Keeping An Online Formbook (2)

This month I’ve reproduced a sample of my online formbook for A3 dogs running at Sheffield. Like last month’s Swindon sample, the formlines include most of the information needed to evaluate the chances of each runner. You might like to look back at last month’s blog for an explanation of the abbreviations used:

3/11/15 Adraville Scart (Crash) bk d May 13; A3: 1-3; Tr 5; m-w; sl-av tr; mp

7/9/15 Aero Jack (Aero Blackjack) bd d Jan 12; A3: 5-39; Tr 6; w; bit incons tr; can show ep; mp

27/10/15 Alans Cash (Archaton Pine) wbe d Aug 13; A3: 2-10; Tr 1; was r-m; now r; ep

22/9/15 All Time Great (Top Honcho) bk b Jul 12; A3: 1-11; Tr 3/4; m; can be qu aw; ep; sprinter

21/12/15 Ambleside Jake (Makeshift) bk d May 13; A3: 1-15; Tr 3/4; m; can be qu aw; ep

26/1/16 Amelias Lady (Droopys Scolari) bk b May 13; A3: 2-7; Tr 2/3; m-r or m; es; mp

3/9/15 Amidus City (Droopys Scolari) bk b Nov 12; A3: 0-7; Tr 6; ex-Belle Vue (A2; w; ep; ro); w; can be qu aw; ep

26/1/16 Ascot Becky (Ace Hi Rumble) bk b Mar 13; A3: 0-2; ex-Belle Vue (A6; mp; ls; stayed); r; mp

23/10/15 Ballistic Kid (Rumble Impact) bk d Mar 13; A2: 2-19; A3: 3-15; Tr 6; w; mp; ro; stays

Let’s take as an example from the list the last-named dog, Ballistic Kid, and look at the information in the formline :

23/10/15: this is the last time that I updated Ballistic Kid’s formline. When I assess a race (usually the day before the race is run) I extract the formlines for the six dogs and update them to include any runs between this date and the current race. A dog may, for example, have been upgraded after a win in A3 and have been running in A2, a grade I don’t bet in. When it returns to A3 and appears in a race I’m analysing, I need to update its profile. Or it may have continued to run in A3 but in races that I didn’t choose or have time to assess. But, because I’ve recorded the date that I last updated its form, I can simply look up its recent form on the Racing Post website to bring the formline completely up to date.

Ballistic Kid (Rumble Impact): the dog’s name and, in brackets, its sire. Recording the sire isn’t strictly necessary, and it’s there just because I’m interested in breeding. It’s an indication of which sires are producing graded winners, but I wouldn’t back a greyhound purely because it’s by a particular sire. The stud dogs that are prolific winner-producers include Kinloch Brae, Ace Hi Rumble, Crash, Vans Escalade, Droopys Scolari and Westmead Hawk (the last two now sadly deceased).

bk d Mar 13: Ballistic Kid is a black dog, whelped in March 2013. A greyhound’s age is useful information; as a general rule, greyhounds will improve their times and performances as they mature from eighteen months to two and a half years of age. At that age most will have found their level and, if remaining injury-free, will maintain their form for a further two to three years. Around the age of five or six there will often be a gradual decline as wear and tear on the joints contribute to a loss of pace. However, it’s important to remember that there are plenty of exceptions to this general pattern. Sheer courage and a will to win can help prolong a dog’s career, just as a lack of these attributes can shorten it.

A2: 2-19; A3: 3-15: I mainly bet on dogs in A3 grade, but I find it useful to know if a dog has form in the grade above. If he (or she) has won in A2 in the not too distant past (by that I mean in the last three months), he may well be a contender in A3 if downgraded. It all depends on why he has been dropped in grade. If he has been running reasonably well in recent races without winning, the grader may decide to show some sympathy and give him an opportunity to win by dropping him into A3. But if he’s been downgraded simply because he’s really out of form, a downgrade is unlikely to initiate an immediate change in fortune.

The A3 statistics matter because a dog’s strike rate in the grade will give a strong clue to his overall competitiveness. Clearly a dog that has won less than ten per cent of its A3 starts over a relatively long career isn’t one to trust at any price. On the other hand, a dog whose strike rate is, say, thirty per cent or more should always be considered, as he has shown that he is well up to standard in the grade.

I don’t make a note of a dog’s record in the grade below (in this case, A4); however, I would never write off the chances of a young, improving dog that has won well in A4 but has not yet managed to crack the grade above. He may be 0-5 in A3 but still be showing potential, and just needing time to acclimatise. By contrast, an older dog that has spent most of his career in A4, but has been beaten on the few occasions he has been upgraded, is one to lay rather than back.

More on keeping an online formbook 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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