Early Speed

Out of the three racing codes, early speed at the start of the race is by far the most important in greyhound racing.

It can be the difference between one of the easiest collects you will ever have or your ticket being confetti within seconds of the lid opening and asking yourself- “Why did I even bet on that?!”

free resources

Luckily, each state’s greyhound racing websites have embraced the early speed importance and provide excellent speed maps and data.

To get started, you will need some form guides!

In Victoria, form guides are located here.

In all the remaining states the form can be found here.*

SUREpick provide Early Speed info in their Ratings form featured Wednesday to Saturday on The Hub.

*Note, you will have to sign up to gain access but this is free and only takes a couple of minutes.

These websites do the hard work for you. The “Brainstormer” and “Rocket Scientist” have the speed map attached in the top right corner of each race. However, the best way to learn early speed is to stick to a couple of tracks and become familiar with what good sectional times are and know them off by heart.

Although the speed maps are reasonably accurate, for maidens and novice race videos should be checked to see if the greyhound was bumped or to pick up any other nuances that aren’t shown on form guides. Finding that the greyhound was bumped at box rise at its first start might give the dog a slow speed rating or on the speed graph but in reality was capable of much better. This may provide an advantage to the punter.

focus on few tracks

As mentioned above, getting to know a few tracks intimately can help you succeed as a punter. For the Melbourne city tracks the following first sectionals are superb and if the greyhound can quicker these below sectional times you are on your way to finding a winner.

Sandown Park – 5.05 or quicker.

The Meadows – 5.10 or quicker.

These times should only be used as a start point and within a length or two of these times can be good enough to win many weaker races. To decipher dogs behind the leader when studying videos you should account for around 0.06 seconds for each length. So if the leading greyhound ran 5.10 to the first marker and a dog was 1 length behind then this dog has run 5.16.

On city tracks such as The Meadows, Wentworth Park and Sandown the first marker is the winning post.

The Dogs website provides an excellent service for NSW meetings. On the “expert” or “E” form guide the “1st sectional standard time” is provided for each race. If you don’t have much time to do the form this is a reliable and quick way to gauge what your greyhound needs to run for the first marker. To find out the first sectional for each greyhound, find the “A1S” column and compare this to the standard time.

In the Victorian form guides, the 1st sectional times are found the left of the $ Starting Prices.

Advanced early speed data

Many of the provincial race tracks have longer runs to the first sectional. For example 8.30 is a good first section time at Warragul in a 400 metre race, however, 8 seconds is a long run to the first markers and plenty can go wrong. For expert or professional punters who study racing videos, using another mark and making your own first sectional using the videos and a stop watch may give you a better indication of the greyhound’s break speed off the mat (around 4 seconds or so).

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