Greyhound racing is one of the most exciting sports in the world and probably one of the best nights out you can have with friends. The sport may not as popular as it once was, but it still offers a great chance to have a punt.
If you are new to greyhound racing, then this guide is going to explain how to use a race card to your advantage. There are many different layouts that you can see both online and at the track, but this guide should cover enough information to get you up to speed with both.
What you need to know is that the race card is one of the best tools to help you make much more informed decisions about which dog to pick. No longer do you need just pick your favourite number of name, now you’re going to be able to have some substance to your bets and hopefully win more often as a result.
Whilst not essential, if you’re familiar with horse racing race cards, there’s a good chance that greyhound race cards should come pretty easily.
See also: How to read a horse racing racecard
Above you’re going to see a typical example of a race card. With this race card it includes a lot of information and if you are totally new to the sport, you’re going to be looking at the card and wondering what on earth it all means.
But, please don’t worry, it’s honestly not that hard to grasp and we’ve all been there when starting out.
Trap & Greyhound Name
At the top, you have the number of the trap that it’s starting in, which in this case is trap 1. It’s also represented in red, which will be the colours that the dog is racing. Other colours include blue, white, black, orange and black and white stripes and they always relate to the same trap which you can see in the alternative example below. Next to the number is of course the named, which for this race is Townsend Bae.
Following along that top line you will see ‘SP’, this represents Starting Price. But, as the race draws nearer, it will actually highlight the odds on offer for that dog along with where the odds are pulled from, which in this case is William Hill. If you want to know more on starting prices and how they work, check out our article for everything you need to know. Interactive cards will also include the odds movement as the start of the race draws nearer.
Breeding & Personal Bests
Next line down you see the name Kinloch Brae and Townsend Star, these were the sire and dam of the dog. It also states the date July14, which is when they were born. Below that it represents the dogs season best time at this distance, which is 42.61, with the date in which it was run, 5th March, 2018.
As we move down the layout becomes pretty self-explanatory really, but let’s guide you through the titles of each section. The first thing to note on this card is the red player box. For this you can click it when possible to see videos of former runs linked to each result on the sheet.
|Date||Date the race was run on, stated by day, month, year|
|Track||Track reference for that race. In this instance, all previous races illustrated have been at Yarmouth dog track|
|Distance||Distances that the dog has raced over|
|Trap||Trap number that the dog started from for each race|
|Split||Time it takes for the dog to cross the finish line first time round. Generally, dogs will cross it twice so this offers good advice on how they start|
|Bends||Dog’s Position at each bend throughout the race. It’s usually taken from the first split|
|Fin||The dog’s finishing position in that race|
|By||The distance that the dog was beaten by or won by in that race. The reference is to the dog that finished first if beaten|
|Win/sec||The name of the dog that won the race or the name of the dog that finished second should the dog in question have won|
|Remarks||Comments on what happened in the race and how the dog performed, including Awk (awkward), Bmp (bumped), Clr (clear), Crd (crowded), Ld (lead), S (slow) and Styd (stayed)|
|WnTm||Winning time for the race|
|Gng||Indication as to how the track is running, or the going. ‘N’ references a normal ground, so nothing to note. Numbers in positive or minus reference a slow or fast track|
|Wght||Weight of the dog in KG, a good indication from a previous race if they have gained or lost weight|
|S/P||The starting price for the dog|
|Grade||Grade of the race or in laymen’s terms, the calibre of dogs on offer. The lower number, the higher the standard of race. ‘OR’ will mean an open race which is above the the highest grade and so is the top level. ‘T’ means trial race|
|CalTm||Overall time taken to run the race|
So that’s pretty much the basics of the reading a greyhound race card. Whilst there is a lot of info to take in, once you are aware of what’s going on, it’s fairly manageable to digest.