Racing Post Summaries (3)

That hardy band of men and women, the Racing Post summarisers who distil their reading of greyhound form into one succinct comment on each of the runners in a race, have been the subject of my last two blogs (July and August 2013) . First of all this month we’ll look at one more form factor that the summarisers consider worthy of mention – dogs that are likely to be unsuited by their trap draw.

Unsuited by trap

‘Worth taking on when drawn here, that’s our theory’ (u/p)
‘Zero margin for error from uncomfortable draw’ (1st)
‘Not a profitable trap location for this hound’ (u/p)
‘Poor strike rate from this box’ (2nd)
‘Certainly wouldn’t say this draw is helpful, not for us’ (2nd)
‘Has claims of sorts but trap doesn’t enhance them’ (1st)
‘Probably would have preferred a better make-up’ (1st)
‘Nothing special when housed here, look elsewhere’ (3rd)

In the course of the last three blogs we’ve put a total of eleven form factors under the spotlight: older dogs/veterans; good recent form; out of comfort zone in current grade; likely to find trouble; likely to be prominent; contender; strong contender; unfancied; likely to be backed; slow starter; unsuited by trap.

Now we’ll consider to what extent the comments, if positive, were helpful to the punter in identifying the winner; or, if negative, in identifying an also-ran. Please remember that this survey is simply a snapshot of results at one track (Yarmouth), and is not based upon a sufficiently large sample to be considered reliable. Nevertheless, I think that it has some value in so far as it gives an idea of the general accuracy and relevance of the summarisers’ comments.

Analysis of summarisers’ comments

NB Numbers 1-5 are from July 2013 blog; 6–10 from August 2013 blog; and 11 from this month’s blog.

1. Older dogs/veterans: 1st: 0-7 (0%); 2nd: 1-7 (14%); 3rd: 2-7 (28%); u/p: 4-7 (57%)

On this limited evidence it may pay to be cautious when considering backing a dog that is five or more years old, especially if there are several young, improving dogs in opposition.

2. Good Recent Form: 1st: 3-8 (37%); 2nd: 0 (0%); 3rd: 0 (0%); u/p: 5 (63%)

These comments tend to focus on dogs that have a recent win to their name. When a greyhound has shown its well-being with a winning performance it would be folly to discount its chance in the current race. This applies especially to dogs that are unpenalised for that win (that is, same grade, same trap), and to young improving dogs that can take an upgrade in their stride.

3. Out of comfort zone in current grade: 1st: 0-8 (0%); 2nd: 2-8 (25%); 3rd: 3-8 (37%); u/p: 3-8 (37%)

These comments apply to dogs that have been upgraded after a recent win and are likely to find it tough competing at the higher level, or to dogs that have been struggling in the current grade and are crying out for a downgrade. In both cases, it is sensible to take heed of the summariser’s opinion.

4. Likely to find trouble: 1st: 1-8 (12%); 2nd: 1-8 (12%); 3rd: 3-8 (37%); u/p: 3-8 (37%)

The summariser will take into account the trouble that a dog has been finding in its recent races, as that can affect its confidence. Also, he or she will have looked at the make-up of the race, and may have come to the conclusion that a clear run is unlikely from that trap, given the running style of the dogs on either side. Either way, be wary of dogs that are thought likely to suffer traffic problems.

5. Likely to be prominent: 1st: 2-8 (25%); 2nd: 2-8 (25%); 3rd: 1-8 (12%); u/p: 3-8 (37%)

Many punters like to have a dog with early pace on their side, and with good reason. If it can establish a lead by the first bend it’s going to avoid the crowding or bumping that so often occurs at that stage of the race. Being out in front with the stamina to run all the way to the line is a recipe for success, and if the summariser pinpoints such a performer the hint is usually worth taking.

6. Contender: 1st: 2-9 (22%); 2nd: 2-9 (22%); 3rd: 1-9 (11%); u/p: 4-9 (44%)

The tone of the summariser’s comments here is positive, but he doesn’t commit himself to forecasting a win; rather, he suggests that the dog in question has both the ability and the current form to win, but that it’s equally possible that it could finish second or third. Such a dog is worth an interest if the price is right, but is probably not one to take short odds about.

7. Strong Contender: 1st: 5-9 (55%); 2nd: 1-9 (11%); 3rd: 0-9 (0%); u/p: 3-9 (33%)

In contrast to the cautiously optimistic comments made about contenders, the summariser doesn’t hold back when he really fancies a dog to do the business. Strong contenders are dogs whose form gives them an outstanding chance in the current race, and the odds will generally reflect that. On this evidence they win a good proportion of their races, and must always be kept on the right side, whether you back them or not.

8. Unfancied: 1st: 0-9 (0%); 2nd: 0-9 (0%); 3rd: 1-9 (11%); u/p: 8-9 (88%)

The summariser appears capable of identifying the greyhounds that are just there for the appearance money. Whether they’re badly out of form or competing in a grade that is too tough for them, these dogs are unlikely to win unless the better-fancied dogs run into trouble. That’s not to say that outsiders never win; of course they do, but it’s mighty hard to predict when!

9. Likely to be backed: 1st: 3-9 (33%); 2nd: 2-9 (22%); 3rd: 1-9 (11%); u/p: 3-9 (33%)

The summarisers generally have a sound knowledge of the local betting market, and of which connections like to put their money down when their dog has a good chance. Some dogs attract plenty of money just about every time they run, while others are comparatively neglected, even when their form suggests a big run is on the cards. It’s very much up to the punter to decide whether the odds on offer for a well-backed dog are value for money.

10. Slow starter: 1st: 0-8 (0%); 2nd: 1-8 (12%); 3rd: 5-8 (62%); u/p: 2-8 (25%)

In their comments the summarisers reiterate the point that coming from behind to win is fraught with difficulties, and that greyhounds that are slow out of the traps often require luck to succeed. The statistics bear this out.

11. Unsuited by trap: 1st: 3-8 (37%); 2nd: 2-8 (25%); 3rd: 1-8 (12%); u/p: 2-8 (25%)

A seemingly poor trap draw may not, on this evidence, be quite the handicap that we assume it to be. Five of the eight dogs in the survey thought by the summariser to be badly drawn managed to finish either first or second. Given the limited evidence, it would be sensible to reserve judgement on this form factor.

September 2018
Focus On Poole
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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
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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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