Focus on Crayford

Greyhound racing has been taking place at Crayford, Kent, in the London borough of Bexley, since 1937. The stadium has been owned and run by Ladbrokes bookmakers since 1977. Eight years later the site was completely redeveloped, and a new stadium built, racing resuming in 1986. The following year Crayford took over the running of the Golden Jacket, a major competition that had previously been held at Harringay, Hall Green and Monmore. In 2017 the Golden Jacket, run over 714 metres, was won by Boylesports Star (by Razldazl Billy), trained in Ireland by Dolores Ruth.

The Gold Collar, a competition staged at Catford until that track’s closure in 2003, was then moved to Belle Vue but discontinued in 2009. After a six year hiatus it resumed at Crayford over the track’s 540 metre distance. Last year the winner was Mayshighlandreel, a daughter of Kinloch Brae trained by Romford handler Martyn Wiley.

Crayford is a tight circuit, with a circumference of 334 metres and a standard racing distance of 380 metres. Hurdle racing is popular with Crayford’s clientele, and the Grand National has been won on three occasions by Crayford-based trainers. The Kent St Leger is another major competition run over 714 metres. It was won most recently by Maireads Ivy (by Hondo Black), trained by Hove’s Derek Knight.

Crayford stages matinee meetings on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with evening meetings on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The track is a major provider of televised racing to betting shops. It would be true to say, though, that the tightness of the track and its sharp bends make finding winners there a challenge. There is, inevitably, an increased likelihood of trouble at the first and second bends as greyhounds struggle to hold their line. Legendary trainer Charlie Lister commented, ‘It’s the sort of track where a top-class dog can get beaten by a grader’. Probably the ideal type of greyhound for Crayford’s standard trip is smallish, handy, quick away and has good early pace.

Here are my standard times for Crayford. The difference in time between each pair of adjacent grades is in brackets.

‘A’ Grades: 380m
A8: 24.26
A7: 24.08 (0.18)
A6: 23.95 (0.13)
A5: 23.91 (0.04)
A4: 23.80 (0.11)
A3: 23.75 (0.05)
A2: 23.64* (0.11)
A1: 23.58* (0.06)

Young, improving dogs that are progressing from A6 to A5 after a win, or from A4 to A3, would be of interest, given that they wouldn’t have to improve by much on average.

‘S’ GRADES: 540m
S8: 35.15*
S7: 34.88* (0.27)
S6: 34.73 (0.15)
S5: 34.66 (0.07)
S4: 34.49* (0.17)
S3: 34.41* (0.08)
S2: 34.29* (0.12)
S1: 34.21* (0.08)

Sticking with the two ‘S’ grades where we have plenty of recent times to go on, a progressive young S6 dog should be seriously considered if upgraded to S5.

‘E’ GRADES: 714m
E3: 46.73*
E2: 46.48* (0.25)
E1: rarely used

H3: 24.50*
H2: 24.32* (0.18)
H1: 24.00* (0.32)

HS1: rarely used

‘P’ (PUPPY) GRADES: 380m
P3: rarely used
P2: rarely used
P1: rarely used

380m: rarely usedv 540m: 34.16*
714m: 45.97*
874m: rarely used

NB The times followed by an asterisk are based on incomplete data.

Love horse racing too? Read my blog on This month: Conformation: the head, ears and eyes.

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)
HawkOwl Web Design