This Week With The Professor: Weather and Distance

Today, we will answer two questions sent to us by Jeff.

Jeff asked, “Do dramatic changes in weather, particularly bitter cold, affect a dog’s performance?”

I have found that cold weather does not make a difference when attempting to handicap a greyhound’s performance. I trained dogs in Colorado on a couple of occasions and did not see any difference in the performance when running in cold weather. The weather can be a huge factor in rainy weather, however. Many times the rail can be puddled up because the bank of the track can cause the water to drain to the rail. As in thoroughbred racing, some greyhounds do not react well to running in mud and some do not mind. The only way to find that out is to go back and find their form on a wet track. Speed usually does better in the mud, as they do not get mud in their faces or body. The general accepted rule of thumb is to give the wide running, larger, speed dogs an advantage on a muddy track.

Jeff then asked, “What things do you consider when handicapping a race with runners coming off of longer/shorter distances in their most recent competition?”

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There are a few things to consider here. If a greyhound is running a distance race after sprinting, there are two things to keep in mind. If it is the first ever try at the middle distance from sprinting (and no schooling race), I would be very hesitant to play that greyhound. The dog is used to a certain look and can become confused and get into trouble by hesitating, if only slightly. On the other hand, if the dog has been sprinting and is returning to the middle distance, that would be a plus for me as the dog is well rested and should break sharply and run their best race.

If a dog is going to sprints from middle distance, you can expect that the dog will not show as much early speed as they did in distance because they are used to running longer, and they are now running against dogs that are faster early. My theory was to always use these type of dogs on the bottom of the ticket and not key them, as I usually like to key dogs who are going to be on or near the lead. One caveat would be a top sprinter who tried the longer races a few times and is now returning to their favorite distance. This could be a positive, as the hound may have a little more bottom than he would have had in the past.

Thank you for the questions, Jeff! I hope this helps.

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.

9 thoughts on “This Week With The Professor: Weather and Distance

  1. I have a theory that The challenge of betting on greyhounds is to collecte bet to place and how much. To have an opportunity to win , you need to take into account three main factors, analyze them and act on your find the #1 odds 2#the value of the odds and#3 the type of bet.

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  2. Avoid placing large bets on greyhounds that have good form but are hit by frequent poor form.

    Pay attention to the trap draw when collecting form information of winners. A greyhound that has shown to perform better running from, say, trap 1 may not win in a race where he has been allocated trap 5.

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  3. I believe this way of betting works A straight bet is simple, manageable and not too difficult to win. Play it but always weigh up the odds. Avoid favorites and long shots (outsiders) too. Be selective – don’t bet on anything or everything.

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  4. How would you factor in post position bias by grade as you know the post bias will vary per grade how would you or when would you take advantage of this. Also is it speed or class assuming running style won’t be a factor in the race .

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    1. Doug, thanks for the question. It is my belief that if there is a post bias, it is a universal thing and the grade of the race does not matter. Stats can be useful tools, but they can be a bit deceiving at times. Palm Beach, for example, has an outside bias most of the time, because of the high bank on the turns and the narrowness of the track. I am not sure what the last question is referring to, but it is my opinion that early speed is the major factor in picking key dogs. All you need to do is look at the charts and you will see that the early leader runs in the quinella 80% of the time. Class may be used to determine early speed, but if you can handicap the early leader, you will be way ahead of the game.

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