In this section, I explain how variations in weight may affect a dog's race performance and give my reasons for collecting greyhound programmes.
Greyhound Predictor requires all race weights to be entered in either Kilos (Kgs) or Pounds (Lbs). All weight conditions can be simulated!
All United Kingdom, European, Australian and New Zealand greyhounds are weighed in Kilograms. American and Irish dogs in pounds.
Dogs weigh on average between 28 - 36 Kilos = 62 - 80 Lbs. and stand 71-76 cms tall. They are generally considered fearless when racing and show great determination and bravery to the vast pleasure of their connections and the crowds that watch.
However, a few male racing dogs consistently find trouble in races and may be considered a little awkward or clumsy! Some of these 'long striding dogs' can weigh in excess of 40kg = 88lbs and are perhaps better suited to racing on wider galloping tracks with much bigger circumferences. Although, they do have an advantage over bitches when conditions underfoot become wet or sloppy as they take less strides to run a circuit!
Bitches on the other hand, weigh on average between 22 - 31 Kilos = 48 - 68 Lbs. and stand approx 68 - 71 cms tall. They protect and look after themselves a little more then dogs and often display 'good trackcraft', as they can squeeze through racing gaps that larger dogs wouldn't dare to go and also have the advantage of sometimes being able to 'slip under the grill' a little quicker then dogs, when initially breaking from the traps!
All runners and reserves for races are put on the scales and kennelled prior to racing. Australian and British Racing dogs with a weight variation above or below 1kg or 2.2 Lbs (American racing 2 Lbs) from it's previous weight will not be permitted to run under normal racing rules!
Knowing the racing weight of a greyhound is extremely important as it allows you to determine a dog's true race condition. However, finding out the weights may prove difficult as presently the only way of knowing is to visit your local track!
I suggest, that the 2nd thing you should always do while attending a meeting, is to check the 'weight sheet' displayed at your local dog stadium or park! This is a big advantage in selecting winners and a major reason why so many people love going to the dogs!
Future advancements in technology may afford 'off track punters' with this weight information. Although, many of us will simply not know a dog's previous weights in order to compare them. Although, a few of us 'anoraks' will simply refer back to their more recent old programmes!
If the weight of a greyhound isn't known, then simply enter your own approximate weight or alternatively leave the race weights blank = 00.0 kilos or Lbs. The 'Predictor' will then set this runner a normal racing weight!
Now enter the weight in kilos or Lbs.
All greyhounds have their 'perfect weight' known only perhaps to the trainer and maybe the owners! When a dog weighs close to their optimum weight, this implies their fully tuned up and ready to produce their top performances. This is best observed by studying weight variations from race to race!
Any greyhound racing 'down in weight' is generally a good positive sign! As losing weight suggests they will be fitter having been well exercised. Personally, I believe they produce slightly slower than normal sectionals, but compensate by having a little more stamina at the end of a race.
Some greyhounds when kennelled before racing will be prone to 'kennel fretting' and may become nervous or over excited and will lose weight rapidly before finally being placed into the starting traps. This is alternatively considered a negative sign! as it suggests perhaps a weakness in the racing temperament of the dog, which often results in greyhounds running inconsistently - missed breaks, early faders etc.
Any puppies running with an under-weight racing condition is sometimes also considered a negative sign!
When there is little or no difference between current or previous weights, then select 'normal weight condition'. This is always seen as a good sign! as the consistency of weight always indicates to the general well being of the dog!
However, any dog previously thought 'down in weight' and was racing again, should still perhaps be considered 'under weight' even though it's weight remains the same! Just as a dog running 'over weight' and remaining at that weight for it's next race, may still be considered 'up in weight'!
Most "canines" returning from a 'lay off' maybe over-weight, which is always thought a negative sign! as it suggests they've been overfed or not exercised enough. Personally, I consider these dogs to be initially stronger and genuinely believe 'up in weight' dogs produce fractionally faster than normal sectionals. Although overall, they will 'tend to fade' a little sooner then they would normally do in the latter stages of a race!
Handlers I believe, may occasionally elect to put weight on a greyhound in order to help a dog trap out faster, giving them perhaps a better chance to lead up or lie handy with the pace in order to avoid possible trouble anticipated at the corner!
Any pups up in weight is alternatively considered a good sign! as it suggests they're still growing and therefore open to improvement!
If as is generally the case a dog's racing condition is unknown then simply select Not Known.
Knowing the weight condition is only afforded to 'trackside punters' who simply compare the differences if any, against previous weights displayed in their racecards. When weighing up the form of a race, the one vital factor, besides perhaps the times, age, going and the draw, that allows me to determine which dogs to include in bets, should in theory always be decided by the greyhounds with the best weight condition!
However, dog racing weights can be very misleading! lets imagine that Lady Flyaway has a perfect weight = 27.0 kg and having previously competed at a weight = 28.0 kg, we find that the Lady's running tonight at a weight = 27.6 kg. Would you consider her to be under weight or perhaps over weight? Here lies the general confusion as to why weights are so often misunderstood! In the above example, Lady Flyaway weighing 27.6 kg is in fact 0.6 kg over weight, as we knew her best weight = 27.0 kg. Although, had we thought her ideal weight = 28.0 kg then I would consider her 0.4 kg under weight!
All 'Punters' will appreciate that dogs 'up in weight' can still be 'under weight' and dogs 'down in weight' can still be 'over weight'! Most of us already know that dogs are heavier then bitches, although knowing the exact weight, is of little use unless you're able to compare these 'weight differences' in order to determine a dog's true weight condition.
This ability to study greyhound weights, combined with an accurate estimation of their 'optimum weight' is vitally important, as any change in weight will affect performances and therefore plays a significant role in obtaining accurate predictions!
It is only by collecting these official programmes can the serious "racing student" study the 'weight variations' displayed further back in past greyhound formlines and is perhaps why so many of us like to collect dog programmes? Please don't throw them away! So many collections of racing memorabilia go to waste! If you happen to find any old racing programmes and your thinking of throwing them out, PLEASE DON'T, instead contact me. All names of contributors to my collection will be mentioned!
Now enter weight condition - Under, Normal, Over or Not-Known.
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