Racecard comments: H

Hcp: Handicap

Several tracks, mainly in the north of the country, stage handicap racing. It is popular with local race goers, though it is considered by many to pose more problems from a betting angle than level break, graded racing. Handicaps can be staged over sprint, standard or extended distances. The traps are placed at varying distances from the starting line; the dog in trap 6 – the ‘scratch’ dog – starts on the line. The other traps are placed at up to fourteen metres in front of the line, with Trap 1 having the greatest allowance. In this way dogs of varying abilities can be brought together so that, in theory at least, they all have an equal chance of winning.

The advantage of handicap racing from the punter’s point of view is that the dogs are relatively spread out at the first and second bends, and so are more likely to avoid the crowding that occurs here in graded racing. Against this is the argument that the greyhounds’ times from previous races are more difficult to compare accurately, though personally I see no reason why that shouldn’t be possible. It’s generally accepted that in greyhound racing one length is equal to 0.08 seconds. When, after a race has been run, racing managers are taking the handicap into account when deciding on a dog’s final time, they also consider 0.08 seconds to be equal to one metre. For example, a dog wins a handicap race from Trap 1, receiving a start of twelve metres, in a time of 29.30 seconds. The going is normal, and so there is no going allowance. The dog’s final, adjusted time is therefore 29.30 + (12 x 0.08 secs) = 30.26 secs. These adjusted times seem to work well enough when used to assess a forthcoming handicap race.

Many years ago, when I first became fascinated – not to say obsessed – by greyhound racing, I used to try my luck in the six-bend handicaps at Brough Park. I kept a record of my bets over a period of several months. My own time ratings were the basis on which I made my selections, though they weren’t the sole factor. Fortunes were mixed, it has to be said, but at the end of the period I found that I had achieved a 32% winning percentage, and a profit on turnover of 29%. Beneath the list of winning and losing bets I made the following comments:

1. The time ratings are of immense value in deciding which dogs have a realistic chance in a particular race.

2. If two dogs stand out, it’s best to back the one at longer odds. Alternatively, back both if the odds permit.

3. Look out for dogs which are particularly well suited by extremes of going, and back them when conditions are right.

4. Favour game, courageous dogs that can come to challenge again after being headed.

Tracks currently staging handicap racing include Newcastle, Perry Barr, Shawfield (all handicap racing), Sheffield, Sunderland, and Swindon.

Hd: Head

A head is the distance by which a greyhound involved in a tight finish might win or lose. In terms of time, a head is equivalent to 0.02 seconds. An even shorter distance than this is the short head (SH), equivalent to 0.01 seconds. Slightly longer than both is the neck (Nk), at 0.03 seconds. These terms, together with ¼ length, ½ length, ¾ length 1 length (or more) are used to describe the distance between any two dogs in a race, irrespective of where they finish.

The following list of times/distances is standard:

Short head: 0.01 secs; Head: 0.02 secs; Neck: 0.03 secs; ¼ length: 0.02 secs; ½ length: 0.04 secs; ¾ length: 0.06 secs; 1 length: 0.08 secs.

It may seem odd that a neck is considered to be 0.03 seconds, whereas ¼ length, which would appear to be a longer distance, is only 0.02 seconds. The reason seems to be that the electronically recorded times of the dogs in any race are accurate, but the distances are merely approximations. For example, when I carried out a survey of the time / distance relationships at Peterborough, I found that a distance described as ¼ length (when applied to distances between dogs of 2¼, 3¼, 4¼ lengths etc.) could represent a time difference of anywhere between 0.01 and 0.03 seconds.

Here’s a similar example from a recent Peterborough card:

27.08.2016. 20.31. A3 (435m).

1. Eleveneightfifty 26.39
2. Not A Drop 26.60 (2¾)
3. Bossy Boots 26.67 (¾)

The difference in time between the winner, Eleveneightfifty, and the second, Not A Drop, was 0.21 seconds. If we assume that one length is 0.08 seconds, then the 2¾ lengths between them represents 2 x 0.08 seconds + 0.05 seconds for the extra ¾ length. However, the time difference between Not A Drop and the third, Bossy Boots is 0.07 seconds, and that is also measured at ¾ length. So the distance of ¾ length can represent a time difference of between 0.05 and 0.07 seconds.

September 2018
Focus On Poole
 
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Focus On Perry Barr
 
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Focus On Nottingham
 
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Focus On Newcastle
 
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Focus On Monmore Green
 
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Focus On Hove
 
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Focus On Doncaster
 
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Focus On Crayford
 
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Focus On Central Park
 
December 2017
An Index Of Previous Blog Posts
 
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Focus On Belle Vue
 
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Young Graders To Follow (2)
 
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Young Graders To Follow
 
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Getting A Clear Run
 
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Essential Tools For Greyhound Betting (2)
 
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Essential Tools For Greyhound Betting (1)
 
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Specialisation (2)
 
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Specialisation (1)
 
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Qualities Of The Successful Backer
 
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Compiling Race Ratings (2)
 
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Compiling Race Ratings (1)
 
December 2016
Racecard Comments : S - X
 
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Racecard Comments : M - R
 
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Racecard Comments : H - M
 
September 2016
Racecard Comments : H
 
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Racecard Comments : E - H
 
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Racecard Comments : B - D
 
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Racecard Comments : A - B
 
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Form Cycles
 
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Keeping An Online Formbook (3)
 
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Keeping An Online Formbook (2)
 
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Keeping An Online Formbook (1)
 
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The Striped jacket
 
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The Orange jacket
 
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The Black jacket
 
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The White jacket
 
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The Blue jacket
 
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The Red jacket
 
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Upgraded Dogs To Avoid
 
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Upgraded Dogs
 
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Downgraded Dogs
 
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Focus on Romford
 
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Focus on Swindon (2)
 
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Focus on Swindon (1)
 
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Exploiting Formline Comments (2)
 
December 2014
Exploiting Formline Comments (1)
 
November 2014
Greyhound Racing: Make It Pay (2)
 
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Greyhound Racing: Make It Pay (1)
 
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Greyhound Betting Expert Advice (6)
 
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Greyhound Betting Expert Advice (2)
 
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Greyhound Betting Expert Advice (1)
 
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The Time Test
 
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Recording and Reviewing Your Bets
 
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What’s a "grade within a grade"? (2)
 
December 2013
What’s a "grade within a grade"? (1)
 
November 2013
Trap Draw
 
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Sires To Note
 
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Racing Post Summaries (3)
 
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Racing Post Summaries (2)
 
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Racing Post Summaries (1)
 
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Laying Greyhounds On The Betting Exchanges
 
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Spotting The Ungenuine Dog
 
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Compiling A List Of Greyhounds To Follow
 
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Specialisation (2)
 
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Specialisation (1)
 
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Winter Ground Conditions
 
December 2012
Front Runners v Strong Finishers
 
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Weight
 
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Identifying Improving Greyhounds
 
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Race Ratings (2)
 
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Race Ratings (1)
 
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Following dogs in form
 
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Adopting a professional approach (3)
 
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Adopting a professional approach (1)
 
February 2012
Warning To Speed Fans
 
January 2012
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December 2011
Early Paced Dogs
 
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Speed Handicapping (5) : More FAQs
 
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Speed Handicapping (4) : FAQs
 
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Speed Handicapping (3)
 
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Speed Handicapping (2)
 
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