THE Easter Monday programme at Happy Valley starts dismally due entirely to the Jockey Club's totally outdated entry system. There are only five runners in the longer sprint for griffins and that is followed by an eight-runner division of the same Nassau Plate, making in two races a total of 13 declared starters. We are now inflicted with two races where betting interest will be minimal and racing excitement dulled by lack of runners and subsequent competition. All totally avoidable if the Jockey Club would simply kick-start themselves into the professional era in this vital department. The current system of taking entries anything up to 10 days or two weeks in advance of the race date and dividing races at that stage was almost certainly in operation when the late Sir Gordon Richards won the Derby. It is most graphically illustrated on Monday because here we have an excellent holiday fixture with people out to enjoy themselves. They most certainly have the right to see full fields - unless there are obvious reasons why such fields are reduced. When entries for the Easter Monday meeting were taken - and divided - there were 16 reserves listed for the Class Four Mr Eve Handicap, a conditions race for riders who have ridden less than 250 career winners. Quite clearly this race would have divided easily at declaration time, giving us another full field and a potentially exciting race. Alternatively, the Class Five longer sprint on Monday saw 13 reserves listed, giving us every reason to believe that had this race been split yesterday morning we could have had another full Class Five race. Even the featured Class Two Sassoon Challenge Cup saw nine reserves listed and if they had stood their ground by declaration time yesterday we might well have had another topline event, not necessarily with a full field. It is unnecessary to labour the point. The facts quite clearly speak for themselves and the Jockey Club must simply take action at the end of the season - if not before - to do their punters justice. There are no worthwhile excuses. The five-day entry system works extremely well elsewhere. By taking entries five or six days before a race date, issuing weights the following day and dividing at declaration time, Hongkong would simply slip into the mainstream of world racing. It is sad that with so much obvious professionalism in other areas we should be so backward in what is very much a grassroots area of the sport. There should be no more foot-dragging on this issue - a change is decades overdue.