In this section, I mention famous greyhound races held in Great Britain & Ireland and their associated track venues. I include information on race speeds and compare English dog racing grades with Irish, American and Australian grading systems.
Greyhound Predictor v2.0 Software includes 4 race grades: Open Race, Top Grade, Middle Grade and Low Grade.
In England an 'open race' (form statistic OR) represents the highest standard of racing grades and consists of two divisions - Major Open Races - Category One, Two, Three and Minor Opens. In Ireland the best middle-distance races are called AAO's. In America these contests are known as RSA's or SA's (Racing Secretaries A Class). In Australia all major competitions are classified as Group Races and referred to as FFA's (Free for All).
Out of all the 'classic races' held annually the English Greyhound Derby - won 02/06/18 by Dorotas Wildcat trained by Kevin Hutton - (Towcester) originally staged in 1927 at the White City Stadium, London, still remains today the most important competition. This years event run again over the new Derby distance of 500 metres and sponsored by Star*Sports carried a first prize of £175,000!
Other 'national derbies' include the Scottish Derby - won 14/04/18 by The Other Reg trained at Belle Vue by Pat Rosney - (Shawfield) first held at Carntyne, Glasgow in 1928. Famous Scottish races include the St Mungo Cup - (Shawfield) and Edinburgh Cup previously held at Powderhall.
The Welsh Derby run from 1928 - 1937 at the White City, Cardiff and from 1945 - 1977 at the old Cardiff Arms Park sadly no longer takes place.
The Trigo Cup known as the Ulster Derby, first held 1929 at Celtic Park, Belfast was reinaugerated in 2010 as Northern Irish Derby - (Drumbo Park).
Along with the derby, the Oaks - won 13/12/17 by Wuheida trained at Romford by Phil Simmonds - (Belle Vue) a race confined to bitches first run in 1927 at the White City, London, are the two oldest English Classics.
The St Leger run from 1928-1998 at Wembley Stadium is the oldest 'stayers classic' - won 08/11/17 by Rubys Rascal (Mark Wallis) - (Perry Barr).
Other famous races include: All England Cup and Laurels - (Newcastle), Arc and Produce Stakes - (Swindon), Golden Jacket and Gold Collar - (Crayford), Golden Sprint, Champion Stakes and Essex Vase - (Romford), Scurry Cup - (Belle Vue), Regency and Sussex Cup - (Brighton & Hove), Kent Derby - (Central Park), Henlow Derby - (Henlow), Gold Cup and Summer Stayers - (Monmore Green), Eclipse Stakes - (Nottingham), Steel City Cup - (Sheffield). Classic and Grand Prix - (Sunderland), Lowther Stakes - (Towcester), East Anglian Derby - (Yarmouth).
Famous long-distance races include the Dorando Marathon and Television Trophy - (Towcester) and Boxing Day Marathon - (Crayford).
Puppy races include the English Puppy Derby - (Towcester), Puppy Cup - (Romford), Puppy Derby - (Peterborough), Sussex Puppy Trophy - (Hove), Gymcrack - (Kinsley), Puppy Stakes - (Sheffield), Puppy Classic - (Nottingham), Puppy Derby and Trafalgar Puppy Cup - (Monmore Green) etc.
The 2017 Trainers' Title was won for a record ninth time by Mark Wallis (Towcester) based at the 'Imperial Kennels' Lakenheath, Suffolk.
Only the top six handlers qualify for the Trainers Championship (TC) "finals night" held this year (21/04/18) at Towcester and won by Mark Wallis. Selected race winners included: Gain GTA Sprint 260m - Queen Anna (Liz McNair), Juvenile 480m - Brinkleys Twirl (M Wallis), Bitches 480m - Madabout Maggie (Kevin Hutton), Standard Division (A) 500m - Black Farren (M Wallis), Standard (B) 500m - Magical Bale (K Hutton), Standard (C) 500m - King Elvis (E McNair), Stayers (A) 686m - Rubys Rascal (M Wallis) and Stayers (B) 686m - Garryglass Champ (M Wallis).
Other Invitational races (IV) include the Racing Post Juvenile - (Sheffield), Derby Invitation - (Towcester), The Select Stakes and Select Stayers - (Nottingham), East Anglian Derby Invitation - (Yarmouth) and the odd Showdown - "swan vesta" Match Racing (M) limited to only two dogs.
Races include the Cesarewitch - (Henlow), Olympic and Brighton Belle - (Hove), Coronation Cup and Rose Bowl - (Romford), British Bred St Leger and Silver Salver - (Central Park), Kent St Leger - (Crayford), Golden Crest and Super Paws - (Poole), Fengate Collar and Peterborough Derby - (Peterborough), Northern Flat Championship and Cock O'The North - (Belle Vue), Yorkshire Oaks - (Sheffield), Yorkshire St Leger - (Doncaster) etc.
Minor Open Races include all "one offs" with a minimum of £100 to the winner. Maiden Opens are limited to greyhounds yet to win an Open Race.
As from 31st March 2014 the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) will implement new race grading bands. For 525 yard races all dogs recording a time less then 28.49 secs will be classed as AAO, 28.50s - 28.69s = AO, 28.70s - 28.89 = A1, 28.90s - 29.19s = A2 up to and including 30.50s - 30.70s = A10. Please See IGB RACE GRADE BANDS for further information.
The Boylesports Irish Derby - won 23/09/17 by Good News trained by Pat 'Paddy' Guilfoyle had a 'winners purse' of €150,000 - (Shelbourne Park) first run in 1932 it's the most prestigious event in the racing calendar. Although originally preceded by the 'National Derby' held in 1928 at Harold's X.
Famous races include the Easter Cup first staged in 1928, Oaks held at Clonmel in 1932, Champion Stakes and Gold Cup - (Shelbourne Park - SPK). The Irish St Leger - won 04/11/17 by Clonbrien Hero trained by Graham Holland - was first run at Celtic Park, Belfast in 1932 - (Limerick - LMK), Laurels - (Cork - CRK), Produce Stakes - (Clonmel - CML), Irish Sprint Cup - (Dundalk - DLK), Longford Derby - (Longford - LGD), Cesarewitch - (Mullingar - MGR), Race Of Champions - (Tralee - TRL), Select Stakes and Munster Oaks - (Waterford - WFD) etc.
International events include the Dundalk International - won 12/07/17 by Jaytee Jet trained by Paul Hennessey. There are also Irish-Anglo and Irish-American challenges - (Shelbourne Park). Throughout the year 'festivals of racing' take place at Clonmel, Dublin, Galway, Lifford, Limerick etc.
Shelbourne Park hosted their 6th annual "Night Of Stars" special meeting (18/11/17) and included the following race winners: Open 350 - Butterbridge Bex (Kieran Lynch), Open 525 Bitches - Droopys Harbour (John Linehan), Open 525 Dogs - Droopys Noah (J Linehan), Open 550 - Clonbrien Hero (G Holland), Open 575 - Maireads Spring (Fraser Black), Open 600 - Sonic (G Holland), Open 750 - Searchforahero (Marie Gilbert), and Open 850 - Ballykett Beauty (Gary Loughnane).
In Ireland all puppies that achieve a 'grading-in-time' will begin their racing careers in Novice grade (N0 - N3) although some may compete in competitions for dogs unraced! The most valuable 'Open-unraced' being the GMHD Juvenile Classic - (Tralee) with a winner's cheque of €14,000! Although the Con & Annie Kirby Memorial Puppy Stakes - won 21/04/18 by Droopys Davy trained by Pat Buckley - (Limerick) with a first prize of €80,000 remains the world's richest puppy race!
The very fastest greyhounds can average speeds around a circuit close to 40 mph / 64.37 kph! Although 'top speeds' may only be achievable on first class 'galloping tracks' with big circumferences, long racing straights and wide sweeping cambered bends!
The quickest time run over 515 metres is 28.88 secs set 25/01/01 by Australian "wonder dog" Brett Lee trained by Darren McDonald from Peacedale, Victoria in Adelaide Cup held at Angle Park, South Australia (circumference 457 metres) and represents an average speed of 39.89 mph / 64.20 kph!
Interestingly, the fastest UK time for 515 metres is 29.20 secs set 31/07/07 by "brilliant Barney" Barnfield On Air trained by Sam Poots (Unattached) in the Sussex Cup run at Brighton & Hove greyhound stadium (circumference 455 metres) represents average cruising speed of 39.45 mph / 63.49 kph. The best time recorded by a bitch is 29.54 secs set by Bridge Ruth trained by Mark Wallis (38.99 mph / 62.76 kph) when winning 2013 Brighton Belle, although this time was recently equalled 31/08/17 by Donation trained at Towcester by Heather Dimmock in a heat of the 500 Ladies.
The new English Greyhound Derby record for 500 metres is 28.72 secs set 09/06/17 by Tyrur Shay trained in Ireland by P J Fahy in 2nd round heat held at Towcester (circumference 420 metres) and represents an average speed of 38.89 mph / 62.59 kph.
The old English Derby record for 480 metres - Wimbledon (circumference 414 metres) was broken 30/05/15 by Eden The Kid "2015 British Bred of the Year" trained by Elizabeth & Rab McNair (Unattached), when recording 27.95 secs - (38.42mph / 61.83 kph) in 1st round.
The English record for 480 metres was achieved 21/06/11 by "puppy sensation" Eden Star trained locally by Barrie Draper when recording 27.39 secs in the Nicol Alloy Monkey Stakes held at Sheffield (circumference 425 metres) averaging 39.20 mph / 63.09 kph.
The Scottish Derby 480 metres record was lowered again by Droopys Buick trained by Angela Harrison / Jimmy Wright when recording 28.55 secs in the semi-final ran 22/04/17 at Shawfield (circumference 432m). Although surprisingly the average speed is only 37.61 mph / 60.52 kph!
The new Irish Derby record for 550 yards (503 metres) - Shelbourne Park (circumference 425 yards) was achieved 17/08/17 by Sonic trained by Graham Holland (IRE) when posting 29.12 secs in Boylesport Derby 1st round - (38.63 mph / 62.17 kph). Although, the track record is held by Tyrur Van Gaal trained by P.J. Fahy (IRE) 27/08/15 when recording 29.10 secs (38.66 mph / 62.20 kph) in Ger McKenna/Seamus Graham Memorial Plate!
The fastest run in Ireland over 525 yards was sensationally achieved by Paradise Madison trained in County Meath by Oliver Bray when stopping the clock at 27.67 seconds in the semi-final of the Comerford Cakes National Puppy Stake held 08/12/12 at Shelbourne Park (38.81 mph / 62.46 kph). The fastest time by a bitch is 27.86 secs set 06/05/15 by Ballydoyle Honey (Graham Holland) (38.54 mph / 62.02 kph) in 2015 Irish Puppy Oaks!
The 525 yards record was once held by Catunda Harry trained by Owen McKenna (IRE), who was the first greyhound to dip under 28 seconds on an Irish track, when recording 27.99 secs in a heat of the Ballygodoon Stud Puppy Stakes run 17/06/07 at the old "Market Fields" track at Limerick.
The Northern Irish 525 record is 27.88s (38.52 mph / 61.99 kph) set by Leeveiw Jet (Graham Holland) Tennants Gold Cup - (Drumbo Park - DBP).
In Australia at Capabala in Brisbane, Upper Class Lad trained by John Catton (Mount Cotton) running in the Michael Miller Memorial Cup (03/10/15) over a straight grass track recorded 19.28 secs for 366m / 400y - averaging 42.46 mph / 68.34 kph and is claimed to be a WORLD RECORD SPEED! Although, recent speed tests conducted by Towcester Racecourse using a hi-tech transponder system taken from dogs competing in the 2017 Derby, interestingly revealed split-second greyhound acceleration speeds approaching 50 mph / 80.47 kph!
Other standard race grading prefixes that indicate to the type of race include: (H) = Hurdle and (CH) = Chase - two extra hurdles are added.
The first greyhound hurdle race took place at Belle Vue, Manchester at it's opening meeting on the 24th July 1926 - won by Melksham Autocrat.
The most important races are the English Grand National - won 27/04/18 by Parkers Dynamite trained at Towcester by Mark Wallis - (Central Park) originally run in 1928 at the White City, London, until it was moved to Hall Green in 1985 and later to Wimbledon from 1999 - 2011, and the Irish Grand National - won 16/12/17 by Offshore Bound trained by Patrick Fitzgerald - (Shelbourne Park).
Other major events include the Springbok - won 09/03/18 by Lenson Wilson trained by Ricky Holloway - (Central Park), Champion Hurdle - also won 02/06/18 by Lenson Wilson - first run at White City in 1927 - (Towcester), Jimmy Jupp National Hurdle - (Hove), Champions Night Hurdle - (Romford), Kent Champion Hurdle - (Crayford), Rockybay Munster Hurdle - (Curraheen Park) etc.
Occasionally trainers may give a greyhound a 'hurdle handslip' the dog isn't released from the traps but usually 'hand slipped' along the straights in order to gradually introduce them to hurdling. Please note: any runner having competed in a hurdle race or trial and was subsequently switched back to race on the flat, is always considered a good sign! as the hurdles tend to concentrate a dog's mind on its racing and therefore sharpens them up!
Cornamaddy Jumbo trained by Mark Wallis was voted "2014 Hurdler and Greyhound of the Year" when becoming the first greyhound to complete the 'English triple crown' by winning all three Category One hurdle races - the Springbok, Champion Hurdle and Grand National in the same year!
The vast majority of races around the world are known as 'Graded Races' (GR's). Middle-Distance grades include:
U.K. - Top Grade - (A1 - A3) equilavent to American greyhound grades (A, B) and Australian grades (1, 2). Some of the very best 'top graders' may also compete in major race events and can average speeds around a track between 38-39 mph.
U.K. - Middle Grade - (A4 - A6) equilavent to American grades (C, D) and Australian grades (3, 3/4, 4). Occasionally 'graded runners' competing at the best "city tracks" maybe the equal of 'A1' graded dogs running at lesser not so good tracks. These hounds average speeds between 37-38 mph.
U.K. - Low Grade - (A7 - A11) equilavent to American grades (E, F and Maidens) and Aussie grades (4/5, 5 and Maidens). Most dogs will begin or finish their racing careers in the lower grades and generally record speeds between 35-37 mph.
U.K. - B Grade - (B1 - B6) This grade prefix indicates to either a slightly shorter or longer standard distance.
Knowing a dog's grade is very important, as it's an approximation to the expected level of performance and indicates to the overall race standard. Generally, I consider a greyhound's grade should reflect past performances and be relative to previously recorded racetimes!
When fully fit 'Graderd Runners' run more frequently than 'Open Racers' and usually compete in a race once a week, although twice and sometimes three times is not uncommon. However, any dogs thought 'over raced' will often see a decline in racing form and may need a rest to freshen them up!
The BAGS (Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Service) / SIS Track Championship Final was won 23/12/16 by Towcester, although not held in 2017. Please visit BAGSRACING for further information.
Last year Towcester staged the inaugural running of the Greyhound Welfare Graded Greyhound Derby 02/09/17 with a winner's purse of £10,000 it was the richest graded race in England. In Ireland the most valuable graded race is the Lee Strand held at Tralee with a first prize of €9,000.
Puppy and Veterans are represented by a standard prefix: (P) = Puppy (V) = Veteran. Famous races include the Senior's Derby - (Peterborough).
Other types of racing grades that take place during a meeting include: (KC) = Kennel Championships, (KS) = Kennel Sweepstakes, (IT) = Intertrack Racing, (Hcp) = Handicap Racing and the extremely rare (QS) = Quickstakes - 2 or 3 semi-finals take place with the final held at the same meeting.
All 'Punters' face the dilemma of not knowing whether to back a good dog 'lowered in class' running badly or a not so good dog 'raised in class' running well? "If only I had a crystal ball" I hear you say!!
Successfully predicting Graded Races (GR) will invariably be more challenging than forecasting Open Races (OR), as the 'grader' generally grades the races very closely with only minute differences in time to choose between the runners.
Therefore to obtain the best results from the 'Predictor' I suggest you choose UK OR's, Irish AAO's, American SA's or Australian FFA's, as the runners in these grades are not only more consistent, but also allow "canine superstars" to compete with much greater differences in racing ability. This is most noticeable during the early rounds of major competitions and theoretically makes the 'open grade' more predictable than a graded race. Although, these differences in the dog's standards will always no doubt be reflected in the individual prices quoted as the odds of a greyhound race!
For all 'Greyhound Predictors' who wish to simulate dogs 'raised or lowered' in grade, then one of the best ways to represent a change in grade would be to alter a dog's fastest time! For example, if you consider a greyhound to be 'upped in class' then you should perhaps add on between 0.10 - 0.20 secs to their fastest time, as up-graded dogs theoretically are less likely to obtain a trouble free run in order to produce their quickest times. Although, often to the contrary, certain strong 'improving greyhounds' may actually appreciate a quicker overall travelling speed throughout a race and will be towed along in the 'faster slipstreams' of other initially speedier dogs and despite being 'raised in class' continue to improve best times. For further information please see Racetimes.
Alternatively, if you wished to simulate greyhounds 'lowered in class' then you may need to deduct between 0.10 - 0.20 secs from their fastest time, as down-graded dogs theoretically have a better chance of being afforded more 'racing room' in a lower grade to improve on their quickest times, and indeed yes, you may deduct an appropriate amount of time that best simulates greyhounds dropped in grade.
I should also like to mention in the interests of 'The Science of Race Prediction' that since the dogs themselves remain completely unaware of the racing grade their running in or have previously competed at, then you may wish to leave a dog's fastest time as it is, the choice is always yours!
Now check the formlines, the stat grade of race is found at the top of each race heading.
Now select the correct grade category and Press Spacebar to enter.
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