In this section, I explain how to determine the racing pace of a greyhound and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of individual racing styles. Studying Sectional Times, Reading Race Comments, Observing Track Positions and American Chart Writers are included.
Greyhound Predictor Software Version 2.0 allows four types of racing pace to be simulated:
All dogs will 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 pace produces exceptionaly quick sectional times, as these dogs can reach their top speeds in the early stages of a race. These 'fast breakers' perform best when allowed to dictate a race "on the bunny" from the start and rely on a clear run to set an unassailable lead! However, early paced dogs inevitably tire and may fade dramatically in the closing stages!
Middle Pace - Dogs with this running style are seen to best effect 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 prone to more interference then other pace types and maybe impeded or forced to check when challenging at the 1st or 3rd bends!
Finishing Pace - All 'stayers' show their best running when making ground towards the latter stages of a race and subsequently benefit when trouble occurs amongst the leaders! Although, 'finishers' have to pass all of the dogs in-front of them and therefore can often be hampered or forced to run wide! Most 'puppies' running-on late in races will in time be stepped up in distance, as will most dogs better suited to longer trips.
All Round Pace - These hounds generally maintain a 'strong gallop' throughout a race. Although, sometimes this may be considered a little one paced!
Now check your raceform.
To Know a dog's pace type, you must literally read between the race form-lines, as there is no specific statistic or racing-data that will inform you. However, clues are given and basically there are three ways to calculate a greyhound's pace:
1 - Studying Sectional Times - You should always try to compare 'sectional timings' run on the same date and over the same track distance as this will generally inform you which greyhounds are fast, average or slow away in the first few seconds of a race.
In Australia, some of the world's finest stadiums or "city tracks" supply 3 split times: the initial run to the bend, the approximate 1/2 way clockings and the 'coming home' or 'home run' sectional measured to an accuracy of a 1000/second from the top of the back-stretch to the winning line are 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, led 2 to run-in, led 3, slow away-early pace (sa ep), mid-stretch drive.
Finishing Pace = slow away (sa), 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. Please note: some "LEP dogs" break very quickly out of the traps but slow to the bend and will be shuffled back towards the rear before staying-on very strongly in the latter stages.
All Round Pace = These greyhounds share similar comments to other pace types and can win races by both leading from the start or by finishing fast at the end and perhaps overall perform best when holding a good early position!
In Irish greyhound race comments they use the term evenly away (ev aw).
3 - Observing Race Positions - In the United Kingdom and Ireland all formlines of previous race positions are recorded at the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th bends and finishing line. This data is found next to the 'sectional times' and generally provides an accurate guide to a dog's 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 America it's the 'Official Chart Writers' who determine a runners position in a race:
Off Call or Break Call - This is the racing positions of the greyhounds 1-8 exiting 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 finishing 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 take a 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 to do when going to the "bow wows" or "cherryhogs" is to keep watching the dogs run to the 'pick up' or 'sough' (sgh) after the race finishes, as this will help identify the correct pace of a greyhound for all your future predictions!
Now enter Early, Middle, Finishing or All Round Pace.
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