The ANZSUS alliance means we help all Yanks, faithfully.
[...before I speak on topic .......... do I detect a puppy holding back a 'bark' until I have spoken?]
Small field sizes in Europe and the US reflect the problems of the racing industry being in decline there.
Australia is a special case: -- almost all of the races run here are of no consequence -- being run on non-metropolitan tracks -- the function of these 'country' races is more about shifting 'off-budget' tax-takeouts (from metropolitan racing turnover) to rural areas with a local race track.
For metropolitan racing of any consequence these days, in Sydney and Melbourne, administrators seem to be responding in the same way as Hong Kong -- confusing the punters by inflating the fields to add a random disturbance to the established form.
'No-hopers', hoping to run 10th, give the running of a race some of the character of a 'pinball machine' game where the 'better chances', there to win, need to weave a path (between), (or around) or (ahead of) 'no-hopers' cluttering the field as the pace picks up. Often they do not get a clear run.
The 'relief' for the racing industry from this tactic is likely to be short lived.
Punters make be a bit old and a bit slow to learn but as the memories of a good day 'on the punt' become faint, they will pull the plug.
............... it cannot be long before the betting on the races is 'in club' .......small groups of like-ability people betting among themselves and sharing 100% of the pool among themselves.
The US community could also do this.