Today, The Professor will attempt to answer questions sent to us by David L. and Steve M.
Let’s start with David L. He asks,”Have any tips on handicapping 9 dog races at Southland or 6 dog races in Ireland? I’m so used to 8 and I prefer a field of 8. I don’t like 9 simply because of fewer lines in the program. Although I realized taking the time to research deeper I could find some values. I’ve always felt that with a smaller field, closers have a better chance.”
I have had a lot of experience in handicapping nine dog races, as my greyhound racing experiences began at Multnomah Kennel Club in Oregon, which ran nine dog races for many years. When you add an extra dog in the mix going to the first turn, there are bound to be more jams and trouble, so we need to find either the top early speed or a greyhound who will be able to take advantage and benefit if the early speed gets jammed up. This is usually a dog who runs the rail and can benefit on the turn. My method was picking the top speed and using that for the key. You can only determine that by watching many races and comparing speed. Southland is not as speed oriented, as the sprint is longer than most, but the theory still works. Post position is also more important because of the possible jamming, so the #1 and the #9 posts become more valuable. The advantage to nine dog races is that the payouts are always higher, as the average bettor cannot cover as many spots in the exotics; therefore, there are fewer winning tickets.
As far as the six dog races at Ireland, I have no experience wagering on those tracks, so my knowledge is limited. I do know that there is less trouble, as the dogs are seeded by their running style (rail runners put on the inside, wide runners put on the outside) and therefore smaller payouts are the result.
Now a question from Steve M. He asks, “If you could only choose one, what do you consider to be your most powerful handicapping tool: form, class, speed, early speed, post position, or something else.”
It has been my experience that early speed is the most important thing to decipher when handicapping a greyhound race. If you can figure out who is going to be in the lead coming out of the first turn, you are way ahead of the game. Just check out the charts and you will see that the leader runs in the top two 75% of the time. I always say “speed kills.” My theory is to key the speed and do not throw out the late speed. I would say class is the next important thing, as this ties in with speed, as a hound who cannot make the lead in one grade, may be able to when they drop in grade. Form is important, but unless the dog shows a rapid decline in performance, I usually assume that the dog is just going through a slump and can recover quickly. Hope that helps.
Thank you David L. and Steve M. for such greyt questions and feedback! Do you have a question for The Professor? Leave a comment below and you could receive a $2 wagering credit to your Greyhound Channel account if your question is featured! Tune into our podcast, Catch the Action with Greyhound Channel, for news and more greyt tips from The Professor.