Advice from the betting experts (4)

In his book, ‘Win at Greyhound Racing’, H. Edwards Clarke advises anyone who hopes to make his or her betting pay to become an expert at their local track. Their aim should be to know as much about individual dogs as the Racing Manager who frames the races. The punter should work on the assumption that the Racing Manager has good reasons for putting six dogs together in a particular race, and should therefore try to read his intentions. Whilst the make-up of most graded races is on the basis of equalising the chances of the runners, Edwards Clarke contends that sometimes the Racing Manager will deliberately frame a race which favours one or more of the dogs as a reward for effort in previous races. Clearly the punter who can identify dogs that have been let in lightly is in an advantageous position.

One way that the punter can get an edge over the casual race goer is to home in on greyhounds that may be competing in a grade that is either slightly too low or too high. The Racing Manager doesn’t make too many mistakes, but when compiling a race card he will save time by already having all the greyhounds on the track’s racing strength allocated to a particular group, class or grade. He can then, relatively quickly, frame his races from dogs he considers to be of similar ability. Edwards Clarke says that the serious form student should compile his own groupings, which may not always agree with those of the Racing Manager. There are dogs that don’t necessarily fit neatly into one grade, and the Racing Manager’s classification is a matter of opinion rather than of fact. He may, for example, put a dog in A4 grade, despite harbouring the feeling that he may well be better than that. You, however, as a diligent form student, may be convinced that he is definitely of A3 class. If other factors such as trap draw and available odds are favourable, you’ve found a good bet. Edwards Clarke admits that this involves time and effort, but he makes the point that ‘in greyhound racing, as in life generally, one only gets out what one puts into it’.

The Racing Manager will base his evaluation of a dog’s class by reference to the times it records in races under normal conditions. But times are not the only factor that determines class. A greyhound may be capable of a fast time in a low grade race, which it would not be able to reproduce when competing against better class dogs. Against moderate opposition the dog can be quick away, lead early and have an uninterrupted run. When upped in class it finds itself surrounded by other dogs with superior trapping ability or better early pace, and is unable to secure the clear path essential to a fast time.

Edwards Clarke discusses an alternative method of assessing class in a racing greyhound that was first used by Con Stevens, a former Racing Manager at Wimbledon. Initially he assigned greyhounds to a grade between A1 (top grade) and A10 (bottom grade) over the standard four bend trip on the basis of their recorded racetimes. These classifications were then modified and updated by assessing the value of the dog’s subsequent performances using a points system, taking into account the grade it had raced in and its finishing position in that race. So the winner of an A1 race might be awarded 15 points, the second 14, the third 13, the fourth 12, the fifth 11 and the sixth 10. The winner of an A2 race would be awarded 14 points, the second 13, the third 12, and so on. The total of points scored by a greyhound in its last four or five races can then be averaged out. This results in a class figure for all the dogs at a track of between 0 and 15. The advantage of this system is that the assessment doesn’t rely solely on the times a dog has recorded, which may give a false impression of its true class. Instead each greyhound is assessed in relation to the class of the dogs it has been racing against in its last four or five races. From the punter’s perspective, the greyhound with the highest average points score from its last few runs could be considered to have a favourite’s chance in the race under analysis.

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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