As with horseracing, it’s good to review your handicapping approach, and to take stock of what makes greyhound racing “tick” over as far as facts and stats are concerned.

There are a few websites devoted to helping punters make a dollar or two at the dogs. One of the best is the Vic-Greyhounds.com which you can access at the following Internet address: http://users.bigpond.net.au/gregs-punting-page/index.htm

The following are some interesting thoughts from this website:

EARLY SPEED/FRONT RUNNERS
There are two types of early speed greyhounds. One type shows a strong break out of the box (the break call is approximately four lengths from the starting box). The other type tends to break moderately and then rush or drive to the first turn.

LATE SPEED/CLOSERS
Late speed greyhounds generally show a somewhat slow break out of the box. They come to the 8th call following the pack. From here on out is where the closers run their race.

Some may show a gradual gain throughout the race, while others, which I refer to as drivers, wait until late in the race to make their move. This type of a runner pushes hard in the stretch, passing many of the greyhounds and should never be underestimated.

CLASS
Determining the class of the race can be tough sometimes. This can depend on the stats you have available to you. Look first to find the one showing the most “in the money” finishes at the current grade racing.
Next, look for grade drops and how competitive the greyhound was in the higher grade. Class tends to be a much stronger variable in higher grade races.

TIME
This variable brings many arguments between handicappers. Some tend to place this factor at the top of the list, while others consider this lightly.

Speaking for myself, I have found a strong correlation with the greyhounds having the fastest times generally will be the class of the race.

HEART
This factor can be gauged as seen in our stats. If a greyhound exhibits heart he shows the ability and determination to come back after finding trouble. This type of greyhound will either finish in the money or make a strong attempt to do so.

TROUBLE
How many times have you heard “If he hadn’t got into trouble, he could have won.” Trouble is the toughest variable you will find in handicapping. It is found in every race. Sometimes with only one or two greyhounds, but usually several. Coming into the first turn is where most of the trouble occurs.

This is where the early speed/front runners can benefit by being out of harm’s way. The positive aspect of trouble is that it produces the higher payoffs. When selecting your key greyhound in a wager consider his trouble percentage.

If he shows a high percentage of trouble and doesn’t seem to benefit by his post position, look to another greyhound as a key.

TRACK PREFERENCE
Knowing where on the track a greyhound likes to run can be very important. Out of the starting box, some may reach this area without causing trouble.

Others may tend to slash or cut to the rail or outside. A greyhound that tends to run the rail and is positioned to the right of a mid-track or wide runner may find it hard to make their way around the other.

This is true especially if both greyhounds tend to break the same. Some handicappers will play off this type of a situation. Look to a greyhound whose running style and post position will keep him clear of any possible trouble.

BOX DRAWS
Vic-Greyhounds tackles this subject and I think what it has to say is illuminating.

Its advice is this: “How do you make allowances or should one make allowances for Box Draws?

“A difficult subject with many different approaches. I will attempt to address two methods here.

  1. Some prefer to ignore Box Draws. (I must admit I tend to do this myself).?
  2. Others allow Bonus/Penalties for strike rates of certain boxes.

“I will endeavor to look at a couple of these points in a bit of detail.”

IGNORING BOX DRAWS
There are those who ignore Box Draws in favour of concentrating solely on sectional times.  The school of thought concludes that if a dog’s early times say it will lead then the Box Draw should not hinder and the race should then be assessed on overall race time.

The argument here is that if a dog was OK from any box and had good early split times and was going to lead it would make little difference regards Box Draw. If it is going to drop out in a field with only one natural leader then it is going to be disadvantaged regardless of Box Draw. Can you follow this line of thinking?

There is a need to assess which dogs will have clear run early and have a clear run with a best overall time with this approach.

BONUS/PENALTY POINTS FOR STRIKE RATES FROM DRAWS
Many punters like to apply Penalty points to boxes for strike rates of the particular draws.  Below are a set of figures one might apply to the total race times of greyhounds if taking this approach. They are compiled from data gained from 10,000 race starts.

BOX 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8?
Penalty 0.0s .02s .03s .06s .07s .07s .05s .02s.

e.g. If a dog has drawn Box 3 and has a race time of 30.00s then its adjusted time would be 30.03s.

MARGINS TABLE
You can use this table as a reference to quickly convert margins to times.  Add the margin time of a beaten dog to the time recorded for the winner and you will have the time run by the losing dog.

100th Sec   Margin   100th Sec   Margin   100th Sec   Margin  
.01 Nose .21 3 .56 8
.02 Head .24 3.5 .59 8.5
.03 Neck .28 4 .63 9
.04 .5 .31 4.5 .66 9.5
.05 .75 .35 5 .70 10
.06 1 .38 5.5 .77 11
.07 1.2 .42 6 .84 12
.10 1.5 .45 6.5 .91 13
.14 2 .49 7 .98 14
.17 2.5 .52 .75    
By Black Top

PRACTICAL PUNTING – OCTOBER 2006
 

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