In this section, I mention famous greyhound races held in Great Britain & Ireland and their associated track venues. I include information on dog racing speeds and compare English graded racing 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 greyhound racing grades and consists of two divisions - Major Open Races - Category One, Two, Three and Minor Open Races. In Ireland the best middle-distance races are called AAO's. In America these top contests are RSA's or SA's (Racing Secretaries A Class). In Australia all major competitions are classified as Group Races and generally referred to as FFA's (Free for All's).
Out of all the 'classic races' held annually, the English Greyhound Derby - won 01/07/17 by Astute Missile trained at Hove by Seamus Cahill - (Towcester) first staged in 1927 at the White City Stadium, London, still remains today the most important competition. This years event run over the new distance of 500 metres was sponsored by Star*Sports and carried a first prize of £175,000.
Other 'national derbies' include the Scottish Derby - won 06/05/17 by Dorotas Woo Hoo trained by C Lister OBE - (Shawfield) first held at Carntyne in 1928. Famous Scottish races include the St Mungo Cup - (Shawfield) and Edinburgh Cup previously held at Powderhall Stadium.
The Welsh Derby originally 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 in 1929 at Celtic Park, Belfast was reinaugerated in 2010 as the Northern Irish Derby - (Drumbo Park).
Along with the derby, the Oaks - won 14/12/16 by Forest Twilight trained by Hayley Keightley Unattached - (Belle Vue) a race confined to bitches first run in 1927 at the White City, London, are the two oldest English Classics.
The oldest 'stayers classic' is the St Leger - won 08/11/16 by Ferryforth Fran (M Wallis) - (Wimbledon) first run from 1928 - 1998 at old Wembley Stadium.
Other famous dog races include the All England Cup - (Newcastle), Arc and Produce Stakes - (Swindon), Golden Jacket and Gold Collar - (Crayford), Golden Sprint, Champion Stakes and Essex Vase - (Romford), Laurels and Scurry Cup - (Belle Vue), Coral Regency and Sussex Cup - (Brighton & Hove), Kent Derby - (Central Park), Henlow Derby - (Henlow), Gold Cup and Summer Stayers - (Monmore Green), Produce Stakes and Eclipse - (Nottingham), Steel City Cup - (Sheffield). Classic and Grand Prix - (Sunderland), Lowther Stakes - (Towcester), East Anglian Derby - (Yarmouth).
Long distance races include the famous Dorando Marathon and Television Trophy to be held at 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 Classic - (Sheffield), Puppy Derby and Trafalgar Puppy Cup - (Monmore Green) previously held at Oxford Stadium.
The 2016 Trainers' Title was won for a record eighth time by Mark Wallis attached to Towcester and based at the 'Imperial Kennels' Lakenheath, Suffolk.
Only the top six handlers qualify for the Trainers Championship (TC) "finals night" held (28/03/17) at Towcester and won by local trainer Kevin Hutton. Selected race winners included: Derby at Towcester Racecourse 500 - Slippery Amigo (Jimmy Wright), Gain Greyhound Nutrition Sprint 260 - Droopys Trapeze (J Wright), Dunham Greyhound Centre Puppy 500 - Madabout Eoghan (John Mullins), Barry R Johnson Stayers 655 - Rubys Rascal (Mark Wallis), Flowers and Coulton Bookmakers Standard B 500 - Brinkleys King (Seamus Cahill), Bet with BG Bitches Stake 500 - Empress Katie (Kevin Hutton), Gain Super Stayers 686 - Huarache Madison (K Hutton), Gain Standard A - Peregrine Falcon (K Hutton).
Invitational races (IV) include the Racing Post Juvenile - (Central Park), 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), Prestige - (Hall Green), Olympic and Brighton Belle - (Hove), The Coronation Cup and Rose Bowl - (Romford), British Bred St Leger and Silver Salver - (CPark), Kent St Leger - (Crayford), Golden Crest, Super Paws - (Poole), Peterborough Derby - (Peterborough), Northern Flat Championship and Cock O'The North - (Belle Vue), 630 Stayers - (Monmore), 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 that record a time less then 28.49 seconds will now be classed as AAO, 28.50s - 28.69s = AO, 28.70s - 28.89 = A1, 28.90s - 29.19s = A2 etc. up to and including 30.50s - 30.70s = A10. Please See IGB RACE GRADE BANDS for further information.
The 2016 Irish Derby had a 'winners purse' of €125,000 - won by Rural Hawaii trained by Graham Holland - (Shelbourne Park) first run in 1932 it remains the most prestigious event in the racing calendar. Although originally preceded by the 'National Derby' first held in 1928 at the now closed Harolds Cross.
Famous races include the Easter Cup first staged in 1928, Oaks first held at Clonmel in 1932, Champion Stakes and Gold Cup - (Shelbourne Park - SPK). The St Leger first run at Navan in 1934 - (Limerick - LMK), Cesarewitch - (Mullingar - MGR), The Laurels - (Cork - CRK), Produce Stakes - (Clonmel - CML), Race Of Champions - (Tralee - TRL), Sprint Cup - (Dundalk - DLK), Select Stakes and Munster Oaks - (Waterford - WFD) etc.
International greyhound 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 5th annual "Night Of Stars" special meeting (12/11/16) and included the following race winners: Open 350 - Hiya Butt (Hayley Keightley ENG), Open 525 Bitches - Hollycross Leah (Gerry Melia), Open 525 Dogs - Riverside Oscar (Graham Holland), Open 550 - Burgess Popeye (Shelia Spillane), Open 575 - Droopys Wilbury (Pat Buckley), Open 600 - College Paradise (Liam Dowling), Open 750 - Airmount Tess (Ger Kiely), and Open 850 - Skywalker Rossa (G Holland).
In Ireland puppies begin in Novice grade (N0 - N3) and compete in competitions for dogs unraced! The 2017 Con & Annie Kirby Memorial Puppy Stakes - won 08/04/17 by Bentekes Bocko trained by Pat Buckley - (Limerick) carried a first prize of €80,000 and remains the world's richest puppy race!
The World's 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 the 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 final run at Brighton and Hove greyhound stadium (circumference 455 metres) represents an average cruising speed of 39.45 mph / 63.49 kph. The best time run by a bitch is 29.54 secs set by Bridge Ruth trained by Mark Wallis (38.99 mph / 62.76 kph) when winning the 2013 Brighton Belle.
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 480 metres distance record was achieved 21/06/11 by "puppy sensation" Eden Star trained 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 recently 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 Irish Derby record for 550 yards (503 metres) - Shelbourne Park (circumference 425 yards) was achieved 05/08/09 by "2009 derby champion" College Causeway trained by Pat Buckley (IRE) when posting 29.21 secs in 1st round - (38.51 mph / 61.97 kph). Although, this time was bettered 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 the 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 secs 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 trained by Graham Holland (38.54 mph / 62.02 kph) in the 2015 Irish Puppy Oaks 2nd round!
The 525 yards distance record was once held by Catunda Harry trained by Owen McKenna (IRE), who became 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 27.88 secs (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 366 metres / 400 yards - 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 greyhounds 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 hurdles race took place at Belle Vue, Manchester at it's opening meeting on 24th July 1926 - won by Melksham Autocrat.
The most famous race is the Grand National - first run in 1928 at the White City Stadium, London until it's closure in 1984 and moved in 1985 to Hall Green until transfered in 1999 to Wimbledon and later in 2012 - (Central Park) and Irish Grand National previously held at the closed Harrold's Cross.
Other Important events include the Springbok - (CPark), Champion Hurdle 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.
Trainers may sometimes give a dog a 'hurdle handslip' not released from the traps but usually 'hand slipped' along the straights in order to gradually introduce them to jumping hurdles. Please note: any runner having competed in a hurdle race or trial and was subsequently switched back to the flat, is always considered when predicting dog races a good sign! as the hurdles tend to concentrate it's mind on it's 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 Catergory One hurdle races - the Springbok, Champion Hurdle and Grand National in the same year!
The vast majority of races held around the world are known as 'Graded Races' (GR). 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 very best "city tracks" maybe the equal of 'A1' graded dogs running at lesser not so good tracks. These hounds average speeds between 37-38 miles per hour.
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 therefore 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 'Graders' generally 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 held 23/12/16 at Perry Barr Stadium and won by Towcester. Please visit BAGSRACING for further information.
Towcester will on the 02/09/17 stage the inaugural running of the Greyhound Welfare Graded Greyhound Derby Final with a winner's purse of £10,000 making it the richest graded race in England. In Ireland the most valuable graded race is the Lee Strand 500 held at Tralee with a first prize of €9,000.
Puppy and Veteran races are represented by a standard prefix: (P) = Puppy and (V) = Veteran. Famous races include the Senior's Derby - (Peterborough).
Other types of racing grades that can 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' will face the dilemma of not knowing whether to back a 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 top greyhound grades are not only more consistent, but also allow these "canine superstars" to compete with much greater differences in racing ability. This can be 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 may wish to simulate dogs that have been 'raised or lowered' in race 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 0.10 or 0.20 secs to their time, as all up-graded dogs are theoretically less likely to obtain a trouble free run in a race in order to produce their quickest times. Although, quite 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' will continue to improve on their best times. For further information please see Racetimes.
Alternatively, if you wished to simulate greyhounds 'lowered in class' then surprisingly you may need to deduct 0.10 or 0.20 secs from their fastest time, as all 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 however also like to mention in the interests of the "Science of Greyhound Race Prediction", that since the dogs themselves remain completely unaware of the grade their racing in or have competed at, you may wish to simulate this by leaving the 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 race grade category and Press Spacebar to enter.
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