In the past few issues, I've canvassed the various ways you can look at dog races, and properly analyse them, using various key factors.

For those of you interested in examining all this much further, I must refer you to my articles in P.P.M. issues of February, March and April (1990) and also a major article contained in the new 1991 P.P.M. Annual.

All these articles examine the issue of Ratings for greyhounds, and how you can use form details to your advantage in selecting the best dogs and pricing them for ‘overlays'.

More recently, in the December (1990) P.P.M. I  revealed methods by which you could use 'speed figures' to help you determine a dog's chance in a race. This is a fascinating subject, and one which needs to be looked at in more detail in the year ahead. At the moment, we are operating on raw data and I plan to make a series of intensive tests to determine how much the idea can be refined.

What I have discovered is that by concentrating on a dog's last three starts, and assessing how close it has run to the "Best' time of the night, you can sort out some decent bets, and help yourself to land good quinella dividends, as well as the occasional high-paying trifecta.

For a start, I selected races at random from 1986, 1987 and 1988 meetings at Olympic Park in Melbourne, just to see how the 'speed' assessments would work. The results were interesting in that they produced very ordinary results in '86 and '87 but then, in 1988, they picked up considerably, and from 25 meetings looked at (a total of 100 selected races in all) there was a win strike of 30%, and a place strike rate of 72%.

The winners produced a slim level stakes profit of 11 units (11% on turnover) but much of this was due to a 20/1 winner. In the previous two years, the win strike rate was down to 19% in "86 and 22% in '87, with level stakes losses being posted.

These figures didn't really surprise me, because I have always felt that the 'speed' assessments should only be used in conjunction with the assessment of other factors affecting each dog (as I explained in the December P.P.M.). In the P.P.M. Annual, I take this idea much further by incorporating the ‘speed' theory into my Bellfield Ratings-an explosively successful mixture!

More recently, I tested the 'speed' assessments on selected races at Wentworth Park. Again there were mixed results. Winners did arrive, but not in high enough proportion to get me too excited. Let's look at the first race at Wentworth Park on November 24. The 'speed' points were given as follows:

Kooley Kid10
Tampico Bay 9
Fiery Dom8
Big Shot 18
Renoli 22
Turrawood 10
Designer Copy14

According to this assessment, Renoli was the best 'speed dog' ahead of Big Shot, Mittawong and Designer Copy. The race was won by Designer Copy with Mittawong in second place and Big Shot in third spot, so the quinella and trifecta was nailed with the first four selections not a bad effort. In Queensland, the quinella paid $53 and the trifecta $604.

The second race at that W.P. meeting did not fare so well. The top "speed dog' was Shannon O'Reilly with 77 points, ahead of Hidden Cobber (18), Our Natural (12) and Psycho and Able Summer (each with 11). Our Natural won the race, but the other three didn't make it into the placings.

In the third race at W.P., the 'speed dog' was assessed as Nadia (14 points) from Poor Show (10) and Durohte (6). Nadia lost, but Durolite won the race and Poor Show finished 2nd, so that wasn't a bad result. In the fourth race, the plan struck its first 'on top' winner when Country Link (10 points) won with a TAB dividend of $3.20.

The fifth race was an interesting one, because several greyhounds came up with high 'speed assessments' but did not win. Yet the dog with poorest assessment, only one point, won the race (admittedly at big odds).

The assessments were as follows:

Brave Domino 21
Love Asmile 16
Big Bad Bruno 2
Mork 3
Chisholm Charm 7
Meadow Caesar 22
Providore 19
Fashion Line 13

So the top assessments went to Meadow Caesar (22), Brave Domino (21), Providore (19) and. Love Asmile (16). As the race turned out, Big Bad Bruno won with Love Asmile finishing 2nd and Meadow Caesar finishing 3rd. So the "speed" assessments were not that far out, with two of the top four picks filling 2nd and 3rd.

The sixth race was another success, albeit at short odds for the method, with Mister Britain receiving the maximum 30 points for three "Best Time" wins at his last three runs. The next best were Friendly Digger (21) which ran 3rd, and. Classy . Spider and Revon Spirits (each with 18 pts). Revon Spider ran 2nd. So the method got the quinella and trifecta in four picks. In Queensland, the quinella paid $11 and the trifecta $69.90.

YOU can see from these examples that the 'speed' dog method has enormous potential. I will be pursuing it further in the months to come and later in the year I will have a fuller report on its all-round implications for greyhound punters.

Meantime, I do hope you will, buy yourself a copy of the 1991 RPM. Annual, because the article I have written for it is, I humbly believe, a marvellous reference tool for anyone keen on getting into the rating of greyhounds.

Click here to read Part 1.
Click here to read Part 2.

By George ‘Barker’ Bellfield