Essential Tools For Greyhound Betting (1)

It’s very difficult to be successful at betting on greyhounds unless we are fully prepared. Preparation involves a thorough study of the form of individual dogs, and this takes time. So it’s useful to be able to access the make-up of future races two or three days in advance. We also need to be able to look at a dog’s lifetime form in order to know its running style, trap preferences, rate of improvement or decline, and consistency. To that end, the internet is an indispensable weapon in our armoury. This month’s blog considers one of the websites which provides us with that information.

The Racing Post has a superb website which provides full form on all the day’s greyhound cards. You can also access the race cards for the next two days, though these may be subject to change. Just go to the website and click on RP Greyhound TV. On its first page are listed the two meetings that are to be shown that evening on the Racing Post’s own TV channel, followed by the cards on BAGS (Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Service, which will be screened in the betting shops), the non-BAGS and provincial cards, and the Irish cards.

Select the meeting and the race you’re interested in, and the information for that race will be displayed under four headings: Card; Form; Stats; and Tips.

Card: this page lists the six runners in the race, together with a comment from the Racing Post’s form experts on each dog’s chance in the race. There is also a forecast of its approximate starting price and a speed rating.

The comment compilers are professionals with a thorough knowledge of the form. That doesn’t mean to say they don’t get it wrong sometimes; after all, form study is about interpretation. They will look at the structure of the race (by that I mean which dogs are in which traps) and make a judgement, with reference to the dogs’ running styles, on which of them is likely to get a clear run. They take into account both current form and race times. Here are some examples of the types of comments made: ‘Been getting tangled up, hopes with a clear run’; ‘Certainly not short on confidence, in with a shout’; ‘Great chance to lead, claims on that alone; ‘Strike rate from this trap tells a dreary story’; ‘Cash likely to be down again, well placed we guess’; ‘Usually come up short in this class, same today?’; ‘Latest performance fresh in the mind, go well here’.

The speed rating for each runner is in the form of a numerical figure, usually between 80 and 100. The greater the figure, the better chance the dog has, based on his previously recorded race or trial times. I always look at these ratings, and find that they broadly agree with my own speed figures. Where I may diverge from the Post’s compiler is in the value I place on a performance in a lower grade than the race in question. The Post seems, as a general rule, to give equal value to a speed rating achieved in a lower grade. For example, a dog competing in A3 grade has achieved the fastest recent time of all the dogs in the race, but did so in A4 grade. The Post may well top rate the dog on that performance for the current A3 race. In my opinion this literal interpretation of time form may be questionable. A time achieved in A4 is not necessarily of the same value as one gained in A3, and an A4 dog cannot be relied upon to reproduce its A4 time in a higher grade. The important exception to this is the young, improving greyhound (under 2½ years old) that is clearly progressing through the grades. But in the case of an older dog whose form level is more established, its A4 time doesn’t reflect its true chance in an A3 race. A survey of the dog’s lifetime form is required here; it may be a dog that excels in A4, but whenever it is upgraded it finds itself outclassed and unable to obtain the clear run needed to reproduce its best time.

Form: Here you’ll find, for each dog, its name, sire and dam, date of whelping, and, for bitches, the date of her last season, if any. Then are listed its last five lines of form, including trials, exactly as on the track’s race card. If you want to see a dog’s lifetime form, just click on its name.

Stats: the stats page is clearly set out and, in my opinion, extremely useful. There are five sections:

1. The dog’s career wins-to-runs in all grades at the track. For example: Tr 1 9/59

2. Its career wins-to-runs at the track from the trap it’s running from today: Tr 1 8/54

3. Its career wins-to-runs at the track in the grade it’s running in today: Tr 1 4/32

4. Its career wins-to-runs at the track in today’s trap and grade: Tr 1 3/28

5. The recent wins-to-runs for each trap at the track: Tr 1 24/79; Tr 2 14/79; Tr 3 14/79; Tr 4 9/79; Tr 5 11/79; Tr 6 7/79.

Tips: for each race on the card, the Racing Post’s tipster gives his (or her) selection, and also the strength of his confidence in that selection, on a scale of one to five stars. So a one star selection is, in his opinion, the most likely winner but is highly vulnerable, whereas a five star selection would carry maximum confidence. He also gives, for those punters who like to bet in forecasts and tricasts, his idea of the first three finishers. You can also click on a ‘Predictor’ link which, like a virtual race in the betting shop, gives a visual prediction of the outcome of the race. This is not necessarily the same selection as given on the Tips page.

We’ll look at other useful websites 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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