A Word of Warning to Speed Fans

If, like me, you use www.thedogs.co.uk (the Greyhound Board of Great Britain website) to compile timefigures for the dogs you intend to bet on, you may already be aware that there has recently been a change in the way a dog’s finishing time is recorded.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the site, if you click on the ‘Action’ link you can access the lifetime form of any greyhound currently running at any greyhound track in the country operating under GBGB rules. Type in the dog’s name and you will see each of the dog’s runs (except trials), in chronological order, with the usual racecard information: date; distance of race; trap draw; sectional time; finishing position; distance that the dog won by or was beaten by; name of the dog that was second or, if the race was won by a different dog, that dog’s name; track; race comments; unadjusted finishing time; going allowance; starting price; grade; and adjusted finishing time.

Here’s an example of how a formline should look:

Scarlett O’Mara (brindle bitch May08):

10 Oct 2011 500 1 4.60 1st 4 Magic Lulu Yarmouth Led Run In 30.97 -80 2/1fav A4 30.17

Scarlett O’Mara won the 500 metre race from Trap 1 by four lengths in an unadjusted time of 30.97 seconds. The going was assessed by the track’s grader as -80 seconds slow. In other words, on normal going Scarlett O’Mara would have run 0.8 seconds quicker than she actually did. So, 0.8 seconds is deducted from 30.97 seconds, giving an adjusted time of 30.17 seconds.

An accurate assessment of ground conditions is fundamental to the calculation of a dog’s finishing time, and up until November 2011, this is how every dog’s times were recorded on the GBGB website. Since then, for reasons that are unclear, the form compilers have not, for the majority of races, been giving a going allowance. So, if Scarlett O’Mara’s formline was entered now, it would look like this:

10 Oct 2011 500 1 4.60 1st 4 Magic Lulu Yarmouth Led Run In 30.97 N 2/1fav A4 30.97

The going allowance would be recorded as ‘N’ for Normal, and both the unadjusted and adjusted finishing times would be the same. The position is further complicated by the fact that, occasionally, a going allowance is recorded. Mostly, though, it isn’t. Obviously, this is an unsatisfactory state of affairs for the serious student of greyhound form. In the case above, the time difference of 0.8 seconds equates to ten lengths. Not to include a going allowance makes the finishing time meaningless as a guide to the quality of a dog’s performance.

My advice is not to rely on the GBGB website for accurate finishing times until the compilers go back to giving times that are adjusted for the state of the going. Fortunately, there are alternative sites that you can use. The Racing Post’s website provides accurate, going-adjusted times. You can access race cards at least a day in advance, though the latest line of form may not be added until the day of the race. Also, the Betfair website will give you accurate form for a dog’s last five races, but only on the day of the race.

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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