Greyhound racing is a niche industry, and one of the more unique roles within the multi-million dollar sport is that of the Judge on race days.
Nick Ansell is a Judge at the Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club, and he recently caught up with James Van de Maat to discuss the intricacies of the role.
He details the technology used to separate greyhounds at the very moment the winner crosses the finish line, and how this is important in determining betting results and producing accurate data for form guides.
However, despite the advanced technology he said there is sometimes an incredible run of consecutive races where greyhounds simply cannot be separated.
“Trainers have the right to question a decision, but if we can’t prove there’s a margin, that’s when we will call it a dead heat.”
“If we can’t prove that there’s a margin, that’s when we will call it a dead heat,” Ansell said.
“There was once a faze where we had 10 dead heats for fourth (place) in a row.”
Ansell explained that trainers have the right to question a Judge’s decision on a photo finish – and that this happens from time to time – which is another reason it is imperative that all care is taken when determining a result.
And while he is passionate about greyhound racing, don’t ever expect to see Nick placing a bet at the track.
“Punting is the one thing we can’t do (as Judges) because we have the ability to influence a result,” he explained.
Based in Warrnambool, Ansell also works as a freelance journalist, writing a weekly Western Wrap as well as regular magazine-style articles relating to feature greyhound racing in Western Victoria for www.grv.org.au.
Watch: Nick Ansell outlines the role of the Judge in greyhound racing.