The Blue Jacket

Of the greyhounds that usually race from the two inside traps, some are true railers, some are equally at home in Trap 1 or 2, and others actively prefer a rails-to-middle line. A few happily alternate between Traps 2 and 3. The true railer, if drawn in Trap 2, will do his (or her) best to get over to the rail To do so he will need a quicker break from the traps than the dog inside or, less satisfactorily, a slow break that will allow him to slot in behind the faster breaking dog in the red jacket. Missing the break isn’t ideal, as securing a clear run immediately becomes much more problematical. Anyone thinking of backing a true railer in Trap 2 should therefore take into account his speed from the traps as compared with the dog in Trap 1.

The issue is not so pressing for a dog that is comfortable being drawn in either trap. If the opportunity to get to the rails does not materialise, he will hold his line just off the rails and, if he’s an early-paced sort, try to make the first bend before the dog in red. The greyhound that actually prefers the blue jacket to the red may do so because he is not able to run a tight curve as well as the true railer, and so the possibility of a clear run for both dogs, at least as far as the first bend, is enhanced. This applies also to the dog that sometimes runs from Trap 2 and at other times from Trap 3. The difference, though, is that such a dog may run wider than his rails-to-middle line, and so crowd with the dog in Trap 3.

The question of which dog will make the bend first will depend not only upon their speed from the traps, but also upon the early speed, from the traps to the first bend, that each can call upon. If they arrive at the first bend neck and neck, the advantage lies with the dog in Trap 1, so for the blue to lead here requires him to show superior early speed on the run up.

There are three ways of evaluating the blue dog’s early speed from his previous recent form. Firstly, his sectional times (that is, the time it takes to run from the traps to the winning line first time round) should be consistently better than those of the dog in Trap 1. Obviously, sectional times would be more useful if they were calculated from the traps to the first bend, but they’re still helpful. Secondly, check out the dog’s position at the first bend in his recent races when wearing the blue jacket. Is he capable of making the first bend in front from Trap 2? Finally, it’s a good sign if the comments compiler uses the abbreviation EP (Early Pace) in relation to his recent runs. A word of warning here: compilers vary in the frequency of their use of EP, so it has more significance at some tracks than others.

A runner in blue that is a slow starter and lacks early speed is clearly at a disadvantage, but can’t be completely ruled out if he’s able to miss trouble occurring up front and can come with a strong late run. Obviously this type of dog needs to stay the trip well, and will be suited by a galloping track with plenty of room on the third and fourth bends to make his challenge. By this point the field shouldn’t be so closely packed, and gaps may appear. But it’s never easy to come from behind, and the dog must have proved in the past that he has the necessary trackcraft to negotiate a passage through tiring rivals.

When I’m assessing a greyhound’s chance from his trap draw, I always go to his lifetime form (accessible from the Greyhound Board of Great Britain and the Racing Post websites). I check how often he has run from that trap and his win-to-run ratio. For many dogs it soon becomes clear what their preferences are. Statistics such as: Trap 1: 0-8; Trap 2: 5-13 tell their own story. It’s a bonus if the comments compiler includes details of a dog’s usual running line (not all tracks do this). A dog consistently described as running ‘rails-to-middle’ will clearly be better suited to Trap 2 than Trap 1 or 3.

I have extracted winning Trap 2 statistics for all tracks over the last six years (source: www.greyhound-data.com). For comparison, I have included Trap 1 winning percentages.

Percentage of winners from Trap 2 (4 bend races only); Trap 1 percentage in brackets.

Track2015 (to date)20142013201220112010
Belle Vue17 (16)16 (17)17 (16)17 (20)16 (18)17 (19)
Crayford16 (17)17 (17)17 (16)16 (15)17 (16)14 (19)
Hall Green17 (17)17 (19)19 (14)17 (18)19 (19)19 (14)
Henlow18 (21)17 (19)17 (18)17 (18)16 (20)17 (21)
Hove16 (16)16 (18)17 (17)18 (19)15 (18)16 (18)
Kinsley13 (16)18 (17)17 (18)17 (16)17 (17)17 (17)
Mildenhall14 (16)16 (20)20 (19)18 (16)16 (14)16 (13)
Monmore16 (15)16 (16)18 (17)18 (19)18 (20)17 (17)
Newcastle14 (16)16 (17)16 (17)18 (14)18 (16)17 (16)
Nottingham18 (19)17 (16)17 (17)15 (17)14 (17)16 (18)
Pelaw Grange15 (20)15 (18)17 (16)18 (19)16 (20)15 (19)
Perry Barr18 (15)16 (17)16 (15)16 (16)15 (17)14 (16)
Peterborough18 (17)16 (16)16 (18)16 (17)19 (18)18 (18)
Poole18 (16)17 (17)18 (17)17 (16)14 (15)16 (17)
Romford19 (19)20 (18)16(18)15 (18)20 (20)24 (19)
Shawfield(limited data as most races run as handicaps)
Sheffield15 (19)17 (19)17 (16)19(18)16 (18)16 (19)
Sittingbourne18 (17)15 (18)17 (15)18 (18)17 (15)17 (16)
Stainforth19 (13)15 (16)19 (17)17 (16)17 (18)15 (17)
Sunderland17 (16)18 (16)16 (16)16 (17)16 (16)17 (16)
Swindon15 (17)16 (18)16 (16)15 (16)14 (17)15 (19)
Towcester17 (20)14 (18)----
Wimbledon18 (19)17 (17)15 (17)19 (18)16 (17)17 (16)
Yarmouth17 (17)16 (15)18 (15)17 (15)18 (15)17 (15)
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
Weight
 
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