Speed Handicapping (2)

Last month we discussed a method of comparing numerically the basic speed of greyhounds in a race, based on their recorded racetimes. A word of warning: this method can only be used to compare greyhounds which have been running in graded races on the same track and over the same distance. We used as an example a standard four-bend distance of 500 metres; however, a dog that has recently been running over six bends will be an unknown quantity. It may have run in one or two 500 metres trials, but times recorded in two or three dog trials are unreliable when applied to the hurly-burly of a six dog race. Nor can we compare greyhounds from a variety of different tracks running in an open race, unless they have recent form over the current track and distance.

So, we have a set of timefigures for greyhounds running in a 500 metre race, as follows:

IRISH JIG (black dog, March 2008)

Trap 1 (Irish Jig): 122
Trap 2: 106
Trap 3: 98
Trap 4: 120
Trap 5: 118
Trap 6: 84

How can we use them to the best advantage? On the face of it, Irish Jig has the best chance on time, and if the race was run without trouble or interference, he should win by ¼ length from Trap 4. If only life were so simple! Graded greyhound races in which there is no crowding, bumping or baulking are the exception, not the rule. It is an inevitable part of the sport, and to ignore it would be financial suicide. It is the grader’s job, like that of the horserace handicapper, to structure a race so that all the dogs have a chance of winning. That often means that the dog with the best timefigure will not necessarily have things all his own way.

Consider, for example, a dog that won its last race in A4 grade in a fast time. On that occasion he broke fast from Trap 1 and led all the way to win by one length. For its next race the grader has two choices: he can put the dog up into a higher grade, where it will race against dogs of better class. Or he can keep the dog in the same grade, but make life more difficult for it. He may do this by putting it in Trap 2, with a faster trapper in Trap 1. This time the dog again breaks well from Trap 2, but Trap 1 breaks better and leads on the rails at the first bend. Now our previous winner has no choice but to slot in behind Trap 1, and in doing so has already lost precious hundredths of a second. And that is quite enough seriously to compromise its chance of reproducing the fast time of its previous run. Not only is Trap 2 unable to lead, it is more likely to suffer from crowding or more serious interference in its attempt to get to the front.

From this example it can be seen that obtaining a clear run is crucial to a dog’s chance of showing its best form timewise. It will only run a fast time if allowed to do so. A bump at the first bend may lose a dog a length, which is 0.08 seconds, or 8 points numerically. Trouble will quickly wipe out any time advantage a dog may have had going into the race. For this reason it is important, when assessing a race on purely on time, not to attach too much importance to small differences in timefigures. The timefigure enthusiast should be looking for races – and they do occur, albeit infrequently – where a dog’s recent timefigures give it an advantage of 16 points or more over the other runners. If the dog also has a trap draw that suggests it will get a clear run, you’ve found a good bet.

September 2018
Focus On Poole
August 2018
Focus On Perry Barr
July 2018
Focus On Nottingham
June 2018
Focus On Newcastle
May 2018
Focus On Monmore Green
April 2018
Focus On Hove
March 2018
Focus On Doncaster
February 2018
Focus On Crayford
January 2018
Focus On Central Park
December 2017
An Index Of Previous Blog Posts
November 2017
Focus On Belle Vue
October 2017
Young Graders To Follow (2)
September 2017
Young Graders To Follow
August 2017
Getting A Clear Run
July 2017
Essential Tools For Greyhound Betting (2)
June 2017
Essential Tools For Greyhound Betting (1)
May 2017
Specialisation (2)
April 2017
Specialisation (1)
March 2017
Qualities Of The Successful Backer
February 2017
Compiling Race Ratings (2)
January 2017
Compiling Race Ratings (1)
December 2016
Racecard Comments : S - X
November 2016
Racecard Comments : M - R
October 2016
Racecard Comments : H - M
September 2016
Racecard Comments : H
August 2016
Racecard Comments : E - H
July 2016
Racecard Comments : B - D
June 2016
Racecard Comments : A - B
May 2016
Form Cycles
April 2016
Keeping An Online Formbook (3)
March 2016
Keeping An Online Formbook (2)
February 2016
Keeping An Online Formbook (1)
January 2016
The Striped jacket
December 2015
The Orange jacket
November 2015
The Black jacket
October 2015
The White jacket
September 2015
The Blue jacket
August 2015
The Red jacket
July 2015
Upgraded Dogs To Avoid
June 2015
Upgraded Dogs
May 2015
Downgraded Dogs
April 2015
Focus on Romford
March 2015
Focus on Swindon (2)
February 2015
Focus on Swindon (1)
January 2015
Exploiting Formline Comments (2)
December 2014
Exploiting Formline Comments (1)
November 2014
Greyhound Racing: Make It Pay (2)
October 2014
Greyhound Racing: Make It Pay (1)
September 2014
Greyhound Betting Expert Advice (6)
August 2014
Greyhound Betting Expert Advice (5)
July 2014
Greyhound Betting Expert Advice (4)
June 2014
Greyhound Betting Expert Advice (3)
May 2014
Greyhound Betting Expert Advice (2)
April 2014
Greyhound Betting Expert Advice (1)
March 2014
The Time Test
February 2014
Recording and Reviewing Your Bets
January 2014
What’s a "grade within a grade"? (2)
December 2013
What’s a "grade within a grade"? (1)
November 2013
Trap Draw
October 2013
Sires To Note
September 2013
Racing Post Summaries (3)
August 2013
Racing Post Summaries (2)
July 2013
Racing Post Summaries (1)
June 2013
Laying Greyhounds On The Betting Exchanges
May 2013
Spotting The Ungenuine Dog
April 2013
Compiling A List Of Greyhounds To Follow
March 2013
Specialisation (2)
February 2013
Specialisation (1)
January 2013
Winter Ground Conditions
December 2012
Front Runners v Strong Finishers
November 2012
October 2012
Identifying Improving Greyhounds
September 2012
Race Ratings (2)
August 2012
Race Ratings (1)
July 2012
Following dogs in form
June 2012
Adopting a professional approach (3)
May 2012
Adopting a professional approach (2)
April 2012
A Greyhound's Win / Lose Ratio
March 2012
Adopting a professional approach (1)
February 2012
Warning To Speed Fans
January 2012
Following Bitches After Seasonal Rest
December 2011
Early Paced Dogs
November 2011
Speed Handicapping (5) : More FAQs
October 2011
Speed Handicapping (4) : FAQs
September 2011
Speed Handicapping (3)
August 2011
Speed Handicapping (2)
July 2011
Speed Handicapping (1)
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