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How To Back Greyhounds Winners

By: Mark Sullivan

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There are a myriad of factors that must be considered when attempting to identify winners in greyhound racing. For clarity I will break them down into sub-sections.

The Draw

This is the first consideration. What we mean by draw is the traps the greyhounds run from. The racing manager – or handicapper – is the person that decides, based on previous performances, the trap from which a greyhound will start.

Has he or she got it right and will the greyhound get a clear run?

Finding The Leader

It goes without saying that if we can find the leader we are half way to backing a winner. Compare the split times of the runners. Take into account the general level of early-speed. Don’t be hoodwinked by one quick sectional set against others that are consistently slower.

The Class

This is the racing manager’s estimation of any particular greyhound’s ‘class’ at any particular time.

A typical grading system would be to give a prefix for a particular distance, for instance, a 475 metres race at Walthamstow has an A prefix and 640 metres an S prefix. The letter is followed by a number which gives the grade, or class, of the race. An A9 event would be the lowest, for instance and an A1 the highest.

Greyhounds will move within these parameters depending on their performances. As they do so it will become obvious that some greyhound tend to win at certain levels.

After a period of time they will settle into a pattern of regular competing with two or thre grades (eg A1-A3). You will notice dogs winning regularly a one level but struggling when upped in class.


Bitches coming back from seasonal rest most usually fall into this category.

They generally return to their best form at around 16-20 weeks after going into season, the date of which is shown clearly on the race card.

Because of a period of inactivity caused by season bitch return to racing at a lower level (eg an A1 performer might return in an A5).

A successful punter will identify when a bitch is likely to return to her best and invest accordingly.


Watch out for dogs running over a distance that is clearly wrong for them. It might be a dog staying strongly over say 475 metres at Walthamstow. He or she might well be worth an investment when given a race over say 640 metres.

On the flip side, a dog not getting home over 640 metres might well pay dividends to follow over 475 metres.

The above article was brought to you by the The Sportsman.

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Mark Sullivan is the resident greyhound racing tipster and sports betting expert at The Sportsman and has been since January 2006.

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