I keep hearing how Harness Racing turnover is falling but I don't see any changes taking place to improve the one area that has pushed large punters away.
Unlike Harness Racing the Thoroughbred Racing have the benefit of barrier attendant's and on most occasions all horses are presented with a fair start.
However every week there would be at least 10 to 15 Harness races where horses don't score up or gallop before the start and take no part or at best are totally noncompetitive.
I understand that Harness Racing officials will say that it's the drivers responsibility to have their horse ready to come up behind the mobile and start on terms with the rest of the field but there are occasions when horses don't even score up and are left with no chance.
I recently asked a professional punter if he still bets on Harness Racing and he said, "I gave that joke away years ago". I then asked why? He said, "after having large bets on 3 horses at Melton one night and each failed to score up and all ran last, it was enough for me".
He also stated at least at the Gallops your horse is assisted in the barrier and 98% of the time you get a fair start.
I know ask is it time for the Harness Racing authorities to look at their starting procedures and rules?
How about if a horse fails to score up by a certain mark, like 50 metres prior to the start then the start is aborted. If the same horse offends in the second score up it is then scratched.
Punters want a fair run for their money and it is nothing worse than seeing your money gone before the start.
Food for though.
Looking forward to some constructive suggestions.