In this section, I explain how different track racing conditions affect greyhounds with various running styles and why this may alter your predictions. Please see: English Track Circumferences, Hare Types and Surfaces. Greyhound Predictor v2.0 Track Dimensions are also provided.
An understanding of how the weather affects the running surface of a greyhound track is the key to answering this question, the ability to predict accurately in advance the going conditions? or state of the track? is indeed a vital element that should always be considered when predicting races.
The majority of greyhound races worldwide are run on sand, although originally many of todays' prestigious events were first held on grass tracks. Other surfaces used include the 'loam tracks' seen in Australia and not to forget the old 'cinder tracks' of greyhound racing's historical past.
All greyhound establishments will try their best to maintain a fair and safe circuit for racing by regularly rolling flat and watering the sand-surface. However, this can be a difficult task to achieve as 'track-surfaces' are constantly affected by adverse weather conditions. Therefore, any dogs fortunate to race on a faster surface then their competitors, theoretically can produce quicker times! This 'advantage' or alternatively considered 'disadvantage' in the track bias is very significant as it not only affects results but also influences any betting in a race!
I suggest the 1st thing all "Predictors" should do while attending a meeting is to check the condition of the track! This is a major advantage in selecting winners given to all 'race-goers'! However, it's still possible for 'off track punters' to calculate the going conditions correctly in three ways. Firstly, by paying attention to local weather forecasts for any 'climatic changes' due to affect the race surface. Secondly, you may notice a repetitive pattern to 'previous trends' of winning trap numbers reflected in past results. Or thirdly, you may wish to study the 'win times', 'racing lines' and 'running styles' of earlier run races, then decide if it's the inside, middle or outside traps if any, that has the advantage on those surface conditions.
Greyhound Predictor Software allows you to simulate races with 4 Racetrack going conditions:
Fast Track - [+0.40 secs = GP state of going adjustment] - All greyhounds racing on sand tracks in hot atmospheric temperatures will produce extremely quick times, as this going generally favours the 'inside runners'! It is usually on 'fast ground' in the summer months that track records maybe broken, although a hard frozen track in mid-winter may also be running fast and overall benefits the 'quick away runners'!
Normal Track - [0.00 secs] - Dogs racing on a normal surface should produce normal race and sectional times. This type of going should always be considered fair to all racing lines and running styles of greyhounds.
Slow Track - [-0.40 secs] - Winter racing in cold temperatures on wet, windy, sloppy tracks produces slower times and overall favours the finishers! The races being slower run than normal racetimes inevitable gives the 'stayers' more time to get into a virtual dog race!
Wet Track - [+0.20 secs] - A recent shower of rain generally makes a track run a little faster than normal, although persistent heavy rainfall invariably slows speeds down and favours the 'middle and wide runners'! The inside surface often becomes waterlogged due to the natural contours of a track, therefore dogs coursing a middle, wide and even sometimes a very wide raceline, frequently have the advantage of running on a faster surface!
One type of weather condition besides perhaps deep snow that may occasionally lead to a greyhound meeting being abandoned is that of thick fog, as it will be deemed too dangerous to race, once the hare controller has lost sight of the lure and its distance to the leading dog.
All 'Predictors' will know that race conditions affect results and therefore play a vital role in 'The Science of Greyhound Race Prediction'!
Now enter the track condition - Fast, Normal, Slow or Wet.
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