Focus on Central Park

Central Park greyhound stadium is in Sittingbourne, Kent, and has been staging greyhound racing since 1995. The track has a circumference of 443 metres. In 2000 promoter Roger Cearns introduced the Kent Derby, a category 1 race over 480 metres. It was won in 2017 by 12/1 shot Bockos Alfie (by Droopys Scolari), trained by Patrick Janssens. Since 2002 Central Park has also been the venue of the Silver Salver, a race run first at Southend and then at Canterbury. Between 2002 and 2013 it was a sprint race over 265 metres; since then it has been run over 450 metres, and was won this year by Mark Wallis’s Clondoty Alex (by Razldazl Jayfkay).

Roger Hearns is the grandson of Bill Hearns, who was instrumental in establishing Wimbledon as a greyhound racing venue in the 1920’s. In 1985, on the closure of White City, Wimbledon became the home of the Springbok, the championship competition for novice hurdlers. It was fitting, therefore, on the demise of Wimbledon in 2016, that Central Park should take over the staging of the Springbok. The first winner of the Central Park Springbok was Yassoo Martin (by Blackstone Gene), trained by local handler George Andreas. Another competition transferred from Wimbledon to Central Park in 2017 was the Juvenile, an invitation competition for puppies. It was won this year by Murrays Act, a black son of Tullymurry Act from the kennel of Yarmouth-based trainer Kevin Boon.

For betting purposes my interest lies principally in graded racing. I’ve calculated the average winning time for every grade at every track (where sufficient recent data is available), and below are my statistics for Central Park. The difference in average winning time between two adjacent grades may be significant. These differences can affect the chances of a dog being able to cope with an upgrade after a win, or of a downgraded dog succeeding in the lower grade. In all cases a time of 0.08 seconds is equivalent to one length.

‘A’ GRADES: 480m

A9: 30.36

A8: 30.24 (0.12)

A7: 30.03 (0.21)

A6: 29.96 (0.07)

A5: 29.77 (0.19)

A4: 29.65 (0.12)

A3: 29.56 (0.09)

A2: 29.36 (0.20)

A1: 29.19 (0.17)

At a difference of just 0.07 seconds, the upgrade from A7 to A6 would not seem to be too arduous a task. Similarly, a young, improving dog winning in A4 could be expected to cope with A3, as there is only a 0.09 seconds’ difference between the two grades. However, caution is advised if intending to support an A8 winner if upgraded on its next run. It would need to find 2½ lengths to be competitive. The steps up from A3 to A2 and from A6 to A5 are almost as exacting.

Keep an eye out for dogs that have been downgraded from A7 to A8, from A5 to A6, or from A2 to A3. They may not be catching the judge’s eye, but if their recent finishing times are reasonable, they’re likely to be much more competitive in the lower grade. However, I’d want a downgraded dog to have posted at least one finishing time in the last month that is within 0.10 seconds of the average time for the grade that they’ve been running in.

‘S’ GRADES: 642m

S1: not used

S2: 40.34 (data incomplete)

S3: 40.65 (0.31) (data incomplete)

An average winning time difference of 0.31 seconds between S2 and S3 is just short of 4 lengths. I would treat these average times with caution in view of the data being incomplete. Nevertheless I wouldn’t be in a hurry to support an S3 winner on the upgrade.

‘D’ GRADES: 265m

D1: 16.44 (data incomplete)

D2: 16.62 (0.18)

D3: 16.93 (0.31) (data incomplete)

Though not 100% reliable, these average winning times reflect quite a gulf in quality between the grades. The 0.18 seconds’ time difference between D1 and D2 represents 2¼ lengths, a not insignificant distance in a sprint race. The gap between D2 and D3 is even wider (almost 4 lengths).


480m: 29.07 (data incomplete)

The average time for an A1 grader at Central Park is 29.19 seconds. So on this evidence the average A1 winner would need to improve by 1½ lengths (0.12 seconds) to make a successful transition from graded to open racing at the track.

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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