Racecard comments: E – H

EP: Early Pace

Early pace is arguably the most important and useful attribute a racing greyhound can have, A dog that can go clear of its rivals in the early stages of a race – providing it stays the distance well – has a huge advantage. The main factor that stops a dog from winning is encountering trouble, and as a result being held up in its run and having to break its stride pattern. The dog that can consistently produce early pace on the run up, avoiding trouble, and lead up at the first bend is in a position to dictate how the race is run. Races are often won and lost by a difference in time of 0.01 seconds between the winner and the runner up, so avoiding early trouble by hitting the first bend in front can decide the outcome, especially if the rest of the field crowds in behind.

An early paced dog doesn’t necessarily have to be first to the bend in order to obtain a clear run. For example, a wide runner with early pace might turn second to a railer with similar pace, but as long as the wide dog is quicker than the dog inside him he’ll still get a clear run. Of the two dogs drawn in the middle traps I would tend to favour the one with the better early pace, as the potential for finding trouble is greater from Traps 3 and 4.

Some tracks use the EP comment more sparingly than others; in that case I would check the dogs’ sectional times as compared to those of its rivals, as these provide valuable information about which dog should lead up. Some dogs that have early pace are only moderate or average trappers, but they can use their early speed to overcome this disadvantage. It’s much better, though, to see the comment Quick Away combined with Early Pace in a dog’s formline. Then you can be fairly sure that this greyhound will give itself every opportunity to press home its early advantage.

Ev Ch: Every Chance

This comment is used to describe greyhounds that secure a clear run but don’t actually win the race. If it occurs frequently in a dog’s formlines it suggests several possibilities. If combined with form figures such as 33242, it may describe a dog that is running reasonably well without being able to produce the finishing kick needed to get competitive on the run in. If the form figures are 45464, it describes a dog that is seriously out of form and just going through the motions. That may be because it’s carrying a low grade injury that the trainer hasn’t yet identified, or because it’s jaded and in need of a rest, or because it’s running in a grade too high for its ability. On the positive side, Ev Ch at least shows that the dog hasn’t found any trouble in its race. Dogs that often earn this comment may be wide runners who don’t cut in on the bends and so steer clear of trouble; or dogs that lack early speed, and thus avoid crowding at the first two bends; or dogs with enough trackcraft to avoid potential traffic problems. I certainly wouldn’t be put off supporting a greyhound that occasionally earns the Ev Ch comment if it has a decent ratio of wins to runs in the grade, and its overall recent form is good.

Fa: Faded

If a greyhound loses its place during a race and drops back quickly, its formline may include the abbreviation Fa. It’s used sparingly, and may apply to a dog that has suffered a physical problem during the race. A fit and healthy dog, running in its correct grade, shouldn’t fade out of contention. The dog may have cramped (qv), picked up a muscle or joint injury, or taken a hefty knock from another dog. Alternatively, it may have found the distance of the race too taxing (six bends rather than its usual four), though it wouldn’t normally be running over that trip without having first satisfied the racing manager in a previous trial or race that it could cope with the distance. Another possibility is that a bitch may be coming into season, which would affect her performance. Whatever the reason, for the Faded comment, it is often the precursor to an extended absence from the track until the problem is sorted out.

H: Hurdle

Hurdle racing provides variety on a track’s race card, and an exciting spectacle for the greyhound racing fan. There must be at least four hurdles in a race of 400 metres or more, and three in races shorter than 400 metres. Hurdle racing has often been used by trainers to freshen up a greyhound that’s lost interest in chasing the hare on the flat. It also provides a second chance for dogs that have a tendency towards fighting. Four flights of hurdles give a dog something else to think about, and it will often lose its inclination to turn its head. And, like racehorses, some dogs are just better suited to hurdling than to flat racing, and achieve a level of performance that they would not reach without hurdles to negotiate.

These days only a few tracks stage hurdle racing; these include Crayford, Hove, Romford, Sittingbourne and Wimbledon. According to statistics provided by Floyd Amphlett, editor of the online magazine Greyhound Star, the percentage of hurdle races run on UK tracks has fallen from 5.29% in 2005 to 2.87% today. The classic race for hurdlers is the Grand National, run over 480 metres at Sittingbourne. The Springbok is the top hurdle race for novices, over 480 metres at Wimbledon.

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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