Greyhound Racing: How To Read The Race Card

A night at the greyhound racing is a fun thing to do. Meet up with friends, have a few drinks and maybe have a bite to eat watching those cute little dogs chase the bunny, or rather what they think is a bunny. An integral part of your evening will involve choosing a dog to support the runs. Just a little network for fun and maybe a little return. But there is so much information on the career card that it can be confusing to the uninitiated. To help you figure it out, here’s a quick rundown of what’s presented to you on the career card.

The breed card contains all kinds of useful information and recent forms (the last six appearances for each dog) to help you make your selections. It can seem a bit daunting at first, although it’s not hard to get used to.

The main (or bold) type is reasonably straightforward. Reading from left to right, you usually have the trap number the greyhound will start from, the owner, the trainer, and a summary of the number of breeds the greyhound has been raced, won, or placed in. Below this you have the shape of the dog for his last six races. This is what you want to poll to help pick the winners. With that in mind, this is the usual type of information that the typical UK greyhound racing card will show you for each dog in the race. Last run date

Distance: The distance that the race will be covered expressed in meters. For 280,500, 660 as appropriate.

Trap Number: The number of the trap from which the dog should start the race. The dog will wear a race jacket with the corresponding number to help you identify it during the race.

Time to 1st Split – This is the time (in seconds) the dog traveled from the starting traps to typically the first turn of the race. For example, 4:57 means that the dog ran to the first division in just over four and a half seconds. An indicator of how quickly the animal moves away from the traps.

Position During Race: This is expressed as a series of numbers to reflect the position of the dog during each of its previous six races. For example, 5631 would mean that the dog started slowly and then sped up to advance to third place and ultimately win. Conversely, 1246 would indicate that the animal started brightly but did not have the speed to hold it back.

Final position: Self explanatory. The position the greyhound finished in the race. Expressed as a number between 1 and 6.

Distance traveled (or gained if you won the race): This is expressed as a whole number or a fraction if applicable. For example, 4th 3 means the dog came in fourth and was hit by three lengths. Or 1st 2 ¼ means the dog won by two and a quarter lengths.

Winning Dog (or second place dog if the dog won): This will show the name of the dog that won your greyhound’s last race or if your greyhound won then the name of the dog he beat.

Comments on how the dog ran: The abbreviations used here are intended to give a snapshot of the run. Most race cards give definitions of the abbreviations so you can follow along. For example, crowded2 means the greyhound ran into some trouble in turn two and had no room or a bumped start means the dog was hit by an opponent coming out of the traps.

Winning Time: Self explanatory. The time recorded by the winning greyhound.

Course Adjustment in Hundredths of a Second: Winning times are adjusted according to prevailing track conditions. A plus sign means that the gait is fast, while a minus sign means that the gait is slow; for example, it could be a wet track after rain.

Weight: The weight of the greyhound in kilograms. All greyhounds are weighed at the track to ensure there are no discrepancies between declared weight and actual weight on race day. It is important to compare with the weights of previous races for consistency.

Starting Price: The price at which the winning greyhound was returned for betting purposes. If it was a trial run, it will show the number of dogs in the trial. For example, T3 would be a three-dog trial).

Career grade: It means the level of the career. For example, A2, A4, etc. The lower the number, the higher the breed grade.

Calculated Time: The winning time after applying any adjustments. An asterisk shows the greyhound’s best recent time. Also look for the fastest time recently recorded among all greyhounds in the race over the distance. This is known as the “dog of time”.

You now have a brief explanation of what all those letters and numbers mean and an understanding of how to read a greyhound racing card. With a little practice you will become fluent and can “read” a run. Part of the fun is using the information to form your opinion about which greyhound will win, debating it with your friends and then seeing who’s right.

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