We’ve looked at who will lead and we’ve looked at how to work out if our leader is fast enough to take advantage of the lead and win.
Today I want to tell you what sort of dog may improve and run a faster time that ever before.
About the kind of dog that frequently looks like a winner but will lose you money plus a few other bits and pieces that will up your strike rate and winnings if taken into account.
Puppies can be awkward, they can be green and can do unpredictable things, but they can also improve.
Dogs like people are all different but if I was looking at betting against a dog under two years old I would be having a good look at its form to see if it looks like it’s still improving and would be wary of it if it was likely to get any sort of clear run.
On the other side if I see a puppy that is likely to lead at the first bend then I would probably be betting regardless of the competition.
A dog will reach its prime at about 2 1/2 years old but the improvement will not be so dramatic as it is at the start of its career.
Bitches – there is an old greyhound saying that you should always follow a bitch in form. There is more hormone activity in a female dog which means they don’t always perform at their best, but when they feel good that lasts for a while.
The other consideration is the season date for the bitch. Bitches come into season once or twice year and they are not allowed to race.
When they do come back they will not perform to their previous form and frequently after a few poor runs she will likely end up in a much lower grade than she has won in previously.
And then as she starts to get back to her old self she will improve and the improvement is usually dramatic. I used to back any bitch 16 weeks after they came into season regardless of any other form and keep betting until they won or got past 18 weeks from the season date.
These bitches improve and although it’s a well known phenomena now you can still sometimes get a good price if the chance is not obvious. Always check for a season date on all female runners.
When you start assessing races for yourself you will sooner or later come across a chaser. A chaser is a dog that likes company, who doesn’t want to be out front on its own and even if its way faster than the other dogs it will hang around for the company.
Basically these dogs won’t go past another dog, occasionally they may win by a head but they can’t be bet with any confidence.
If you see a dog who has finished second at say 29.90, but has also finished second in another race at say 29.50 it’s probably a chaser. Or if you see a dog that has finished second by a head or short head repeatedly, same story.
Other things to know.
A length in dog racing is 0.08 of a second. Thats the standard calculation, this is useful to know when working out who might lead.
Consider for example that you have a dog in trap 1 that has sectionals of around 4.08 and the dog in trap 2 has sectionals of around 4.00, that suggests that trap 2 will be a length clear first time over the line and maybe a little more going into the first bend and will likely turn ahead of trap 1 taking the lead on the rail which is a prime position.
Changes in distance can be significant. A dog that has just run over 6 bends often performs well when running next time out over 4 bends. Similarly a dog that has just run over a 2 bend sprint is more likely to run a fast sectional in its next 4 bend race.
Dogs aren’t always at peak fitness, they run themselves fit, so if a dog has not been racing for a while and comes back and has some grading trials it is not likely to be at peak form in those trials and is likely to improve from that performance.
It is also in the best interest of the trainer to get the dog graded as leniently as possible because it gives the opportunity to run up a sequence of wins as the dog makes its way back to its true grade.
So even though a trial is easier than a race, it will typically only have three or four runners, meaning less trouble, nevertheless expect improvement.
The exception here would be where a dog has been knocked over in a race and will be required to have one trial before it races again.
(Dogs have to have grading trials when new to a track or have been off track so the racing manager can determine what grade to race them in)
If you’ve followed along from the first article you should have enough information now to make a profit. I will over the coming days add examples and put all this info into one article so you have it all in one place.
If you have any questions or comments please post them below.