Greyhound Racing: Make It Pay (1)

Over the last few months I’ve been looking at ideas on greyhound betting put forward in books written by specialists in the field – Liam Connolly, H. Edwards Clarke and Professor Jones. To complete this survey, I’ll be outlining my own approach to greyhound betting, which is set out in detail in my book, Greyhound Racing: Make It Pay.

As an equine chiropractor I work with racehorses, but I only occasionally bet on them. That’s because, over the years, it is greyhound racing that has allowed me to make a consistent profit. I’m certainly not saying that it’s impossible to do the same by betting on horses; simply that, for me, the variables of greyhound form have proved easier to marshal and manipulate than those of racehorse form. Several aspects seem to me to be easier to analyse. These include the track (most graders spend most of their careers at the same track); the distance (if a dog doesn’t stay a track’s standard distance it won’t be graded in); ground conditions (unless a dog has shown a pronounced dislike for very firm or very soft ground, as judged by its past performances, it is unlikely to be inconvenienced by the going); and the transparency and quantity of public form (no greyhound can compete in a graded race until it has run in three trials; and, once graded in, greyhounds run much more frequently than racehorses).

It is my strong belief that the chances of consistent success in betting on greyhounds are enhanced by taking account of practices that are regularly employed in the world of business. For example, the possession or development of certain psychological traits will help the punter to use his or her knowledge to the best advantage. The most important of these are self-confidence, self-discipline, patience, the acceptance of risk, concentration and enjoyment. Other business principles that are relevant to betting are specialisation, record keeping, preparation, and setting realistic goals.

With so much greyhound racing taking place every day in Great Britain, specialisation is not an option, it’s a necessity. There aren’t enough hours in the day to study the form at every distance and every track, so cut it down to a strictly limited number of your favourite tracks, and concentrate on one or two distances. Only then can you really get to know the form of the individual greyhounds that race at those tracks and over those distances.

Keep an accurate record of all your bets. You should always have at your fingertips the profit or loss you’ve made on turnover and on capital employed. Reliance on memory alone tends to paint a rosier picture of your betting than is actually the case. If you have to hand a full record of your bets, you can use this to improve your strike rate. Take a hard look at your losing bets, and try to determine why your judgement was faulty. Was there a factor that you underestimated or didn’t take into account? In my case, losing bets are invariably due to a mistake on my part.

No sensible businessman or fund manager would even consider investing in a company without thorough preparation. To assess both the risks and the potential benefits, he would access every relevant source of information about the company, and would canvass the views of experts in that particular sector of the economy. When doing the preparatory groundwork, he would leave nothing to chance. Betting on greyhounds demands a similar approach. That means maintaining an accurate and up-to-date record of past form, and then allowing plenty of time to subject this data to close analysis in order to identify possible bets. It also includes taking notice of the opinions of the greyhound racing press – if only to disagree with them!

It is my contention that many punters expect too much from their betting. They have unrealistic expectations of what can be achieved in the long term. I have proved to my satisfaction that consistent profit is possible, but here, above all, we can learn from the world of business. Clearly we should aim for, and expect, a higher return from betting than can be gained from investing in bonds or low-risk stocks and shares. But how much higher? I would suggest that a 20% - 30% profit on turnover would adequately compensate for the greater risks involved.

More on my approach to greyhound betting next month.

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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