What’s a "grade within a grade"? (2)

Last month we looked at how to judge whether a particular race within a grade was of high, average or low quality for that grade. As we saw, one way is to take an average of the best times recorded by the six runners in the last month.

Another method is to consider the placings of the runners in their recent outings, taking into account the grade in which those placings were recorded. The principle here is simple: a race in which most or all of the runners have recently run well is obviously going to be of better quality than one where the runners have been in poor or moderate form.

Below are three races in A3 grade. The first is strong for the grade, the second average and the third weak.

1. Swindon 8 February 2013 (strong A3)

Trap 1: Quivers Maeve: won twice in A3 last month
Trap 2: Razor Titanic: won A3 last time
Trap 3: Shelbourne Louie: 6th/6th in A2; 3rd in A3 last time
Trap 4: Clodiagh Emerald: won A3 last time
Trap 5: Wise Louise: 2nd in A3 last time
Trap 6: Der Lone Razor: 2nd in A3 last time

In this race five of the six runners have recent wins or second places in the grade. This ensures that the race is competitive and a high level for the grade.

2. Swindon 8 February 2013 (average A3)

Trap 1: Oospagettios: won twice in A4 last month
Trap 2: Quivers Dingo: 2nd/4th/3rd in A3
Trap 3: Lemon Angel: 3rd/4th/6th in A3
Trap 4: Bealady Noddy: 2nd in A3 last time
Trap 5: Killinat Girl: won A5 last time
Trap 6: Young Stan: won A5 last time

There is good recent form in this A3, but all of the wins have been achieved in A4 or A5. The two dogs with A3 form have not run too badly without, however, suggesting that they’re near the top of their form cycle. This race is therefore of average quality.

3. Swindon 6 February 2013 (weak A3)

Trap 1: Quivers Dingo: 2nd in A3 last time
Trap 2: Dromana Racer: 6th in A2; 3rd/4th in A3
Trap 3: Church View Hare: 4th/4th/3rd in A2; 6th in A3
Trap 4: Queen O The Mall: 3rd in A2; 6th/2nd/3rd in A3
Trap 5: Minor Challenge: 4th in A2; 2nd/4th in A3
Trap 6: Ferryforth Sol: 5th/6th in A3

None of the dogs in this race has shown winning form in the last month. Four dogs (Traps 2, 3, 4 and 5) have been downgraded from A2 because their form has been moderate; however the downgrade has not, so far, had the desired effect of an A3 success. Only Trap 1 has shown reasonable recent form. This is a weak A3.

A third and, it has to be said, more complicated way of assessing the strength of a race within a grade is to look at the running (and winning) styles of the individual runners. For this you need access to a greyhound’s lifetime form, which is readily available on the website of Greyhound Board of Great Britain. This method derives from the theory that a greyhound’s class, within its grade, can be judged from its ability to win under difficult conditions. I would suggest that some wins are of more merit than others. For example, a race where a dog takes an early, uncontested lead and wins, unchallenged, from the front, is not especially competitive. Much more impressive is a win by a dog that breaks moderately, takes a bump at halfway but comes through strongly in the straight to win in a close finish with two or three other dogs.

In a dog’s lifetime form look for comments in races of the same grade as, or higher than, the current race, such as ‘Crowded 1, Led Near Line’; ‘Slow Away, Bumped 3, Led 4’; ‘Quick Away, Led to 3, Came Again’; Crowded 2 &3, Led Run In; Always handy, Led 4, Just Held On; Led 2-3, Led Near Line; Early Pace, Bumped 3, Led Run In. Comments like these indicate a dog that will show courage and determination under pressure, a sure sign of class in that grade. If there are two or such three dogs in the race it is likely to be competitive and high quality for the grade.

So, having decided on the quality of the race we’re assessing – strong, average or weak – how can we use that information to inform our betting? In a race assessed as weak for the grade I’d be interested in the chances of young dogs that have won their previous race in the grade below and are now upgraded. An improving young greyhound can easily defy an upgrade if the quality of the new grade is weak. However, caution is advised if the quality of the race is average or strong. Odds permitting, I’d consider laying a dog upgraded from, say, A4 to a strong A3.

What about a dog that has been trying its luck in a higher grade without success and is now downgraded – for example, from A2 to A3? If downgraded from an A2 to a strong A3, it’s probable that the downgrade will still not be enough to allow it to win. However, if downgraded to an average or weak A3, its chances will be correspondingly enhanced.

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)
HawkOwl Web Design