Glossary

A accumulator: a multiple bet where the winnings and stake from the first selection are carried forward to the next selection, and so on. All the selections must win for the bet to be successful.
age: a greyhound’s age is calculated from the first day of the month of its birth, even if it was born on the last day of the month. A puppy must be fifteen months old before it is eligible to run in a race.
also ran: a dog that was not placed in the first three in its race.
always handy: in a good position throughout the race.
ante post bet: a bet placed well in advance of the event. The odds on offer are usually better than those available on the day, but stakes are lost if the dog is a non-runner.
B back runner: a dog that may lack speed early in the race but comes with a late run.
back straight: the length of the track between the second and third bends.
BAGS: Bookmakers’ Afternoon Greyhound Service. This exists to provide meetings which are televised in the betting shops of the off-course bookmakers. These meetings take place in the mornings or afternoons and are not well attended, despite free entry to the track.
banker: a dog strongly expected to win.
bar: a bookmaker’s term denoting the minimum price at which certain dogs can be backed. For example, 5/1 bar one means that all the dogs except one (the favourite) can be backed at odds of 5/1 or better.
baulked: when a dog is denied a clear run by another of the runners moving in front of it and taking its ground.
BEGS: Bookmakers’ Evening Greyhound Service: This exists to provide meetings which are televised in the evenings in the betting shops of off-course bookmakers.
betting exchange: a betting exchange allows individuals to bet against each other. On the exchanges you can either back a greyhound to win or lay it to lose. The exchange takes a commission from winning bets. Among the most well-known in the UK are Betfair and Betdaq.
blue: one of the possible colours of a greyhound’s coat. In reality it is a smoky grey.
board price: the price offered about a dog on the bookmaker’s board.
bookmaker: a person licensed to accept bets on the result of an event based on their provision of odds to their client.
boxed in: a greyhound racing on or near to the rails, with other greyhounds in front, behind, and to the side of it, denying it racing room.
breeder: the person who owns or leases a brood bitch at the time of whelping (q.v.).
brindle: a colour combination of predominantly dark brown striping on a lighter, tan background.
broke down: went lame during the race.
brood bitch: a female greyhound used for breeding.
bumped: when several greyhounds approach a bend together at high speed, the frequent outcome is that two or more will bump into each other. As a result the dogs coming off worst will lose momentum and those vital fractions of a second that may be the difference between winning and losing.
C calculated time: often abbreviated on the race card to CalcTm. This refers to a greyhound’s finishing time, adjusted to take account, if necessary, of the prevailing going (q.v) and distance (q.v.) behind winner.
came again: this describes a dog that has been in contention in the early stages of the race but has dropped out, possibly after being impeded or bumped. It then renews its challenge, coming with a late run.
Canadian: a combination bet involving 26 bets on five selections. The bet consists of ten doubles, ten trebles, one four dog accumulator and one five dog accumulator.
checked: when a greyhound is unable to get a clear run and is forced to break his stride and lose momentum during a race.
colour: a racing greyhound’s colour may be: brindle (bd) (q.v.); blue (be) (q.v.); black (bk); fawn (f) or white (wh). The word dark (dk) is sometimes used to qualify brindle. These colours also occur in combination, e.g. bkw = predominatly black with some white; fw = predominantly fawn with some white.
contender: a greyhound considered to have a good chance in a race.
crowded: short of racing room due to bunching, usually at the bends.
D dam: the bitch who gives birth to a greyhound.
dead heat: an exact tie between two or more greyhounds in a race.
distance: the distance over which a race is run. Typically, but not exclusively, greyhound races are run over two bends, e.g. 280 metres; four bends, e.g. 480 metres; six bends, e.g. 685 metres; or eight bends, e.g. 850 metres.
distances: the distances, as calculated by the judge, between greyhounds at the finish of a race. These are expressed in lengths or parts of a length (q.v.).
draw: for open races (q.v.) in the UK, greyhounds are allocated a trap number by means of a draw. For reasons of safety, this takes into account a greyhound’s preference for running on or near the rail, up the middle of the track, or out wide. For a graded race (q.v), no draw is required, since the traps are allocated by the track’s racing manager (q.v.).
drifter: a greyhound whose odds lengthen significantly prior to the race.
dual forecast: a bet in which the backer has to select the first two to finish in either order.
E early pace: describes a greyhound that shows better than average speed to the first bend.
edge: the mathematical advantage that a bookmaker builds into his prices when he calculates the odds to offer on each runner in a race.
evens: odds that would return exactly the same amount in winnings as the stake. For example a bet of £5 at evens would return £5 plus the original £5 stake.
every chance: no excuses; could have won if good enough.
exacta: the US term for a straight forecast (q.v.)
F faded: a greyhound who, during a race, may have been in contention but has tired and dropped out.
far turn: the third turn of the race track.
fast away: describes a greyhound that breaks quickly from the traps.
field: the total number of runners in a particular race.
finish well: describes a greyhound that has abundant stamina over the distance of the race, allowing it to run on strongly in the closing stages.
first show: the opening odds marked up by a bookmaker on his board for all the runners in a race.
form: a detailed break-down of a greyhound’s past performances. Used by backers to analyse a dog’s winning chance in future races.
G galloping track: a track with long straights and wide bends, favouring big, long-striding dogs and minimising the risk of trouble for all the dogs.
GBGB: Greyhound Board of Great Britain. This is the body responsible for the governance, regulation and management of greyhound racing in Great Britain. It has replaced the BGRB (British Greyhound Racing Board), which previously oversaw the rules and regulations pertaining to greyhound racing, and the NGRC (National Greyhound Racing Council), responsible for the welfare of greyhounds and the integrity of the sport.
going: the surface condition of a racetrack. A going adjustment (q.v.) may be applied to a greyhound’s finishing time to arrive at a calculated time (q.v.).
going adjustment: From the finishing times recorded at a race meeting, the track manager will calculate how fast or slow the ground conditions were that day, and adjust the finishing times accordingly by means of a going allowance. The following are examples of allowances:
N = Normal going (no adjustment)
+10 = going that is 0.10 seconds fast; add 0.10 seconds to the winner’s time.
-20 = going that is 0.20 seconds slow; subtract 0.20 seconds from the winner’s time.
going behind: the greyhounds are being taken behind the traps by their handlers prior to loading.
grade: the class of race in which a greyhound is racing. Below the level of open racing, in which the best dogs from different tracks race against each other, greyhound racing is organised by means of grades, whereby greyhounds of a certain class race against each other at a particular track. Typically, there are up to ten grades over the standard four bend distance, which is signified by the letter ‘A’. (A1 being the highest grade and A10 the lowest). There will be fewer grades for races over two bends (‘D’), six bends (‘S’) and eight bends (‘M’), since there are fewer greyhounds to choose from.
graded race: a race restricted to greyhounds of a specified level of ability. Graded races are for greyhounds that are attached to the track where the race is contested.
H handicap race: a handicap race is designed to bring together greyhounds of differing ability so that each has an equal chance of winning. The traps are staggered so that the slower dogs receive a start of a number of metres. The dog or dogs receiving no advantage are said to be running off scratch (q.v.).
hand timed: timed by stop watch in the absence of electronic timing.
hedge: to take a position contrary to an initial bet in order to limit risk or minimise possible losses.
I interference: aggressive behaviour towards another dog during a race. (see also ‘turned head).
Inter-Track: a race involving greyhounds from two different tracks. Usually there will be several Inter-Track races on the race card if such a competition has been arranged.
J jacket: the colour of the jacket worn by a greyhound during a race indicates the trap that the dog was allocated, as follows:
Trap 1: Red
Trap 2: Blue
Trap 3: White
Trap 4: Black
Trap 5: Orange
Trap 6: Black and white horizontal stripes
joint: (slang) the bookmaker’s pitch, including his board, at the race track.
jolly: (slang) the favourite.
judge: the racing official responsible for deciding the finishing order in a race and other matters arising from it.
K kennel: a business that looks after and races greyhounds, and which may be contracted to one or more tracks.
KO: (race card abbreviation): knocked over
L last time out: a greyhound’s previous run.
lay: to offer odds against a greyhound winning. Until the advent of the betting exchanges (q.v.), only bookmakers could do this.
lay off: if a bookmaker feels that he has taken too much money for a particular dog and needs to balance his book, he may ‘lay off’ some or all of his liabilities by backing the dog with another bookmaker.
layer: someone who offers odds on a race or other event.
length: the margin equal to the length of one greyhound. Denotes how far ahead or behind a dog is during a race or at the finish. One length equals 0.08 seconds.
litter: pups born to a bitch are known as a litter.
longshot: a dog offered at long odds and with little apparent chance of success.
lure: a mechanical device attached to an arm and electrically driven around the outer edge of the track. It is usually a stuffed object resembling a rabbit. The lure operator (hare driver) keeps it at a uniform distance ahead of the greyhounds so that they don’t lose sight of it.
M maiden: a greyhound that has not yet won a race.
marathon: a greyhound race of eight bends or more.
missed break: dwelt in the traps and was very slowly away.
muzzle: a wire, leather or plastic device which fits over the greyhound’s mouth and jaw whilst racing, as a protection for the other greyhounds.
O odds against: where the odds on offer are such that the return on a successful bet would be more than the value of the stake. The stake money is also returned.
odds on: where the odds on offer are such that the return on a successful bet would be less than the value of the stake. The stake money is also returned.
on the nose: (slang) a bet to win only.
open race: a race open to greyhounds from different tracks. Open racing caters for the fastest and most talented dogs. The pinnacle of achievement in open racing is success in the Greyhound Derby. Dogs that usually race at the highest levels of graded racing may also contest open races. Levels of prize money in open racing vary widely.
over-round: the theoretical profit, expressed numerically, that a bookmaker would take from a race at the odds on offer. For example, an over-round of 120 means that £120 would need to be staked if a bet was placed on every dog in the race to win £100.
P paddock: an area of grass or concrete in front of the track’s kennels where the dogs are prepared for their races.
parade: every greyhound about to race must be paraded on the track in front of the stands so the betting public can see them before they are placed in the traps.
pari-mutuel: from the French term meaning ‘betting amongst ourselves’; refers to a form of betting in which winning bets are paid out from the total of money bet, minus certain deductions. The Tote (q.v.) is a type of pari-mutuel betting.
photo-finish: photographic apparatus used to determine the result of close finishes.
puppy: a greyhound is considered a puppy until it reaches the age of two.
R race card: a printed programme for a race meeting. Racegoers will receive a race card when they pay their entrance fee to the track. All the details of the races and runners, together with their recent form, are included.
racing manager: a licensed official who grades the greyhounds at a track according to their ability and makes up the programme for each meeting.
railer: a greyhound that prefers to hug the rails during a race. Railers are often small, nippy sorts that can resist the centrifugal forces that force a bigger dog to run wide.
ran on: maintained a strong gallop to the finish line.
requal: (race card abbreviation): indicates that a greyhound has had to requalify to race by taking part in one or more trials because of a break from racing due to lameness, season (q.v), being off colour, aggressive behaviour or other reasons.
reserve: the dog that runs in place of a dog withdrawn due to illness, injury or coming into season.
reverse forecast: a bet placed on two greyhounds to cross the finishing line in first and second places, in either order.
RGT: Retired Greyhound Trust. A charitable organization which does a sterling job in looking after and finding homes for retired racing greyhounds.
run in: the finishing straight.
run up: the distance between the traps and the first bend.
S sapling: a greyhound is called a sapling from the time that it is weaned from its mother, at the age of five or six months, until it starts running in trials at about fourteen months old.
scratch: the withdrawal of a greyhound from a race; or the runner in a handicap race which is given no advantage at the start over the other runners.
season: the time of year when a bitch is most fertile. When a bitch comes into season she is removed from the racing strength until her season has finished.
season suppressed: a bitch’s season may be prevented, or suppressed, by the administration of medication.
sectional time: the time it takes a greyhound, after breaking from the traps, to reach the finish line first time around in a race over four or more bends. Also termed ‘split time’. A greyhound’s early speed may be judged from its sectional times.
sire: a greyhound becomes a sire when he has served a bitch and has produced a litter (q.v.) from her.
slow away: describes a dog that tends to dwell in the traps, thus handing an early advantage to its rivals.
sprinter: a greyhound that is suited by races over two bends.
stake: the value or amount of a bet.
SP: Starting Price: the odds on offer about a greyhound at the close of betting on a race.
stayer: a greyhound with both speed and stamina, suited by races over six or more bends.
steamer: (slang) a greyhound heavily backed in from long odds.
straight forecast: a bet placed on two greyhounds to cross the finishing line in first and second places, in the correct order.
system: a method of betting, possibly but not necessarily mathematically based, by which the backer attempts to make a profit.
T tattoo: letters and/or numbers placed inside the ear or ears of a racing greyhound for purposes of identification.
trial: a non-betting race involving one or more greyhounds, used to determine the grade in which the participants should subsequently race. Greyhounds that have never raced at the track before are required to ‘trial in’ as must dogs returning from lameness, injury or season.
Tote: a computerised pari-mutuel betting system which records bets placed , prints tickets for backers, calculates odds according to the amount of money bet on each dog, and displays the odds on screens at the race track.
trainer: a person responsible for the preparation of greyhounds for racing.
trap: one of six box-like compartments placed on the starting line in which the dogs are confined while waiting for the hare to appear prior to the start of a race.
tricast: a bet requiring the selection of three greyhounds to finish first, second and third in the correct order.
trifecta: the US term for tricast (q.v.).
turned head: a euphemism used to describe a dog showing aggressive tendencies during a race.
W whelping: the act of giving birth to a litter of pups.
wide runner: a dog that prefers to steer a course around the outside of the track.

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Greyhound racing has been taking place at Crayford, Kent, in the London borough of Bexley, since 1937....

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