Focus on Hove

The original site at Nevill Road, Hove, was developed in 1928 by the Greyhound Racing Association (Brighton) Ltd, and greyhound racing has continued at the venue ever since. The first major event to be run there was the Regency Produce Stakes, which began in 1948. Originally a four-bend event, since 1966 it has been run almost exclusively over six bends (now 695 metres). In 2017 it was won by Tyrap Dragi, a black dog by Head Bound, trained by Hove handler Jason Heath.

The 1970’s were a significant decade for greyhound racing at Hove. Three important competitions were added to the racing schedule, and there was a change of ownership of the track. First run in 1972, the Sussex Cup has proved a popular four-bend event (over 515 metres), the latest winner being Shaneboy Freddie, a brindle son of Oaks Road, from the kennel of Yarmouth trainer Kevin Boon. A similar event for bitches only, the Brighton Belle, was inaugurated in 1975; in 2017 the final was won by 5/4 favourite Away Shelley (by Droopys Jet), trained by Matt Dartnall.

In 1976 the Coral Leisure Group bought Hove Stadium (and Romford too). Three years later the management brought back the Olympic, a four-bend competition that had started out at Wandsworth Stadium in 1947, and then moved to Charlton Stadium when Wandsworth closed in 1966. On the demise of Charlton in 1971 the Olympic was discontinued until revived at Hove. The race’s most famous winner by far was Brighton trainer George Curtis’s phenomenal greyhound Ballyregan Bob, who took the prize in1985. Despite missing the break and being five lengths behind the front-running House Hunter down the back straight, he got up to win comfortably, a typically brilliant effort from a staying greyhound who was campaigned over six bends from then on. Ballyregan Bob went on to win a world record 32 consecutive races.

Hove has a track circumference of 455 metres, with a run to the first bend of 105 metres. Races are run over 285m, 475m, 515m, and 695m. In Julia Barnes’ book, ‘Charlie Lister on Greyhounds’, she quotes the trainer’s opinion of Hove: ‘This is a very good track….They keep the surface in top-class condition. It is the type of track where you can take a dog without trialling him first. A dog can come from behind as long as it has a bit of pace and stays.’

Here are my standard times for Hove:

‘A’ GRADES: 515m

A11: 31.21

A10: 30.97

A9: 30.85

A8: 30.72

A7: 30.65

A6: 30.52

A5: 30.51

A4: 30.40


A2: 30.16 (incomplete data)

A1: 30.11 (incomplete data)

Standard times for A6 and A5 are virtually identical, which gives the average upgraded A6 runner an outstanding chance of following up in the higher grade. A8 winners, while having a slightly more difficult task when upgraded, are nevertheless worth a close look. Greyhounds successful in the bottom grade, though, would need to find, on average, an improvement of three lengths to make their presence felt in A10, the next rung up the ladder.

‘D’ GRADES: 285m

D3: 16.82 (incomplete data)

D2: 16.68

D1: 16.44

There’s a significant difference in the speed of dogs competing in D1 grade as compared with D2 runners. I’d want to see an upgraded D2 dog record a winning time much faster than the average before considering it a possible winner in D1.

‘S’ GRADE: 695m

S2: rarely used


285m: 16.40 (incomplete data)

475m: 27.69 (incomplete data)

515m: 30.07

695m: 41.78 (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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