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Understanding Greyhound Racing Form

Understanding Greyhound Racing Form

I've been promising for a while now that I will teach some winning greyhound strategies so today I'm going to explain how the form is recorded for the dogs. I'll then go on to share a strategy that I have used for years whenever I bet the dogs.

This is going to run over a number of days and I might spread it out a bit so as to not bore those readers not interested in the dogs, but we'll see how it goes.

So below you will see a screenshot of some greyhound racing form and below that a list of what the various items mean.

Greyhound racing form

Greyhound racing form – Click to Enlarge

[1] Starting with the easy, this is the trap that the dog will run from

[2] The dogs name & (W) indicates that this dog is a wide runner and consequently it will be allocated one of the outside traps each time it runs. You may also see (M) which indicates a middle runner and this dog will be allocated a middle trap.

[3] The best recent (Calculated) time that the greyhound has achieved along with details of the grade and the date. In this case the best time came in a trial, a trial is a qualifying race which helps the racing manager to know how to grade the dog IE what is it's ability what race should he put it in. Trials will usually have less than 6 runners, 3 in this case, and there is no betting on trials.

[4] The name of the trainer.

[5] This is the Racing Post rating for the dog. It is time based and personally I don’t pay much attention to it.

[6] A description of the animal in this case a F b which is a fawn bitch (female) a male will be indicated with a d for dog. This is followed by the name of the dogs sire (father), dam (mother) and the date whelped (Date of Birth).

[7] Date last in season. Bitches only!

[8] This is the Racing Post's tipsters comment, often vague and and can sway your judgement.

Now we get to the past form for the dog in question. Each line represents one race with the top line being the most recent.

[9] The date of the race.

[10] The track where the race was run.

[11] The distance of the race in metres.

[12] The trap number that the dog ran from on that occasion.

[13] The sectional or split time. This is the time from the traps to the winning line the first time the dog passes the line. This is useful to hep you understand the pace of the dog and whether it is likely to lead early.

[14] Position in race at the start (IE out of the traps), quarter (In a 4 bend race this will be between the 1st & 2nd bends), half and three quarter stages.

[15] Finishing position.

[16] The distance beaten by or if the winner the distance won by.

[17] The name of the winner or the second if this dog was the winner.

[18] The Racing Manager's in running comments for that run

[19] The time that the winner took to complete the race.

[20] The allowance made for the going. N = normal otherwise plus or minus in hundredths of a second EG – 40 means that the time was adjusted down by 40 hundredths of a second.

[21] The starting price of the dog.

[22] The grade of the race.

[23] The calculated time for this dog. This will be calculated from the distance the dog finished behind the winner and adjusted for the going allowance.

Now that we understand the information (form) that we have available next time we can look at how we can use that information.

Now we know how to read the card check out these posts that deal with finding a winner.

Who is the fastest to the first bend

Greyhound racing videos 

Baulking

Is it fast enough

Image courtesy of Saris0000 under Creative Commons 2.0

Greyhounds – Is it fast enough

Once we have found a dog that looks like it will have a favourable position, ideally in front, at the first bend and will not get any trouble on the way to the bend then all you need to know now is whether it is fast enough to hold onto its lead.

It is very common to find a dog that will get a clear run around and will lead most of the way in a race only to lose in the closing stages.

These sprint type dogs just don’t have the stamina to hold on to the winning line and are a trap for anybody using the kind of strategy that we have discussed here.

The key clue to whether we are dealing with this kind of dog is its past race positions. If it has led previously all the way but still not won then you need to find a reason why it might hang on today. EG If in a previous race the positions are shown as 2111 but the dog didn’t win the race then this is a danger signal.

Maybe it is an easier race today maybe a lower grade. Maybe it is fitter today, if the last run came after rest or it is a puppy who is improving. If you can’t find a reason then maybe you should give this one a miss.

Because graded races are in theory constructed such that any dog could win, other than the types mentioned above, I tend to not pay too much attention to the previous times recorded by each dog. As long as my selection is not way slower than the opposition then I am likely to go with it.

The exceptions to this are where I can see a reason why one of the opposition might improve. These include…

Puppies. Young dogs that are just starting out on their careers which can improve in leaps and bounds.

Rested dogs. Dogs that have been off for a rest and are not yet running to their pre rest form. EG If they were running A4 grade before their rest but are now reappearing in an A6 then it is likely that at sometime soon they will return to the previous grade IE they are better than their opposition.

Bitches that have been in season. Bitches don’t run when they are in season. When they return they tend to find significant improvement at around 16 weeks after their season commenced. This tendency is significant enough to be a profitable strategy in itself.

One final point to keep in mind is that you don’t have to bet just one selection in a race. If you have narrowed a race down to two or three contenders then consider splitting your stakes between them.

Splitting stakes across multiple selections is a strategy I use a lot in greyhound racing. You can either bet the same stake on each dog or adjust your stake so you make the same profit whichever of your selections wins.

You can use our dutching tool that will help you determine the correct stakes for dutching selections.

And that is the method that I use to find winning greyhound selections. As with any betting method you are looking for a dog with a strong chance of winning and one that has a better chance than the available odds suggest. There is no clear cut selection ever, because if a dog is an obvious winner then the odds will reflect that.

But that said I have frequently found selections that I am sure will win, barring accidents, at 4/1 and 5/1.

Nick Hardman Free Racing Tips

It's Friday and here's Nick Hardman from the Betting School Insiders Club.
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We had another terrific Friday last week courtesy of Nicky Henderson’s hurdlers and he rattled up a hat-trick across the cards with winners at 6/1, 4/1 and 9/4. With Chepstow abandoned and nothing making any appeal at Musselburgh, we turn out attention back to the AW and some qualifiers from the systems we are road testing over at the Betting School Insiders Club which are ticking over nicely.

There are no qualifiers from Lingfield but we have a few from the evening card at Wolverhampton below:

5.15pm Solar Deity & Linton
5.45pm Harwoods Star
6.15pm Little Lord Nelson
6.45 Go Packing Go & Sciustree

Solar Deity looks to have a good chance to get off the mark in 2015 after a string of placed efforts. He is rated 6lbs higher than his nearest rival on official ratings but is well-in under these weights. He rates a solid bet and I expect him to shorten so take the best morning price with a Best Odds Guaranteed bookmaker.

Stablemate Linton needs to recapture the form that saw him win plenty of races in Australia and compete in a pair of Listed races on the flat last year. I would be as surprised as anyone if Linton were to take this from his stablemate but he is one that may tempt the each-way backers at a price.

Harwoods Star got turned over at 4/9 on his last start but has a chance of making amends here back up in trip and with7lb claimer Aaron Jones back on board. The yard are in excellent form too so he is worth another chance.

The same trainer and jockey team up on Little Lord Nelson in the next and he also has decent chance on handicap debut. The final race will most likely see Charlie Appleby’s New Approach colt Symbolic Star go off a warm order. If he takes a chunk out of the market that could see our two qualifiers go off at an each-way price.

Sciustree is related to plenty of winners and was 6th of 12 on debut and should improve for that experience. Go Packing Go is also well related and makes her debut here.

Saturday’s feature race is the Clarence House Chase which sees the return of the mighty Sprinter Sacre. I for one will be hoping he doesn’t just win this, but wins in the manner of a horse that totally dismisses his rivals. Racing needs superstars and we want this one back. With that in mind it is a watching race and not a betting race for me.

For a selection on Saturday I have run the rule over the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock from a trends perspective.

We have a shortlist of 4 qualifiers in Vintage Star, Benbens, Amigo and Toby Lerone. Benbens had Amigo some 20 lengths behind in the Welsh National and I cannot see any reason why Amigo should turn the tables here.

Toby Lerone put in a career best last time when finishing second to Broadway Buffalo in the Tommy Whittle Chase at this venue. He is up 6lbs for that and could still be improving. That was on heavy ground too, which he will likely get again on Saturday.

Vintage Star is 4lbs lower than when runner-up in this race last year. He is also back down to his last winning mark that saw him win a Graduation Chase at Carlisle on heavy ground over 3m 1f.

He has not performed that well in 3 starts this season but he has yet to see really testing ground which he may well get on Saturday. Trainer Suzy Smith has an excellent record in the race having trained 2 winners, a runner-up and two third placed finishers since 2000.

It’s a leap of faith but I am willing to make him one of my selections from the shortlist in the hope this is a true test of stamina.

I am torn between Benbens and Toby Lerone for my second selection but I will side with Benbens as the father & son Twiston-Davies combination has been in fine form recently. In addition he was travelling as well as anything in the Welsh National until running out of gas about three flights from home. Back down in trip I think he can go well.

Saturday Haydock 3.15pm
Vintage Star e/w
Benbens e/w

The one runner who does interest me on Saturday’s cards is super-tough mare Carole’s Spirit in the Mare’s Hurdle race at Ascot.

A winner of 4 of her 5 starts her only defeat came at the hands of Highland Retreat who has gone on to be an exciting novice chaser for Harry Fry.

Against her own sex and proven over track, trip and ground I expect her to go very close.

Saturday Ascot 1.50pm
Carole’s Spirit

Good Luck
Nick Hardman
Betting School Insiders Club

Nick Hardman Tips

Anybody that followed our Friday Nick Hardman columns in 2014 will have made plenty of profit from the selections posted.

2015 has already got off to a great start and today Nick has selections at Huntingdon and Doncaster and selections for tomorrows Lanzarote…

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We had a great start to 2015 with 3 winners from our 5 AW selections in addition to L’Ami Serge winning comfortably and Triolo D’Alene grabbing some place money @16/1 under a brilliant ride by Barry Geraghty on Saturday.

This week we turn our attention to the Friday cards at Huntingdon and Doncaster and we have a couple of selections for the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton on Saturday.

Nicky Henderson has a 44% strike rate at Huntingdon in the last 2 years. In that time he has sent out 15 winners from 34 runners. 9 of those winners were in hurdles races and he is 3-4 in maiden hurdles at the course.

Today he has a couple of qualifiers who are pretty much unknown quantities.

Huntingdon 1.20pm Maestro Royale
Huntingdon 2.30pm Hel Tara

Nicky Henderson also does well at Doncaster with his hurdlers. In the last two years his hurdlers at the course are 15-37 (41% strike rate) and show a level stakes profit of £37.46.

His handicap hurdlers have a lower strike rate (31%) but tend to pop up at decent prices with his last 4 handicap hurdle winners at the course returning industry SPs of 16/1, 15/2, 8/1 and 8/1. He has a trio of hurdle runners today.

Doncaster 12.30pm Saint Charles (Maiden hurdle)
Doncaster 1.35pm Nicolas Chauvin (Novice hurdle)
Doncaster 3.15pm Earth Amber (Handicap hurdle)

The Lanzarote Hurdle is one of the feature races on Saturday and I like the look of Dawalan and Hello George who are both backable each-way at 8/1.

Dawalan represents the Henderson/ Geraghty combination.

Back in November he got to within half a length of Sign Of A Victory over 2 miles and the latter is now rated 149 over hurdles having been last seen in the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle at Kempton.

Dawalan also had the re-opposing Kilcooley 16 lengths behind that day and that horse has gone on and franked that form (2nd to L’Ami Serge and 23 length winner at Haydock on his next two starts).

What is more significant though in the context of the Lanzarote hurdle is Dawalan’s battling victory at Ascot over 2m 4f on his last start.

That day he was outpaced and 5 lengths down three from home, but rallied gamely to get up close home to beat stable mate and 145 rated Bear’s Affair.

The extra furlong should suit and he gets a whole stone from Kilcooley who heads the weights.

Hello George ran a good race in the Ladbroke Hurdle, not beaten that far in 6th. He probably needs more of a test than the 2 miles he faced that day and he certainly gets it here.

He was tapped for toe in the Ladbroke but stayed on nicely to suggest the step up in trip may well suit.

He gets in off a light weight of 10st and that should see him competitive if he sees out the trip.

Saturday January 10th

Kempton 2.40 pm Dawalan 8/1 and Hello George 8/1 (1pt e/w ¼ odds, 4 places)

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