Specialisation (2)

In last month’s blog I made a case for specialising in a strictly limited number of tracks and / or grades. I also outlined my own preference for betting over the standard four bend distance in the higher grades, in particular A3, on the grounds that the better the class of race, the more reliable the form.

I certainly wouldn’t put anyone off who preferred to concentrate on greyhounds that race over six bends. These stayers’ races are usually prefixed by an ‘S’ in the racecard. One advantage to the form student in specialising in six bend races is that there are far fewer dogs to consider than over four bends. Only a minority of racing greyhounds have the necessary stamina to be successful over 600+ metres. Plenty of useful four-bend performers are trialled over six bends and found wanting. So identifying dogs that are really strong over the longer trip can be highly profitable.

A further advantage of specialising in stayers is that a dog that suffers early interference in its race has more time to recover and may still be able to mount a late challenge. The one drawback to betting in six bend races is that there may be only one or two such races on the racecard. Whereas most tracks have eight or nine different grades over the standard trip, there are usually no more than three ‘S’ grades. However, the same is true of any form of specialisation: fewer races to bet in, but the opportunity to get to know each dog’s capabilities through a close study of its lifetime form

Many years ago, when I lived in Northumberland, I used to go regularly to Brough Park (now Newcastle) stadium, where I specialised in betting in handicaps over 640 metres. I was a relatively inexperienced punter back then, and made plenty of mistakes, but still managed to turn a small profit. I recently came across the notes I kept on my betting at the time, and I reproduce them here in the hope that some of my comments may still be relevant:

‘Considering the number of bad bets I struck, the winning percentage (32%) and profit on turnover (29.4%) can be considered satisfactory; it is due to getting good odds over the winning bets, and a refusal on my part (usually) to accept poor value for money. The best way to improve both winning percentage and profit on turnover is to eliminate as many of the bad bets as possible. After analysing these bets in order to determine the faulty reasoning behind them, I formulated the following betting rules:

  1. Never bet impulsively, on the spur of the moment, however tempting the race might seem to be.
  2. Watch the betting pattern prior to the off, but don’t be unduly influenced by money for a dog which doesn’t appear to have a realistic chance.
  3. Having made up your mind, don’t change it at the last moment.
  4. If the dog you intended to back is withdrawn, don’t have a bet in the race.
  5. Stick to single, win only bets.

Looking back over my winning bets, I found the following examples of profitable betting practice:

  1. Speed ratings and good recent form are of primary importance in deciding which dogs have a realistic chance in a particular race.
  2. If two dogs stand out, it is best to back the dog at the longer odds. Alternatively, back both if odds permit.
  3. Look out for dogs that are particularly well suited by extremes of going, and back them when conditions are right.
  4. Favour game, courageous dogs that have shown the ability to challenge again after being headed.'
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
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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