Advice from the betting experts (6)

Last month we considered Professor Jones’s approach to winner finding as explained in his book, Winner’s Guide to Greyhound Racing. Having emphasised the importance of a greyhound’s class, he set out a way of calculating the grade of race in which it could run competitively, with a genuine chance of winning.

Jones then turns to recent form as an indicator of a dog’s chances in a race. In the case of lower grade dogs, running in grades D and E, he dismisses recent form as a useful guide, arguing that these dogs lack consistency. Look at a dog’s box position (trap draw) and its style of running (front runner or late closer), but don’t expect a lower grade dog to run two races the same.

For dogs running in higher grades recent form gives a much clearer picture of how they will perform. Jones specifies the types of dogs to look out for: firstly, the dog that has recently dropped a grade, has run moderately at first, but in its most recent race has run with promise. Secondly, the dog whose recent runs have been steadily improving, but who has met with serious trouble in its last race,

Professor Jones then looks at a greyhound’s basic speed and shows how to calculate a speed rating. He suggests using the last three trouble-free races that the dog has run, at the same distance and in the same grade as the race under consideration, and taking an average of the three finishing times. He cautions against using times that are much slower than normal, because of the dog being bumped or baulked, as they would give an inaccurate average time. Similarly, he advises against using recent times recorded by a dog that has been upgraded, run poorly in the higher grade and is now back in the grade below. The times that the dog recorded in the higher grade would not represent his chance now that he is back in a grade in which he is competitive, so use the last three times he recorded in the lower grade. If, however, the dog has performed with credit, without necessarily winning, in the higher grade, it is acceptable to average these higher grade times.

Having calculated an average of the greyhound’s last three finishing times (with the qualifications outlined above), Jones then goes a step further in order to arrive at a speed rating. He subtracts the average time from the track record time for that distance, and then multiplies the result by ten to make a whole number. For example, if the average of a dog’s last three runs over 480 metres is 30.00 seconds, and the track record is 28.90 seconds, the speed rating would be 30.00 minus 28.90 = 1.10 x 10 = 11. So the dog’s speed rating is 11. The lower the figure the better, as the dog’s average speed will be closer to the track record; so a speed rating of 11 is superior to a rating of 12.

Jones turns next to an analysis of a dog’s running style, arguing that its preference for running inside (on the rails), for taking a middle course, or for running outside (wide) is bound to have a bearing on the outcome of a race. It appears that in American graded racing it is quite possible for an inside runner to find itself in an outside box, and vice versa. This is avoided in graded racing in the UK for obvious reasons of safety. To determine whether a dog has an inside or outside running style, or has no preference, Jones advocates using a combination of box position, final position and racecard comments.

Running style includes an assessment of whether a dog is a front or back runner; that is, whether it shows early speed or has moderate early pace but comes with a strong late run. A dog with good early speed can overcome a poor box position, so Jones advises the punter to calculate an early speed rating for each dog. In the UK, a dog’s position at each of the bends in a four bend race and at the finish line is noted in its formlines on the racecard. In America the first ‘call position’ is often at the start, as the dogs leave the boxes. Jones calculates his early speed ratings by averaging the dog’s last six start calls. Thus, a greyhound whose calls are 2,3,1,1,2,3 (average 2.0) has better early speed than one whose calls are 5,4,5,6,6,4 (average 5.0). Judging by the examples in Jones’s book, American racecards don’t include sectional times (the time it takes for a dog to run from the traps to the finish line first time around). So Jones has to rely on the start calls. The disadvantage of this, in my view, is that the start call is more of a guide to a dog’s trapping ability than its early speed. However, the next call position is at one eighth of a mile, which may be too far to give an accurate indication of a dog’s early speed.

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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