In the second article in his exclusive series for PPM, the noted US greyhound racing expert Pender Noriega talks about the selection process and how to find "key" banker bets for the exotics. Noriega has written five books about aspects of greyhound racing selection and staking, and this series is extracted from his bestselling books A Complete Guide for Greyhound Handicapping and Professional Guide to Handicapping Greyhound Races.

Greyhound races are very evenly matched. There are about three to four dogs in every race that have an outstanding chance of winning and, in some cases, almost every greyhound has an equal opportunity to win.

In establishing those characteristics a greyhound must have to win, I must make you aware of what a greyhound must definitely NOT possess in his last six races. By placing a check mark by these greyhounds you can omit them from further evaluation.

I must stress that I am referring to those greyhounds who will probably not win the race because of extreme deficiencies and not those that may finish 2nd or 3rd, especially 3rd.

One item of caution: If a greyhound falls into one of the following six categories, but has finished in the money at his last two races, or his last two races were run at superior speed in the same grade, then the dog must be considered as a possible to win the race and should not be put into the negative category.

  1. The dog must not have the six average slowest times compared to its rivals. This greyhound will very seldom win a sprint or even finish in the money. In longer races, it may finish in a placing.
  2. The dog must not have the average three slowest times. Data shows this type of dog seldom wins.
  3. The dog must not have had the highest odds last time out compared to its rivals and be running in the same grade.
  4. When comparing finished lengths/times, the dog must not be the one with the largest average lengths/times in finishing furthest from the winner. These types of dog will not win even when lowered in grade the first time out.
  5. You must not play the greyhound to win with the lowest average grade in the race unless both of its last start races have been in the money in the same grade.
  6. Don't play the greyhound with the worst record in the race that has not run in a higher grade. This will usually be the worst dog in the field.


  1. The dog that has won the most races in the current grade. This greyhound is difficult to establish when you consider the limited number of formlines in a racing programme.
  2. The dog that has won the second greatest number of races in the current grade.
  3. The dog with the fastest average times is an ideal candidate for winning a race, especially if it has a box position that suits its running style.
  4. The dog with the best record in its last three starts in the same grade or a higher grade. Remember, the latest few races can be very important.
  5. The dog with the lowest average odds. This is an indication of consistency, The fans at the track are very astute and if they consistently bet a greyhound to win then it is definitely in form and has been performing well.
  6. Give credit to the dog that has beer) running exceptionally well at his last two starts in the current grade. A dog that has finished 2nd twice or 2nd/3rd his last two starts is always a candidate as the greyhound that's in form in the race. If the dog ran these two races with outstanding speed then don't be surprised if it wins.

Once you have decided on the two or three dogs that you think will be able to win, be sure to review the negative factors to ensure that these selections don't possess one or more of the NF attributes.

While some NF runners will finish in the money, they will very seldom win a race.

Class is still probably the strongest determining factor in a greyhound's ability to win a race. Class is determined by the grade in which a dog has run, along with how well the greyhound is capable of performing in that grade.

Class and average speed are the strongest indicators of a dog being able to win a race, and through your handicapping techniques you are actually trying to determine which greyhound has the most class in this particular situation.

The two dogs with the highest class appear to win much more often than the dog with the least amount of class. You can normally omit considering this dog.

NEXT MONTH: Pender Noriega's series continues with more of his views on selecting winners.

Click here to read Part 1.
Click here to read Part 3.

By Pender Noriega