Front runners versus strong finishers

Whilst every race should be considered separately, as a general rule the front runner is a safer bet than the strong finisher. Some would disagree, arguing that the strong finisher can get caught up in crowding and yet still be in with a chance of winning by virtue of a powerful late run. That view has its merits, but the supporter of the dog that comes from the back will have to endure plenty of occasions when such tactics narrowly fail. Chances of success for the strong late finisher may be enhanced in long distance contests, where the dog has more time to recover from trouble in running. With the strong finisher, it’s important to really know your dog: is it one that genuinely gets outpaced in the early stages but runs with determination throughout the race, or is it a dog that is unwilling to go for the gaps when they appear and gets behind through a lack of courage? In its past races, has it been able to win despite bumping and baulking, or does it need a clear passage through the race to deliver? Does it seem to attract the trouble spots because it lacks trackcraft, or has it just been unlucky? The punter who favours the strong late finisher should always try to ensure that he is getting odds that reflect the difficulty of negotiating a clear run from the rear of the field.

With the front runner, the matter is less complicated. All that this type of dog needs is a decent lead, and he’ll usually show his best form. Many dogs are only really happy when they’re out on their own, with no rivals to crowd or bump them. Then they’ll produce their fastest times, and make it hard for their slower starting rivals to catch them. But if the front running dog isn’t allowed to dictate, it is likely to run miles below form.

So if you’re planning to support an out-and-out front runner, it’s vital to analyse the structure of the race and be satisfied that the dog has everything in its favour in the early stages. Ideally, it will be a consistently fast trapper and possess good early pace. If it has one attribute without the other, there’s always the chance that it will be headed early on and never get the opportunity to dominate. In particular pay close attention to the racing characteristics of the dogs on either side of the front runner that you intend to support. Their sectional, or split, times (the time it takes for a dog to run from the traps to the finishing line first time round) should be slower than those of your selection. They shouldn’t have comments in their formlines such as EP (Early Pace), ALd (Always Led) or SnLd (Soon Led), whereas your selection should have one or more of these comments.

Choose your races carefully. If you have identified a good front runner that wins more often than not when it gets conditions to suit, be patient and wait for those conditions to arise. The great advantage that the punter has over the bookmaker is that he doesn’t have to bet until his chances of success are at their highest.

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
Weight
 
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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