In this section, I explain how to determine the racing pace of a greyhound and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of individual styles. Studying Sectional Timings, Reading Race Comments, Observing Track Positions and American Chart Writers are included.
Greyhound Predictor Software Version 2.0 allows 4 types of running pace to be simulated:
All dogs have their own individual style of racing, this is best illustrated by observing a greyhound's pace in a race!
Early Pace - This type of greyhound pace produces very quick sectional times as these dogs reach top speeds in the very early stages of a race. These 'fast breakers' perform best when leading "on the bunny" from the start and therefore rely on a clear run in order to set an unassailable lead! However, early paced dogs inevitably tire and may fade dramatically in the closing stages of a race!
Middle Pace - Dogs that have 'middle' are best seen accelerating along the backstraights in the middle stages of a race. Although, they often find themselves closely surrounded by other dogs racing in a tightly packed field and for this reason are more prone to interference then other pace types and maybe impeded or forced to check when challenging at the 1st or 3rd bends!
Finishing Pace - All 'staying dogs' show their best running when gaining ground towards the finish of a race and subsequently benefit when trouble occurs amongst pace-setters. However, 'finishers' have to pass other dogs in-front of them and can be frequently hampered or forced to run wide! Most 'puppies' finishing well in races will in time be stepped up in distance, as will most dogs better suited to longer races.
All Round Pace - These 'all rounders' maintain a 'strong gallop' throughout a race. Although this may sometimes be considered a little one paced!
Now check your raceform.
To Know a dog's pace type, you literally have to read between the race formlines, as there is no specific statistic or racing data that informs you. However, clues are given and basically there are 3 ways to calculate a greyhound's pace:
1 - Studying Sectional Times - You should always try to compare 'sectional times' run on the same date over the same track distance as this will inform you which greyhounds are fast, average or slow away in the first few seconds of a race.
In Australia, some of the finest stadiums or "city tracks" supply 3 split times: the initial run to the bend sectional, the approximate 1/2 way clockings and 'coming home' or 'home run' sectional measured to a 1000/second from the top of the back-stretch to the winning line are sometimes stated.
2 - Reading Race Remarks - The following comments indicate pace-type:
Early Pace = (ep), clear 1st, led 1, very quick away (v qaw), fast away (f aw) always led (aled), led to line, box to wire.
Middle Pace = led 1-2 to run-in, led 2, led 3, slow away-early pace (sa ep), mid-stretch drive.
Finishing Pace = very slow away (vsa), lacked early pace (lep), led 4, led on line (ld ln), ran on (rn on), finished well (fw), stretch drive, winning drive.
All Round Pace = These greyhounds share similar race comments to other pace types and can win races by both leading all the way or by staying on at the end and overall perhaps perform best when holding a good early position!
In Irish greyhound racing comments they also use the term evenly away (ev aw).
3 - Observing the Race Positions - In UK middle-distances, all previous race positions are shown at the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th bend and finishing line. This data is located next to the 'sectionals' and usually provides an accurate guide to a dogs pace type:
eg: Early Pace = 1 1 1 1 2 - Middle Pace = 3 2 1 1 2 - Finishing Pace = 6 6 4 3 2 - All Round Pace = 2 2 2 2 2
Generally, it's easy to pick out the 'early pace' and 'finishers' although dogs with 'middle' or 'all round pace' will always be a little more difficult!
In the U.S.A. it's the 'Official Chart Writers' who determine a runners position in a race:
Off Call or Break Call - This is the greyhounds racing position 1-8 coming from the starting boxes.
The 1/8 Call - This is the dogs position exiting the 1st (escape) turn.
Stretch Call - This is the runners position in the field measured at a point just entering the final turn.
Finish Call - This is the dog's final race position 1-8 measured at the finish line.
I suggest the 3rd thing to do while at a meeting, is to go "out for a shout" and look at the runners on parade. I like to see 'alert dogs' with their tail tucked well underneath themselves, resembling a coiled spring! rather than perhaps a 'sluggish looking' or 'happy dog' with it's tail waggling in the air!
I suggest the 4th and last thing all 'Greyhound Predictors' should remember when going to the "bow wows" or "cherryhogs" is to continue watching the dogs to the 'pick up' or 'sough' (sgh) after the race finishes, as this will always help identify the correct racing pace for all your future predictions!
Now enter Early, Middle, Finishing or All Round Pace.
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