Focus on Doncaster

Greyhound racing first took place at Stainforth, near Doncaster, in the 1940’s. The site continued as a flapping, or unlicensed, track until closing in 1978. However, in 1993 a new stadium, branded as Stainforth Stadium, was built, and racing recommenced under the auspices of the National Greyhound Racing Club. The first general manager was Barbara Tomkins, a renowned breeder of show greyhounds before turning her hand to training in the 1960’s. She subsequently trained three Derby winners – Sand Star, John Silver and I’m Slippy. In 1988 she and fellow trainer Pam Heasman wrote ‘All about the Racing Greyhound’ (Pelham Books).

Barbara Tomkins retired in 2004, and two years later the track’s name was changed to Doncaster Stadium. In 2008 Doncaster hosted the long-established TV Trophy, run over its marathon distance of 868 metres. It was won by Flying Winner (by Flying Penske), trained locally by Chris Lund. In 2010 Doncaster was chosen to stage the Betfair Trainers Championship, which is contested by the previous year’s top six trainers. On that occasion the winning trainer was Mark Wallis, with Charlie Lister as runner-up.

Doncaster Stadium’s most important annual competition is the Yorkshire St Leger, inaugurated in 2004 and run over 661 metres. In 2017 the winner was Keplar Nine, a strapping black son of Kinloch Brae trained by Charlie Lister.

Doncaster’s track circumference is a generous 438 metres, with a run to the first bend of 105 metres. The greater the circumference of the track, the easier the bends, giving the dogs a better chance of maintaining a true line around the bend. A big, galloping track, Doncaster is ideal for the serious greyhound backer. Dogs that have good early pace can put daylight between themselves and the slower, staying types by the time they get to the first corner. Meanwhile the slower starting dogs with abundant stamina have time to find their stride down the back straight and then come with a long, late run from the fourth bend to challenge the front runners.

Here are my standard times for Doncaster:

‘A’ Grades (483m)

A6: 30.89 (incomplete data)

A5: 30.70

A4: 30.48

A3: 30.25

A2: 30.07

A1: 29.77

It’s immediately clear that there is a considerable time difference between each of the ‘A’ grades. At 0.08 seconds per length, these differences equate to distances between 2¾ and 3¼ lengths. In these circumstances I’d be inclined to favour dogs that have proven, solid form in the grade over upgraded dogs. Downgraded dogs, unless they are badly out of form, are worth a second look, as their task is much less arduous in the lower grade.

‘B’ Grades (450m)

B5: rarely used

B4: infrequently used

B3: 28.80

B2: 28.47

B1: 28.16

The comments above apply even more strongly to the ‘B’ grades, where the time difference between B3 and B2 is equal to just over four lengths, and between B2 and B1 just under four lengths.

‘D’ Grade (275m)

D3: 17.65


661m: 41.70 (incomplete data)

483m: 29.65 (incomplete data)

450m: 27.75 (incomplete data)

275m: 16.93 (incomplete data)

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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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