So by now you should have a good idea how to work out which dog will lead around the first bend.
If you have time on your hands now then the best thing to do is to assess a lot of races and then watch the race and see if it plays out as expected.
As well as being good practice, watching a lot of races will also help you to understand how dogs can move out of the traps, some will come out and turn left or right.
You will also see the kind of trouble that dogs get in a race and how it effects their chances.
You can watch for free each evening on Racing Post Greyhound TV https://greyhoundbet.racingpost.com/#video
Now we know how to find our first bend leader we have to decide if that leader is fast enough to win the race.
There are two things to think about, first how fast is this dog, what is its best time.
On the race card you can see the last four or five lines of form but if you click through on the dogs name on the Racing Post greyhound pages you will get a form line for every race that dog has ever run.
This will tell you the best time a dog has ever achieved, it will tell you if it has won in the same grade or higher than today’s race.
You can also see its overall strike rate and strike rate from trap and grade on the Stats tab.
When a dog will lead a race without any trouble with a clear track in front of it that is the ideal opportunity to run its best ever time.
But that doesn’t mean it will.
Greyhounds are like athletes, they are athletes. They cannot be in top form all the time.
Like any athlete they will run in and out of form, some trainers will run them and then rest them.
So the dog may come back from a rest and start in a lower grade and ideally for the trainer work it’s way up the grades by stringing together some wins.
Others will run the dog constantly which is more likely in graded racing and lower class dogs.
Their form will still run in cycles.
The chart below shows the calculated times of a three and half year old dog that has been running a few times a month since it was two years old at Pelaw Grange. (I’ve removed a DNF and a couple of runs at the sprint distance)
I think, if you squint, that you and see the form cycle when it has gradually run in and out of form. (No need to squint I’ve managed to add a red line to show the trend, the bottom of the V is the fastest time)
Obviously the lower bars are the faster times, the out of line very high bars will be where the dog has had trouble in running and run a much slower time.
Although the difference between the slowest and the fastest is less than two seconds that is a big gap in a dog race.
The first step then is to work out what the dogs best time is and then to check if it is likely to run that best time given a chance.
We can’t rely on creating a chart for our fancied dog and squinting to see if we can see that it is in good form currently.
Instead what we do is to look at recent runs.
Now you may be thinking why have I looked back at it’s life time form if I’m going to make a decision on recent runs and of course the reason is that most dogs in most races don’t get a clear run which means that the calculated time for most dogs in most races is not an accurate indicator of how fast they could run if they had a clear run.
As I type this the dog I have on my screen has had four trials with the fastest showing a calculated time of 27.27.
And one run where it has the comments “Fcd-CK1, Crd2, RnOn’
Translated that is Forced to Check at the 1st bend, crowded at the second bend and Ran On.
It’s calculated time for that race was 27.34.
Now I’m 100% sure that when that dog gets a clear run it will run faster than 27.34 and that it will run faster than it’s best trial time of 27.27.
If it has been forced to check then that means it had to ease up for a fraction of a second and adjust its pace. Crowded means other dogs were leaning on him as they turned the bend which will have had some impact on his finishing time.
So without a doubt this dog could have run faster.
Many a time you will come across a dog where all it’s recent runs read similar to this IE it is likely that each of their recent times could have been faster than the calculated time if they had a clear run.
So we look back at their past form to get an idea of what that faster time may have been. In most times the answer will be there in a past clear run.
Together the recent times, accounting for trouble and a look at what the dog is capable of will give you an idea of what time it could run today if it gets an early lead.
Of course you also need to estimate a best time for the other contenders to know if your dog is fast enough to beat them.
This may sound complicated and there is more to come, but greyhound racing and the form is pretty straightforward and the numbers work out, practice quickly makes profit.
Add you questions in the comments.
Greyhound Racecard Comments
Aw – Away
Awk – Awkard
B – Badly
b – Bitch
Bmp – Bumped
Brk – Break
By – Won or lost by
ChL – Challenged
Clr – Clear
CmSg – Came Again
Crd – Crowded
Disp – Disputed
E – Early
EvCh – Every Chance
Fd – Faded
Fght – Fought
Fr – From
HndTm – Hand Timed
Imp – Impeded
Ld – Led or Lead.
LN – Line
Lm – Lame
Mld – Middle
Msd – Missed
Nk – Neck
Nr – Near
Opcd – Outpaced
P – Pace
Q – Quick
Rec – Record
Rls – Rails
RnIn – Run In
RnOn – Run On
Rst – Rest
schL – Schooling
Sh – Short Head
Sn – Soon
S – Slow
Stt – Start
Styd – Stayed
Th’out – Throughout
Tk – Track
Tp – Trap
WLL – Well