Winter Ground Conditions

Racing greyhounds, on the whole, cope well with the worst that the winter can throw at them. But extremities of weather will affect the surface of the track and have a bearing on a dog’s form. Ideally, greyhounds require a firm yet springy surface to race on, which allows them to gallop properly without sinking in too far and losing their action. Such a surface is obtained by a judicious combination of rolling and watering. After heavy or prolonged rain, such as many parts of the UK have experienced this winter, the sand will get very wet and soggy, with water possibly lying on the surface. Most tracks have a decent drainage system which minimises the effect of heavy rain on different parts of the track. However the camber of the track will channel the moisture towards the rails, so that the inside runners have the worst of the ground.

If the temperature plummets during a race meeting, frost can affect the track surface. This will inconvenience the outside runners particularly, since that part of the track is not used as much as the inside and middle. This may be less of a problem at afternoon meetings, when the temperature is likely to be a little warmer. Whether you are at the track or following a meeting in a betting shop, it is worth while paying close attention to the early results; from these you can gauge whether the weather conditions have resulted in a bias towards railers or wide runners.

If you are making your selections on the basis of a greyhound’s recorded finishing times, remember that the final time will have a going correction applied to it. The heavier the track surface, the slower a dog’s final time will be, and the bigger the corresponding correction. The grader and his team are usually pretty reliable in their calculations, but the greater the correction, the greater the possibility of an inaccurate finishing time. When ground conditions are normal the going adjustment, if there is need for one at all, may only involve the addition or subtraction of one tenth of a second (this appears in a dog’s formline as +10 or -10). However, when the track surface is sodden the adjustment could be one and a half seconds or more (-150), which inevitable calls into question the reliability of the final time allotted to the greyhounds that have run in such conditions.

Some dogs are capable of showing their best form in very testing ground; others are, at least, not much inconvenienced by it; and some will flounder in it. It may be worth making a list of dogs that perform well in such conditions at your local track; a few value bets could present themselves as the winter progresses. This line of thought begs the question, what type of dog may be favoured by a slow track? Obviously, a short runner that only just gets the trip on a normal surface will struggle to get home on heavy ground. So look for comments in a dog’s formlines such as ‘led run in’, ‘ran on’ and ‘finished well’. If it’s a four bend race and your selection has previously won over six bends, so much the better. Personally, I’d be interested in a front runner with plenty of stamina to see out the trip. Being out in front means that the dog won’t have to contend with sand and water being thrown up into its face. When I watch all-weather horse racing on TV, it’s clear that many horses won’t face the kickback. It must be the same for greyhounds.

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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