If you followed along yesterday you will have seen that the read of who would lead into the first bend was pretty accurate and although we didn’t look into too much detail about whether either of our first bend leaders could win as it turned out one of them did go on to win.
Before we move onto other factors there is more to say about leading into the first bend.
A long time ago, when I used to bet on the dogs everyday of the week, before Betfair and the likes when I spent the whole day camped out in the bookies I did some research.
I had to do it manually the old fashioned way by reading through the Sporting Life Greyhound Supplement line by line.
But what I discovered albeit through a sample in the hundreds rather than the thousands. What I discovered was that 60% of greyhounds that led into the first bend went on to win the race.
It was that research that led me to base all my betting on finding out who I thought would lead around the first bend.
Actually I still don’t think there is a database where queries of this kind can be made, like we have HorseRaceBase for the horses. If you know of such a tool for the greyhounds please comment below and let me know.
There are a few things I want to talk about before we move on to other factors.
To judge who will lead into the first bend we use the comments in the race form, to give us an idea and to suggest to us the direction a dog may head when it leaves the traps.
Some will head straight to the rail when they leave the trap, which if they aren’t in trap 1 can be a problem for anything inside them.
Others will head straight to the outside of the track towards the hare, again if they are in an inside or middle trap this can cause problems for them and others.
To really know how a dog will react as it leaves the traps we need to watch it run a few times, but failing that we trust the racing managers comments.
So comments are important, but we also rely heavily on sectional times, so let me say a few things about sectional times.
First off they are the time that the dog took to get to the winning line from when the traps opened. The thing to be aware of is that on some tracks the winning line is a long way from the first bend, so the sectionals are not so informative.
Second we use these methods in the main on races run over 4 bends, which are usually designated as A races, eg A1 is usually the top grade 4 bend race.
And usually an S grade race (S1) is a race over 6 bends.
The point I want to make is that the sectional time in a 6 bend race is still from traps up to the winning line, but the winning line in a 6 bend race is just before the third bend, not the first.
The other thing about 6 bend races is because they are longer there is more time to over come a bad start.
With yesterday’s example I used a race at Romford, this was for good reason and the reason is that Romford is a short tight track. The kind of track where it is difficult to pass other dogs and where a lead is more likely to result in a win.
There are tracks of all shapes and sizes, actually they are mostly the same shape! But more importantly there are tracks that are much wider and longer than Romford where it is easier to pass other dogs and where a lead is not such a big decider of who will win.
If you are betting at these tracks, from memory Sheffield & Perry Barr are examples, if you are betting at these fairer tracks where the early lead is not such an advantage you need to give far more thought to other factors.
There is a lot of greyhound racing every day it wouldn’t hurt to concentrate on just one track and for me that track would be Romford.
I used to have the data on all the licensed tracks in the UK, how far the traps were from the winning line, race lengths, width of track etc.
Much has changed with many old favourites no longer racing but I would suggest you do your research if you are to take this seriously.
The last thing I want to tell you today is that some dogs cannot hold on for the full distance.
Greyhounds in the main run flat out from trap to line.
Some are fast but run out of energy before the line and a lot of these dogs lead around the first bend.
These dogs get beaten by dogs that run at a lower pace but that can maintain that pace for longer.
Racing Managers like to pose a puzzle for punters and one way they do this is by setting up a dog who can’t hold on for the distance with an easy lead.
This is a trap (pun!) to watch out for especially with an upgraded dog or a recent winner.
That’s all for today, I’ll be back on Monday with some other factors you need to consider.
By the way if you disagree with anything I’ve said in these articles please do comment and tell me or indeed if you have any useful resources that you think will help, tell me that also.
By the way I got a message from Steve earlier to say he read the last article and backed a 7/1 winner with his first bet, beginners luck?