Racecard Comments: A - B

How a greyhound has performed in its previous races, as well as a physical description of the dog, is usually given in abbreviated form, either on the track’s racecard, or on the Racing Post’s greyhound cards, or in the results section of the Greyhound Board of Great Britain’s website. In this series of blogs we’ll consider these abbreviations in more detail.


A: Always

Most often seen in the phrase Always Led (ALed), describing a dog that has the ability to break fast from the traps and show enough all round speed to dominate the race. Dogs that can trap well and also show good early speed will be able to avoid crowding at the first bend, where much of the trouble that may affect the final result takes place.

Aw: Away

Seen in the phrases Quick Away (QAw) and Slow Away (SAw); away, that is, from the traps. Irish racecards often use the phrase Even Away (EvAw) to describe a dog that shows average speed from the traps. Clearly a greyhound that traps fast, provided that it also stays the trip, has a considerable advantage, whether it’s a modest grader or an open racer. Many dogs, however, find consistency at the traps hard to achieve. Those that hit the traps one day and then miss the break next time they run are never a safe conveyance for a punter’s cash.

A greyhound’s trapping ability may change as it matures; a puppy may be all at sea in its first few races until it understands what is required. A quick getaway may also be linked to a dog’s keenness to chase; if it loses its enthusiasm for chasing it won’t trap well. Legendary trainer Charlie Lister explains, in Julia Barnes’s book Charlie Lister on Greyhounds (First Stone 2004), how he overcomes this problem: ‘If a dog is not trapping well, I would start by giving him a few handslips on the gallops at home. The dog refinds his enthusiasm for chasing, and he will be sharper coming out of a trap.’ According to Lister, greyhounds have two ways of trapping. Some dogs listen for the sound of the approaching hare, and trap when catching sight of it. Others watch the front of the trap, and are ready to go the instant the lid goes up.

Awk: Awkward

A euphemistic adjective to describe a dog that is more interested in taking a lump out of another dog than chasing the hare. Aggressive behaviour during a race is a sign that the dog is probably ungenuine, and is a serious problem for the dog’s connections. According to the Rules Of Racing (Rule 53), a dog guilty of ‘deliberate interference’ in a race will be disqualified, and will only be allowed to race again after running three satisfactory ‘clearing trials’. Each trial must include at least three other greyhounds of similar ability. If a dog is disqualified from a race for a second time, it will no longer be able to race on any GBGB licensed racetrack.

A greyhound that is liable to ’turn its head’ (another euphemism) may be tried over hurdles, in the hope that it will give the dog something else to think about.


B: Badly

Badly may be used to qualify the words baulked or bumped (see below); for example, BBlk: Badly baulked.

Bk: black

Black is the most common coat colour of the racing greyhound. Most black dogs have some white about them somewhere, often on the paws or chest, or the tip of the tail. Less commonly, greyhounds can be blue (be), brindle (bd), fawn (f), white (w), or a combination of these colours. So a brindle and white dog will be abbreviated to bdw, with the predominant colour mentioned first.

The coat colour of a blue dog is actually a smokey grey. The brindle colour is thought to derive from the efforts of Lord Orford, a prominent eighteenth century breeder. He attempted to improve the courage and determination of the greyhound by introducing a strain of bulldog blood into the breed. In doing so he also introduced the previously unfamiliar brindle coat.

Blk: baulked

A rather unusual verb used, in a greyhound racing context, when a dog is stopped or hindered in its run. Some racecards use as an alternative ‘impeded’.

Bmp: Bumped

Bumping is an inevitable part of greyhound racing; how could it be otherwise when six dogs, accelerating to around forty miles an hour, converge on the first bend, each vying for a restricted, increasingly narrow space, and trying to hold its line against powerful centrifugal forces? In such a situation two qualities are necessary. The first is the physical strength to withstand possibly destabilising physical contact from another dog, and here the well-built, powerful dog has an advantage. The second is the courage to take a bump, shrug it off, and not be deterred or distracted from chasing the hare.

Of course, bumping can occur at any stage of a race, and that calls for a third quality that by no means all greyhounds possess: trackcraft, which enables a dog to anticipate and avoid trouble.

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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