In this section, I mention famous greyhound races in Great Britain & Ireland and their associated track venues. I include information on race speeds, classic winners and affiliated trainers and compare English dog racing grades with Irish, American and Australian grading systems.
Greyhound Predictor v2.0 Software allows you to simulate four 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 generally referred to as FFA's (Free for All).
Out of all the 'classic races', the English Greyhound Derby - won 02/06/18 by "2018 dog of the year" Dorotas Wildcat trained by Kevin Hutton - originally staged in 1927 at the White City Stadium, London, still remains today the most important competition. Last years event held at the currently closed Towcester Racecourse was again run over the new Derby distance of 500 metres and sponsored by Star*Sports carried a winners purse of £175,000! The 2019 English Derby 1st round commences on Friday 24th & Saturday 25th May at Colwick Park, Nottingham with a reduced prize of £100,000!
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 Scotish races include St Mungo Cup - (Shawfield) and Edinburgh Cup previously staged at Powderhall Stadium. The Welsh Derby run from 1928 - 1937 at the White City, Cardiff and then from 1945 - 1977 at the old Cardiff Arms Park sadly no longer takes place. The Trigo Cup formerly known as the Ulster Derby, first held in 1929 at Celtic Park, Belfast was reinaugerated in 2010 as Northern Irish Derby - (TBC).
Along with the derby, the English Oaks - won 22/12/18 by Ravenswood Flo trained at Monmore by Kevin Hutton - (Swindon) a race confined to bitches first run in 1927 at the White City, London, are the two oldest Classics. Last years race kindly sponsored by John Turner had a winner's prize of £15,000.
The St Leger run from 1928-1998 at the old Wembley Stadium is the oldest 'stayers classic' but last year only carried a winners purse of £5,500 - won 17/11/18 by Calico Ranger trained by Carol Weatherall - (Perry Barr). The 2019 St Leger now sponsored by RPGTV will carry a first prize of £15,000.
Other famous races include: All England Cup and Laurels - (Newcastle), Arc and Produce Stakes - (Swindon), Golden Jacket, Gold Collar and Kent St Leger - (Crayford), Golden Sprint, Champion Stakes and Essex Vase - (Romford), Scurry Cup - (Belle Vue), Regency, Sussex Cup, Olympic and Winter Derby - (Brighton & Hove), Kent Derby - (Central Park), Gold Cup - (Harlow), Henlow Derby - (Henlow), Golden Crest - (Poole), Gold Cup and Summer Stayers - (Monmore Green), Lowther Stakes, Eclipse & British Breeders Stakes - (Nottingham), Steel City Cup and British Bred Derby - (Sheffield), Yorkshire St Leger - (Doncaster), Classic and Grand Prix - (Sunderland), East Anglian Derby - (Yarmouth) etc.
Famous long-distance races include the Dorando Marathon - won 02/06/18 by Maysdreamcatcher trained at Perry Barr by James Turner - (Nottingham), Television Trophy - won 08/12/18 by Savanna Winner trained at Henlow by Diane Henry and Boxing Day Marathon - won 26/12/19 by "2018 Marathon runner of the Year" Slippy Maggie trained at Peterborough by Hazel Kemp - (Crayford).
Puppy races include: English Puppy Derby - (Henlow), 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 2018 Trainers' Title was won for a record tenth time by Mark Wallis attached to Henlow and based at the 'Imperial Kennels' Lakenheath, Suffolk.
Only the top six handlers qualify for the Trainers' Championship (TC) "finals night" held this year 06/04/19 at Sheffield and won by Angela Harrison. Selected winners included: Gain GTA Sprint 280m - Lost One Dare (Kevin Hutton), Puppy 480m - Chicago Fire (Kevin Hutton), Bitches 480m - Seaglass Celine (Patrick Janssens), Standard 480 - Droopys Trapper (Angela Harrison), Standard Division (A) 500m - Droopys Verve (A Harrison), Standard (B) 500m - Droopys Expert (A Harrison), Stayers (A) 660m - Ridgedale Max (Phil Simmonds) and Stayers (B) 660m - Antiqua Fire (Mark Wallis).
Other Invitational races (IV) include the 2019 Racing Post Juvenile - (Sheffield), Derby Invitation, 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), Brighton Belle - (Hove), Coronation Cup and Rose Bowl - (Romford), British Bred St Leger and Silver Salver - (Central Park), Kent Cesarewitch - (Crayford), Super Paws - (Poole), Fengate Collar and Peterborough Derby - (Peterborough), Northern Flat Championship and Cock O'The North - (Belle Vue), Yorkshire Oaks - (Sheffield), Great North Run - (Newcastle) 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) has implemented 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 2018 Boylesports Irish Derby - won 22/09/18 by Ballyanne Sim trained by James Robinson - (Shelbourne Park) first run in 1932 is the most prestigious event in the calendar with a winner's purse of €140,000. Although originally preceded by the 'National Derby' held in 1928 at Harolds Cross.
Famous races include the Easter Cup first staged in 1928, Irish Oaks held at Clonmel in 1932, Champion Stakes & Gold Cup - (Shelbourne Park - SPK). The St Leger 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), Newbridge Oaks - (Newbridge - NWB), Cesarewitch - (Mullingar - MGR), Race Of Champions - (Tralee - TRL), Select Stakes and Munster Oaks - (Waterford - WFD) etc.
The Dundalk International - won 12/07/18 by Droopys Verve trained in England by Angela Harrison - (Dundalk). There is 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 7th annual "Night Of Stars" special gala meeting (17/11/18) with eight races carrying a winner's cheque of €10,000 and included the following category winners: Open 350 - Ardnasool Jet (Cathal McGhee), Open 525 Bitches - Vancouver (Peter Cronin), Open 525 Dogs - Cabra Hurricane (Patrick Guilfoyle), Open 550 - Slippy Cian (Graham Holland), Open 575 - Lenson Blinder (Graham Holland), Open 600 - Macaroon Cruz (Graham Holland), 750 - Towcester Story (Brendan Mathews) and 850 - Are Nagini (Liam Dowling).
In Ireland all puppies will begin their racing careers in Novice grade (N0 - N3) although some may also compete in open competitions for dogs unraced! The most valuable being the Connolly's Red Mills Unraced - (Curraheen Park) with a winner's cheque of €16,000! Although, the Con & Annie Kirby Memorial - won 20/04/19 by Toolmaker Josie trained by Robert Gleeson - (Limerick) with a first prize of €80,000 remains the world's richest puppy race!
The very fastest greyhounds 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 (Retired) in the Sussex Cup final run at Brighton & Hove greyhound stadium (circumference 455 metres) represents average cruising speed of 39.45 mph / 63.49 kph. The best time achieved 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 equalled 31/08/17 by "2018 bitch of the year" Donation trained by Heather Dimmock in a heat of the 500 Ladies.
The 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 "2015 British Bred of the Year" Eden the KId trained by Elizabeth & Rab McNair when recording 27.95 secs (38.42mph / 61.83 kph) in 1st round.
The English 480 metres record is 27.32 seconds recorded 06/08/14 by Candlelight King trained locally by Elaine Parker in a British Bred race held at Owlerton Stadium, Sheffield (circumference 425 metres) averaging 39.31mph / 63.74 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 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). In the 2018 Derby final Ballyanne Sim recorded 29.28 secs and was the quickest time ever run in an Irish final. Although, the track record is still 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 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 seconds in the first 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 the 2015 Irish Puppy Oaks!
The 525 yards record was once held by Catunda Harry trained by Owen McKenna (IRE), who became the first greyhound to dip under 28 secs 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 (G Holland) in the 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 speed tests conducted by Towcester Racecourse using a hi-tech transponder system taken from dogs competing in the 2017 English Derby, interestingly revealed split-second 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 English race over hurdles took place at Belle Vue, Manchester at its opening meeting on the 24th July 1926 - won by Melksham Autocrat.
The most prestigious races consist of the English Grand National - won 27/04/18 by Parkers Dynamite trained by Mark Wallis - (Central Park) first run at the White City, London, and Irish Grand National - won 09/12/18 by Lightning Prince trained by Pat Kiely - (TBC) both inaugerated in 1928.
Category One hurdle races include the Springbok - won 09/03/18 by "2018 Hurdler of the Year" Lenson Wilson trained by Rick Holloway - (Central Park) and Champion Hurdle - won 02/06/18 also by Lenson Wilson - (Towcester) - first run at White City in 1927. Due to the loss of Towcester, all major hurdle races in 2019 will be staged at Central Park with track promoter Roger Cearns putting up a bonus £10,000 for any dog to win all three races.
Cornamaddy Jumbo trained by Mark Wallis was voted "2014 Hurdler and Greyhound of the Year" when becoming the first ever dog to complete the 'English triple crown' by winning all three Category One's - the Springbok, Grand National and Champion Hurdle in the same year!
Other hurdle events include the Jimmy Jupp National Hurdle - (Hove), Kent County Hurdle and Boxing Day Chase - (Central Park), Chief Ramsbottom Hurdle, Dual Distance Hurdle and Kent National Hurdle - (Crayford), Champions Night Hurdle and Roger Kent Barton Triumph Hurdle - (Romford), Rockybay Munster Hurdle - (Curraheen Park) etc.
Occasionally a greyhound will be given a 'hurdle handslip' not released from the traps but usually 'hand slipped' along the straights in order to gradually introduce them to jumpng hurdles. Please note: any runner having competed in a hurdle race or schooling 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!
The vast majority of dog 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 these 'top graders' may also compete in major open 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' dogs running at lesser not so good "country 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 greyhounds will start 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 slightly longer standard distance.
Knowing the grade is very important, as it's an approximation to the expected level of performance and therefore indicates 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' tend to 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 Greyhound Welfare Graded Derby previously held at Towcester 02/09/17 with a winner's purse of £10,000 was the richest graded race in England. In Ireland the most valuable being the Lee Strand 550 (A3) held 19/05/18 at Tralee with a first prize of €9,000.
At the GBGB annual awards ceremony held in London 27/01/19, Swift Keeper trained at Monmore by Mel Baker, owned by Abie Knowles and bred for consecutive years by Ian Greaves was voted "2018 Graded Racer of the Year" after starting in A8 grade and finishing up with three A1 victories!
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 may 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' when studying graded raceform will 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 choosing UK OR's, Irish AAO's, American SA's or Australian FFA's, as the runners in these top geyhound 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 race!
For all 'Greyhound Predictors' wishing to simulate dogs 'raised or lowered' in grade, then one of the best ways to represent a change in race grade would be to alter a dog's 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 a race 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 will continue to improve their best times. For further information please see Racetimes.
Alternatively, if you wanted to simulate down-graded dogs then you should perhaps deduct between 0.10 - 0.20 secs from their fastest time, as all dogs 'lowered in class' theoretically, have a better chance of being afforded more 'racing room' in a lower grade to improve 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 Greyhound 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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