Upgraded Dogs To Avoid

In June’s blog we identified the young, improving greyhound as a source of fruitful investigation when deciding which upgraded dogs might be worthy of support. This month we’ll consider those upgraded dogs which appear to have a good chance of success but in reality are likely to struggle in the higher grade.

The drawback for the casual punter, just skimming through the race on the wall display of the betting shop, or studying the form in the race card at the track, is that there is no immediate way of knowing what, if anything, the upgraded dog has achieved in the past in the higher grade. The wall display and race card supply only the dog’s last five lines of form, but to make an informed decision it really helps to know its overall, lifetime performance in the current grade. The question that needs answering is this: has the dog shown, by its past performances in the grade, that it has what it takes to make the upgrade successfully, or is it out of its comfort zone and likely to be outclassed?

Let’s take as an example an A3 race run at Nottingham on 26th June 2015. These were the runners, with their date of whelping, comments on their recent form and running style, and their best recent time:

Trap 1: Brocks Margaret (brindle bitch, August 2012; won last two races in A4; rails; middle pace; late speed; A4 30.99).

Trap 2: Old Fort Melody (black bitch, March 2012; 4th/6th in A3 only two runs in last month; middle or middle-to-rails; early pace; A3 31.14).

Trap 3: Roscoes Meadow (white and blue bitch, August 2013; 4th/4th/2nd/4th in A3; middle or middle to rails; no pattern to running style yet; possible improver; A3 31.00).

Trap 4: Salacres Fear (black dog, June 2012; won A3 2nd June; middle; middle pace; late speed; A3 30.93).

Trap 5: Kaleela (black bitch November 2011; 4th in A3 only run in last month, post-season 20th February 2015; middle-to-wide; early pace; A3 31.03).

Trap 6: Kibet (black dog, January 2012; 3rd/3rd/3rd/2nd/3rd in A3; wide; middle pace; runs on; A3 31.10).

All of this information could be obtained from studying the greyhounds’ last five lines of form on the race card. On the face of it, Brocks Margaret can be considered a contender despite the upgrade; she’s a bitch in good form, and likely to get a clear run with a runner in Trap 2 that prefers a middle or middle-to-rails line. Furthermore, she is second top rated on time (though I would have reservations about accepting the value of an A4 time in an A3 race).

What can’t be known from the race card form is the A3 grade record of each dog in the race. To access a dog’s lifetime form you need to go to the Greyhound Board of Great Britain website. In the results section, type in the dog’s name and scroll through its form. If you did so for this race, this is what you’d find:

A3 grade records:

Brocks Margaret: 0-12

Old Fort Melody: 0-4

Roscoes Meadow: 0-5

Salacres Fear: 6-33

Kaleela: 0-1

Kibet: 7-39

So this information, at least so far as Brocks Margaret is concerned, puts a different complexion on the race. Every time she has competed in A3 she has lost. And the race under review proved to be no different: Brocks Margaret finished fourth, over nine lengths behind the winner, Kaleela (sixteen weeks out of season, so entitled to show improved form).

What conclusions may we draw from this? My view is that most mature greyhounds (over 2½ years old) that run in graded races are capable of performing to a certain level of ability, but are prevented by a ‘class barrier’ from succeeding in a higher grade. They aren’t able, when upgraded, to get the clear run required to record a time fast enough to put them in contention; or they simply don’t have the class to repel the challenge of a slightly stronger, quicker or more determined runner. There will always be exceptions, of course, but that is a general principle that holds good for most graded runners.

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