Welcome to part two of the BettingGods.com guide to race cards where you can pick up the tools you need to start wading through the swathes of statistics that are available in race day publications.
After taking a look at horse cards last week, this week we turn to the world of greyhound racing where a few hundredths of a second can be the difference between making the first turn in front or being wiped out the race altogether.
To get the basics out the way, each greyhound race consists of six dogs (in the UK) raced either over an oval, sand/dirt track on the flat or with hurdles set as obstacles. Starting at the top of our example race card you’ll see the time of the event along with the race number at that particular meeting. We are then given the specific race details including the distance to be run in metres, plus the grade and type race which, in this case, is an A1 contest.
The standard of race is indicated by the number with a 1 being the highest and races getting progressively weaker as the number lowers. There is no ‘set’ lowest grade as they vary at each track, although A10/11 races tend to be pretty near the bottom end. Different letters refer to different race types and include:
A – Standard race (usually four bends)
D – Sprint race (usually two bends)
S – Stayers race (usually 6 bends or 8 bends in a marathon race)
H – Hurdles race
Moving on to the dogs, we are given a very colourful indication of the trap number that the dog will be running out of, along with then names of the entrants – in this case Bristol Pete and Riff Raff Racer. The owners and/or trainers are also listed to the right of the dog’s name. We have some very basic win/lose information underneath the dog name before moving some very detailed recent form for their last six races.
The form begins with the most recent race and starts with the dates in the left hand column. Moving along to the right, we then have the distance that was run and the trap that was run from. This information is key as you will often find dogs show preference for running from certain traps, or may be more suited to running from the outside as they naturally run wide anyway.
We then have our first piece of statistical race data which shows the first ‘split’ of the race. This is the time it took the dog to reach the turn for the first corner and is the best indicator for who is likely to get caught up in trouble or be left at a severe speed disadvantage. We then have a series of four numbers to indicate the dog’s position at each of the four bends in its last race. In the case of Bristol Pete’s race on September 2nd, this reads 5543 which means that he was 5th in bend one, 5th in bend two, 4th in bend three and 3rd at bend four. This would suggest that he tends to pick up in speed as the race goes on and is more of a finisher than a starter. The next column shows the finishing position of the dog in the last six races, followed by the distance in lengths that it either won or lost by, and the name of the dog that either won or finished runner up.
The remarks section is potentially the most eye opening and gives us an individual breakdown as to exactly how the dog ran in the previous race. You may have noticed that a greyhound has posted a particularly poor time recently and the remarks are likely to provide clues as to why. Most of the remarks are abbreviated comments to save space and the majority can be worked out quite easily, but here are the most common things you are likely to see in a remarks/comments section:
CmAg Came Again
DNF Did Not finish
EvCh Every Chance
OutP Out paced
Q Quick (Away, etc)
RnIn Run In
RnOn Run On
S Slow (Away etc)
Amazingly, this list isn’t exhaustive, but you will quickly learn the variables the more time you spend with the form. The final few columns give us firstly the time that the race winner ran in, followed by the going information. This will give you an idea as to whether the track was running particularly fast or slow that day and help you to determine how valid the run was compared to other dogs on the card.
Finally, we have the weight of the dog in kilos (Bristol Pete tipped an athletic 35.3kg in his previous run) followed by his SP, the grade of that race, and his own finishing time. If you’re really getting into the nitty-gritty of greyhound racing then breeding information is also available, but then why would you be reading a beginners guide…
So that covers it – a mightily in-depth look through race cards that will have you dashing to collect your winnings in no time! While you are unlikely to have the time to wade through every piece of information on offer, the more you can educate yourself on your selections, the greater the chance they have of winning. It really is a game of knowledge and, with the help of our expert greyhound tipsters, there’s no reason why you can’t turn greyhound racing into a highly profitable and enjoyable sporting past time.