Adopting a professional approach (Part 1)

Betting on greyhounds in a professional manner has many facets to it, but one of the most important is the exercise of self-discipline. However, as I know from experience, this is one of the most difficult things to master. But it is an indisputable fact that, without self-discipline, long term success is simply not possible.

Of course, you need to have sound judgement about the relative merits of the greyhounds in a given race. Judgement is knowledge-based; it can be learned and applied objectively. The more you know about individual dogs, the better your judgement will become. When you decide to bet on a dog, the only people who should know more than you about that dog’s ability and racing characteristics are the trainer and, possibly, the dog’s connections.

Inevitably, you won’t get it right all the time. Greyhounds aren’t machines, and neither are you. It is when your judgement has let you down, or a dog has not performed at the expected level, that you are at your most vulnerable. A run of success may have come to an end, and you are feeling annoyed with yourself for striking a losing bet. Your betting bank, which had been growing in a gratifying manner, has taken a hit. What will your reaction be?

All too often, it is to chase losses. You hate being in a worse financial position than you were at the start of the day, and your first priority may be to redeem your situation at the first available opportunity. It is a natural reaction, and it is the worst thing you could possibly do. You find yourself assessing races in a hurry – races which may not even be fit to play. You see hidden merits in a greyhound that, in normal circumstances, would not impress you for a moment. Your judgement, usually so sound, is now found wanting. Not only do you find yourself backing dogs whose winning chances are not clear-cut, but you are also tempted to increase your stake in order to recoup losses. And you are now well and truly on the road to financial suicide.

This is where self-discipline is all important. The correct approach to a losing bet – and, let’s face it, there’ll be plenty of those, no matter how good your judgement – is to treat it as a learning experience, and then move on. You should take from the result whatever lesson there is to be learned: for example, did you underestimate the ability of the dog that won, or did you misjudge the way the race was likely to be run? It may have been pure misfortune that sank your bet: a stumble at the start, or baulking at a vital stage of the race.

So, reflect on the reasons for your dog losing, but don’t look to win back what you’ve lost immediately. In this respect you have a vital advantage over the bookmaker. He has to get involved in every race, and you don’t. Take a long term view of your betting. If you hadn’t planned to have another bet that day, don’t be tempted to do so. If you did have another bet planned, by all means go ahead, but don’t increase your stakes in an effort to win back what you lost on the previous bet. If your selection method is sound, you’ll continue to increase the size of your betting bank despite the inevitable setbacks.

To return to last month’s blog, in which I warned users of the website that the finishing times were not being adjusted to take account of the going: it’s possible that this is deliberate, in order to encourage users to go instead to The Greyhound Board of Great Britain’s new site, where racetimes are recorded correctly, with the going adjustment included. So, go to On the home page choose ‘Latest Results’ and click on ‘more’. This will allow you to search by the name of the dog, and will give you full, accurate results.

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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