This is a basic overall view of some of the important points in handicapping greyhounds in greyhound racing.
- Early Speed / Front Runners.
- Late Speed / Closers.
- Track Preference.
There are two types of early speed greyhounds. One type shows a strong break out of the box -the break call is approximately four lengths from the starting box. The other type tends to break moderately and then rush or drive the first turn.
Late speed greyhounds generally show a somewhat slow break out of the box. They come to the 8th call following the pack. From here on out is where the closers run their race. Some may show a gradual gain throughout the race, while others, which I refer to as drivers, wait until late in the race to make their move. This type of a runner pushes hard in the stretch passing many of the greyhounds and should never be underestimated.
Determining the class of the race can be tough sometimes. This can depend on the stats you have available to you. Look first to find the one showing the most “in the money” finishes at the current grade greyhound racing. Next, look for grade drops and how competitive the greyhound was in the higher grade. Class tends to be a much stronger variable in higher-grade races.
This factor can be gauged as seen in our stats. If a greyhound exhibits heart he shows the ability and determination to come back after finding trouble. This type of greyhound will either finish in the money or make a strong attempt to do so.
This variable brings many arguments between greyhound racing handicappers. Some tend to place this factor at the top of the list, while others consider this lightly. Speaking for myself, I have found a strong correlation with the greyhounds having the fastest times generally will also be the class of the race.
How many times have you heard “If he wouldn’t have gotten into trouble, he could have won.” Trouble to me is the toughest variable you will find in greyhound racing handicapping. “It is found in every race.” Sometimes with only one or two greyhounds, but usually several. Coming into the first turn is where most of the trouble occurs. This is where the early speed/front runners can benefit by being out of harms way. The positive aspect of trouble is that it produces the higher payoffs. When selecting your key greyhound in a wager, consider his trouble percentage. If he shows a high percentage of trouble and doesn’t seem to benefit by his post-position, look to another greyhound as a key.
Knowing where on the track a greyhound likes to run can be very important. Out of the starting box, some may reach this area without causing trouble. Others may tend to slash or cut to the rail or outside. A greyhound that tends to run the rail and is positioned to the right of a mid-track or wide runner may find it hard to make their way around the other. This is true especially if both greyhounds tend to break the same. Some greyhound racing handicappers will play off this type of a situation, looking to a greyhound whose running style and post-position will keep him clear of any possible trouble.