's Dexter Dun with thirty-three points with the World narrowly leading Victoria by 133-124.
You can read more about day one by clicking on this link. However, what you won't read there is the North American trio of drivers experienced Aussie judging; let's look at a summary of the day for the North American group for the day.
Corey Callhan - Caution for a dropped foot (race 4, 5), Caution for body out of suly (race 8)
Yannick Gingras - Caution for having his body out of the sulky (race 4)
Brett Miller - Caution for lack of control (race 4), Caution for body out of sulky (race 7)
Update: It was Brett Miller's show on the second day, winning the final two races at Echuca. Miller is now third overall, behind leaders Chris Alford and Dexter Dun. Victoria now leads the world in team standings. In addition, Brett Miller is the first North American to get fined for dropping a foot in the fourth race at Echuca with Gingras cautioned over a dropped foot and hitting the pylons in race eight.
It may be interesting to see which drivers move past the caution stage and end up with a fine and/or days) for driving infractions. Yes, any suspension issued in Australia could hound the driver(s) back in the States.
Aesthetically, what I enjoyed was a line imposed on the television feed showing the 200, 100, 50 meter marks, and the finish line during the run home. Also enjoyed the camera angles used, unlike the traditional North American picture. You can judge how they show their races by clicking on this link and experience it yourself.
If you are a reader of this blog for any length of time, you know I am an advocate for distance racing as well as racing under saddle, As often as I write such articles, I tend to get comments on the blog and elsewhere how the American harness racing gambler won't accept distance racing or RUS.
Well, my question is how does one know the public will reject either of these changes. Admittedly, if you have one RUS or even a distance race, betting may be anemic, but the only way we will know if either option is acceptable is by trying; introducing these types of races for a set period of time in order to give the customers an opportunity to experience the races and get a feel for how they go. Then, and only then can you determine if the change(s) is a success or failure. We can all talk about how successful or bad these innovations could be, but the truth is it is up to the consumer, in this case the punter who will decide. I say give the punters the product and let them vote with their wallets. Then and only then will we know how receptive the public is.