In the second part of our greyhound series, part one can be seen here, we take a look at the tracks that greyhounds race on.
Just as the ground condition can affect a race horse and its ability to perform, whether for the better or the worse, it can also affect greyhounds. The majority of greyhound racing is done on sand tracks and greyhound stadiums try to maintain a fair circuit for all the dogs running. This is done by rolling flat the surface of the track and watering it.
Of course making it 100% equal is almost impossible, especially when you take into account weather conditions, and any dog that is running on a faster ground is going to have a significant advantage over the other runners.
The possible bias in the track means that you should always take into consideration the conditions of it before placing a bet. Even better news is that it is possible to make an accurate assessment of the condition of the track without actually going to the races.
First of all make sure that you keep an eye on the weather forecasts in the local area as these will tell you if there are any adverse conditions that may be affecting the racetrack. Study the winning times and racing lines of the first few races and see if a particular racing line seems to have a bias. We shall discuss racing lines in a future article.
Let’s take a look at the different possible track conditions and how they may affect the race.
Fast Track – Generally considered to speed up the runners by +0.40 seconds or more and will give an advantage to the inside runners. On this type of track condition the sectional times are usually very fast and it is these conditions that will generally allow records to be broken.
Wet Track – Be warned that a racetrack that has had a recent light rain shower will speed up the race by around +0.20 seconds. But be careful because if it is constantly raining then this will slow down the track and favour the middle or wide running dogs because the track area by the rails becomes waterlogged. It is these runners you want to watch out for because they have the advantage of running on a drier part of the track which is a faster surface.
Normal Track – A normal track can be taken as a very fair race to all types of runners.
Slow Track – Usually -0.40 seconds or slower than the standard times. Conditions that produce slower sectional and winning times will favour dogs that like to stay on. Comments to look for in previous form are ‘stay on’ and ‘finish well’, these dogs do not start as quickly and are unlikely to be first at the first bend very often.
To start you off with assessing the racetrack conditions I have listed the standard times for the different grade levels at 480m below.
A1 – 28.90
A2 – 29.10
A3 – 29.30
A4 – 29.50
A5 – 29.70
A6 – 29.90
A8 – 30.30
A9 – 30.50
A10 – 30.70
Don’t forget that these are for 480m and so will need to be adjusted for different track distances.