Punters who bet on greyhound racing are notorious for wanting action, action, action. It’s against their best financial interests to bet in this frantic way (that is, every possible race!) but they do it, anyway, and I’m not going to harp on about it.

Instead, I have drawn up a plan, The Rapide, which allows dog punters the fullest scope to have a bash race to race, and not have to hang around waiting for a few apparently safe and playable races.

Greyhound racing, because the races are staged every 15 minutes or so, is an action sport. Much more so than horse racing which tends to demand more considered deliberation of the form.

With this in mind The Rapide has been drawn up so that punters can quickly work out the best dogs to back, without spending too much time wracking their brains over the formlines.

Of course, we have to do SOME work; you can’t drink champagne without opening the bottle.

What, then, do you do when faced with a field of eight runners? It doesn’t really matter which track you are operating on, the riddle is the same: How to pick the RIGHT dog from the eight. You won’t get it right half the time, but the aim is to get it right 40 per cent of the time.

  1. The Rapide begins by allotting a rating figure of 100 for each runner. Then comes the process of adding to or deducting from this figure. It’s important that you have a good formguide.

    I operate these days from Brisbane. I decided to move there a couple of years ago when I had some health problems and my doctor told me the warmth of Queensland was needed to get some life back into my bones!  

    So my home tracks now are Albion Park in Brisbane and Parklands on the Gold Coast. Not that I go to the Gold Coast too many times. Albion Park is close to where I live and it’s the ideal track.

    The Rapide, I must point out, can be used at any track provided you have the formguide that’s needed. I get my Albion Park/Gold Coast form from the Greyhound Racing Authority of Queensland website (www.greyhoundsqueensland.com.au). Alternatively, you can buy form from Greyhound Form (www.greyhoundform.com.au). I think it’s about $25 a month for all tracks.
  2. So, we have 100 allotted for each runner. What’s next? Times are next. Each dog with a winning time at the track is given 10 points, no matter what time it recorded.
  3. If a dog does NOT have a winning time at the track, it gets eight points if it ran first, second or third at least once in its last three starts.
  4. For Albion Park, over the 520m trip, dogs in boxes 1 and 2 are given 10 points, dogs in box 8 get eight points, and dogs in boxes 3, 4 and 7 get three points. (Check your local track for the box details. I have allotted these points to correspond with the most wins from individual boxes.)
  5. Because we are looking for good form, The Rapide gives points for a dog’s last start placing, but it gives MORE points to those dogs that achieved the placing from a BAD box.  Thus, the points handout for last start placings are as follows:

    Any wins or placings from boxes 1, 2 and 8 are given five points. Any wins or placings from 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 are given 10 points.

    The idea behind this is that a dog has probably raced VERY WELL if it manages to win or place from a bad box.
  6. Now we look again at each dog’s best winning time at the track. The two dogs with the fastest times get five points each.
  7. We now come to the deductions. Check out each dog’s last four starts and add together any start where the dog ran fourth to eighth. Then deduct the total from the points tally.

    So, if a dog’s last four runs showed formlines of third-fifth-seventh-second, you add together the five and the seven equalling 12 and deduct this from the total.

    We have now covered the main essentials of the handicapping program. Add up all the points and the dog with the highest tally is the main chance. I like to take it a step further, however.
  8. It means that if you want to go to the final step, you need to check betting on the race with five minutes to go. Check what each dog is paying.

    The current favourite is awarded a further 10 points, the current second favourite gets eight points and the current third favourite gets six points.
  9. You are now left with your final selections. My advice: Back the top two points-scorers. You will get a great strike rate.

The Form Analysis Chart below will enable you to easily work out the various points allocations. Get copies of it for each meeting.

What do we hope to achieve by following The Rapide? Well, I think we can get very close to nabbing four winners in every 10 races. And we can use the main selections for any number of exotics bets, quinellas, exactas, trifectas and so on.

I have framed the approach to take advantage of key areas of greyhound form but I’ve also strived to be daringly different by using some not-so-obvious factors. The one I think is unique is the points that are allotted for dogs who win or run placings from bad boxes.

These are given more strength in the points makeup than wins and placings from known good boxes.

I guess it’s a bit like cricket. A century against Kenya is not so deserving of praise as a century against England.

As you can see there are many aspects to The Rapide and I am sure many dog racing fans will not agree with all of them. That’s fair enough. I knew when I devised the approach that it would not please all.

Those I have showed it to have been pleasantly surprised at the results achieved.

There isn’t space in this article for me to detail a mass of instances. But let me give you an example of a recent race at Albion Park. The top four dogs worked out with 131, 127 and 113 (twice). The winner was  selection 1 at 3/1, and 2 ran second at 7/4…a nice quinella pickup.

Interestingly, the top selection 4 was sent out at 11/4 but could finish only seventh. Selection 3 ran 4th.

So here was an example when the top four dogs almost provided the trifecta. They ran first, second and fourth.

In next month’s article, I will tell you of an extra rule that can be brought into play with The Rapide. It adds a little bit of streamlining to it.

Now I said early in the article that The Rapide doesn’t take a lot of work to operate. As you will have seen, it does take SOME work and you must be prepared to do it, but with the help of the Form Chart you should very quickly get the hang of it.

The Rapide Form Analysis Chart

Click here to read Part 2.

BY George Bellfield