Speed Handicapping (3)

In my first article on speed handicapping (July 2011) I suggested a way of converting a raw finishing time, expressed in seconds and fractions of a second, to a numerical timefigure, using 100 as a base figure from which to make calculations. In this article I want to go a stage further, and show how this method can be used to calculate a ‘standard’ timefigure for any grade and distance at any track.

Time experts in the field of horse racing work in a similar way. First of all they calculate a standard time for every distance at every racecourse: in other words, the time that a good horse, carrying 9 stones, would achieve over that distance on good going. Then they use the standard time to compare the time achieved by all the horses that compete over that distance on a particular day. Those times will be either slower or faster than the standard, and the final timefigure obtained will be adjusted to take account of the weight carried and the ground conditions prevailing on that day.

So, how do you calculate a standard time for a grade and distance in greyhound racing? I use a method first outlined by Liam Connolly in Greyhound Racing for Profit (Raceform 1988). The best way to demonstrate this method is to choose a grade and track, and take it from there. If you’ve read my book, Greyhound Racing: Make It Pay (High Stakes Publishing 2009), you’ll know that I believe that specialisation is vital to success in betting on greyhounds. Swindon is one of the tracks that I favour, and A3 is my preferred grade. So we’ll calculate the standard time for A3 at Swindon (480 metres).

First we note down 100 recent winning times recorded for greyhounds running in A3 grade at Swindon. We can find these times in the results pages on www.24dogs.com or by looking up the lifetime form of dogs running in A3 at Swindon on www.thedogs.co.uk. Then we add up the times and divide by 100 to find the average winning time.

Following the above instructions, we find that the average time for a winner in A3 grade at Swindon is 29.68 seconds. Now we need to convert that to a numerical timefigure. In this case it will be convenient to give the time of 30.00 seconds a numerical value of 100. For racetimes faster than 30.00 seconds (which the A3 standard is), we add one point for each one hundredth of a second faster than 30.00 seconds.

29.68 seconds = 100 + 32 = 132

Therefore the standard timefigure for A3 grade at Swindon in 132.

Calculating a standard time for a grade and distance at a greyhound track has a significant benefit for the student of time in greyhound racing: it allows you to see at a glance whether the race under review is of good, average or poor quality for the grade. This is valuable information, since you can then judge, for example, whether a dog that has been upgraded from the grade below is a genuine contender in the higher grade, or is likely to be outclassed.

Let’s say that a greyhound has been competing in A4 grade for several weeks, and has now, after a win in A4, been upgraded to A3. If the grader puts it into a race with A3 dogs whose recent timefigures are poor in comparison to the standard for the grade, then the A4 dog might well be good enough to defy the grader and win again. But if the grader puts it into a race in which most of the A3 dogs have recorded timefigures that are average or above average for the grade, the chances of the A4 dog winning are much reduced. The exception to this is the young, improving A4 dog, who may well be progressing fast enough to beat established A3 dogs.

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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