The term “sanctuary chalk” refers to the tendency of some players to opt to play the favorites in a race instead of taking the chance of playing a longshot or longshots. When handicapping a race, you may find that several greyhounds have an equal chance of winning. If that happens, do not be afraid to take the higher price greyhound or greyhounds when wagering. The object is to maximize your profit and you cannot do that by always playing the “chalk” or favorites.
In thoroughbred racing, you may find that the horse you like is “cold” on the board, and not being played, a concern or a red flag. In greyhound racing there is no “inside” information and less human control; thus, if your selections or selections are not being played, that is a good thing, as your profit will be maximized. Therefore, do not let high odds on your selections scare you into playing “sanctuary chalk” and bet the higher price hounds with confidence.
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A lot of players that I know hate to wager on Maiden races because of their unpredictability. I will give you a couple of things to look for when faced with a Maiden race that may give you an edge.
Post position is very important in Maiden races. These hounds are inexperienced and tend to run erratically sometimes. By far the best post position is the #8 post. This allows the greyhound to avoid all of the mishaps that will occur early and be able to run their best race. The #1 post is OK, but can be a little fools gold as they can become trapped on the rail if a dog dives in early.
Another thing to look for is experience. A little experience is good, but too many starts in Maiden may indicate that the dog lacks talent or the will to win. Be careful with first-time starters as this is a new experience for them to be put in a lockout kennel waiting their turn to run. It may take them a couple of starts for them to become comfortable. This is not to say that a pup cannot win their first out, but just be wary of going crazy for a first-time starter.
So to sum it up, look for a dog that is well positioned, has a little experience, has good form, and is improving, not regressing.