Specialisation (1)

In any walk of life, whether it be hospital doctors, investment analysts or craftsmen, it’s the men or women with specialist knowledge that rise to the top of their professions. It is specialists that people go to for their particular form of expertise, and whose opinions and decisions are given the most weight. That’s not to say that specialists are never wrong. They make errors of judgement like everyone else, just fewer of them. And those judgements, whether right or wrong, are based on a consideration of the evidence which is rooted in a thorough knowledge of their chosen field.

A further attribute that the specialist brings to the game is experience. No one becomes an expert without having first acquired the specialist knowledge through a combination of study and practical application of what he or she has learned.

What has all this to do with betting on greyhounds? A good deal, in my view. Making a consistent profit from greyhound racing is tough, but achievable. To do it you have to be ruthless in putting everything in your favour. The first and most important requirement is to specialise, and become an expert in that speciality.

A huge amount of greyhound racing takes place every day in this country: twenty five tracks racing under Greyhound Board of Great Britain rules, each holding several meetings a week. The quantity of form generated is massive, and this is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the number of times that an individual greyhound runs compared with a racehorse is greatly to the advantage of the greyhound form student. This allows you to build up an accurate picture of a greyhound’s running style and the conditions it needs to produce its best form. On the other hand, it is far beyond the capabilities of any one person to assimilate form from so many tracks, even in the most superficial way, so specialisation is a necessity.

I don’t want to lay down hard and fast rules, but I can tell you what works for me. I bet seriously at only two tracks. I have chosen those tracks because they are big, wide, galloping circuits that minimise trouble at the bends and give all the dogs a fair chance. In addition I will have a bet at my local track if I’m there for an evening out with my family. It’s a tight track, not ideal for my purposes, and I bet there for pleasure rather than the expectation of profit.

At the two tracks I favour, I specialise even further, since I bet only in one particular grade. I specialise in greyhounds running in A3 grade, close to the top of the grading scale. The higher up the scale you go, the more reliable is the form. In the lower grades you have a mix of dogs of moderate ability, young and inexperienced dogs climbing the grading ladder and older dogs going in the opposite direction as their form deteriorates. Whilst good bets can be found, the overall make-up of the lower grades is more problematic than that of the better class dogs. In A3 you find plenty of tough, reliable graders that are, themselves, specialists at their own level. Also running in A3 are young, improving dogs moving up from A4, and A2/A1 performers that have been downgraded after struggling in the higher grades.

By concentrating on greyhounds running in A3 grade at only two tracks, I have narrowed my area of form study to around 150 greyhounds at each track that are currently competing in that grade. That’s still plenty of form to analyse!

More on specialisation 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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