In this section, I discuss a greyhound's gender and explain how to calculate a bitches' approximate number of weeks out of season.
Knowing the gender is important as it indicates to the overall consistency of race performances.
Dogs are generally more consistent than bitches and thought best suited to sprint and middle-distances. There are always exceptions to the rule!
Bitches on the other hand are much harder to train, as race schedules are continuely interrupted when a bitch comes into season (Ssn) and will be withdrawn from all her racing activities for at least 21 days under GBGB Rule 56 or until the track veterinary surgeon is satisfied she's fit to race. Although, usually they can be off the track for at least 8 - 10 weeks.
Once a bitch is retired to the paddock and put to a sire for breeding she becomes a 'brood' and will be called a 'dam' after whelping her first litter. When studying form all 'race-goers' will pay particular attention to the 'breeding lines' of all competing greyhounds and should always note when a former 'top class' racing bitch has produced offspring to a 'classic winning sire'. Although there can be no guarantees when it comes to breeding, these greyhounds are "bred in the purple" with top class pedigrees. These much sought after 'young sablings' may share similar colourings and markings and show 'racing traits' common to either their sire or dam - racing styles, distances etc.
In UK form books: d = Dog and b = Bitch and is located to the left of the sires name and is preceded by other abbreviated letters referring to a greyhound's colour: bk. d. = black dog, w.bd.b. = white brindle bitch, f.w.b. = fawn white bitch, be.d. = blue dog etc.
In American racing form stats (m) = male dog and (f) = female dog.
Now check the formlines and enter Dog or Bitch.
If you select Bitch the following question will be asked:
Knowing the seasonal date provides a clue to the level of fitness. Most bitches returning from a seasonal rest will be 'race rusty' and perhaps due to the lactose - sugary substance contained in milk - build up in their systems, may be carrying a little extra weight. After a few trials and races these 'seasoned bitches' will begin to show signs of returning to peak form - change in running style, faster sectionals, improvement in times etc.
It is generally considered that the "perfect-time" for a 'greyhound bitch' to be approaching peak fitness is 16 weeks out of season. Although some win races sooner perhaps at 14 weeks, while others may indeed be slower 'coming to hand' and take longer to find 'top form', perhaps 18-24 weeks.
Please note: when 'female dogs' start to show better form, they often consistently improve and run well for a period of time, as overall they follow their own natural cycle of either 'coming into form' or 'going out of form'. As the old greyhound adage says "It always pays to follow a bitch in form!"
Now check the formlines again.
The seasonal date is found next to the 'whelping date' eg: May 15 (Season 04 Apr 17).
Occasionally a heavily raced bitch may be irregular in her seasonal dates, which may result in two or three seasons occurring in any one year, although usually one of these will be a 'false heat' where no results would come from breeding. Although, some don't have a season at all!
Season Unknown - If No Season Date (nsd) appears in the racing form, then select Not Known.
Season Suppressed - Greyhound trainers may sometimes administer 'suppressants' to certain bitches in order to delay a season from occurring. These bitches can then continue racing 'on the track' rather then being sidelined for many weeks 'off the track' due to an enforced seasonal rest.
If the raceform abbreviation (Ssn Sup) is shown or if a bitch has been 'spayed' then select Suppressed.
Seasonal Date Known - If you've selected Known - The following question will be asked:
To answer this question simply calculate the approximate number of weeks that have elapsed since the last seasonal date occurred!
Alternatively, if you decide she's running well, then enter 16 weeks out of season! GREYHOUND PREDICTOR v2.0 will then simulate her best form. Or if she's not running well, simply leave the seasonal weeks blank! The PREDICTOR will then simulate her running 'below par' or being 'out of form'.
Now enter the number of weeks.
Next Page: Greyhound Age