Adopting a professional approach (Part 2)

There are few better ways to spend a Saturday evening than a night at the dogs with friends or family. Like most people, you’ve probably gone to the greyhound stadium to have fun and to socialise. If you back a winner or two as well, so much the better. In such circumstances it’s unlikely that you’ll put much effort into reading each race as it unfolds, and why should you? You’re not really bothered what goes on at the opening of the traps or at the bends so long as the dog you’ve backed manages to get his head in front where it matters, at the winning post. And if it doesn’t, there’s always the next race.

But if you’re serious about making money from greyhound racing on a regular basis, a more professional approach is required. You need to be able to read a race, and that means concentrating fully for the thirty seconds or so that it takes to run each contest. Find a place where you have an uninterrupted view of the whole track, and be ready to note any incident that may point to a future winner. Try to keep an eye on all the runners, and not just the dog you’ve backed. It’s not easy to take in and remember everything that happens from trap to line, but you’ll find that your ability to read a race will improve with practice. To start with, it’s a good idea to concentrate on, say, three of the six runners – perhaps the three leaders at the first bend. As you become more proficient, you can add more dogs until you’re able to follow the progress of all six through the race. You’ll also learn how to filter out the incidents that aren’t really important, involving dogs that are no longer in contention.

As the traps open, watch for dogs who suffer early interference, or who miss the break, or who fail to keep a straight course in the first few metres. Does the dog in trap one hug the rails, or does it move off? Does the dog in trap six take a genuinely wide course, or does it crowd with the dog inside? Note the dogs with really good early pace – the ones who may trap moderately but still reach the first bend in front.

Watch closely as the greyhounds converge on the first bend. This is where most of the trouble in a race occurs, and often has a major bearing on the final result. If we take a moment to think about what is happening at the first bend we can easily appreciate why races are won or lost at this stage of the race. As the dogs in traps one and two run the curve, centrifugal forces act on their bodies and may cause them to move away from the rail. At the same time the runners in traps five and six may move inside due to the camber of the bend. Unless the dogs drawn in the middle traps have the pace to go clear of their rivals on the run up, trouble at the first bend is the likely outcome,

Try to note the relative positions of the dogs as they approach the first bend, and then again as they emerge from the second bend. This will give you a good indication of which dogs were able to use either their pace or track craft to negotiate the bend unscathed, and which suffered crowding, bumping or baulking.

Although trouble can and does occur at the third and fourth bends too, by that stage of the race the runners are not usually so closely bunched, and so it is less likely that a dog will find significant trouble. Research that I carried out for my book, Greyhound Racing: Make It Pay in 2009 indicated that trouble of some sort is roughly twice as likely at the first two bends as it is at the third and fourth bends.

More on race reading next month.

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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