It’s human nature to want to back the winning side, the side that looks stronger and more likely to be able to do what needs to be done to win. This applies to greyhound racing as well as team sports. That’s why so many favorites, dogs that look like they “can’t lose”, are at such low odds.
We know that playing favorites is a losing proposition. On average, they win only a third of the time. That means that two thirds of the time, a dog at higher odds wins. That’s the dog you want to play, but how do you know which of the non-favorites is likely to beat the dog at the lowest odds?
One approach is something that’s worked for me many times in maiden races. Find a dog with early speed in its first two calls, first and second preferably, but that didn’t hit the board at the finish. A dog that finished fourth or worse is ideal. It doesn’t matter if it was 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th or how many lengths behind the winner it was.
As long as the dog was close to the lead or on the lead for two calls, there’s more than an even chance that it will flash that early speed in its next race and if the conditions are right, be able to use it to win the race. There are some other conditions though.
You don’t want a dog that is a perpetual “flash and fade” runner. I like to keep my plays on this type of dog to their first three races. Very often, they click on the second or third race. After that, I assume that they just can’t sustain their early pace and backing them isn’t going to make me any money.
I also prefer to play this type of early speed runner in sprints, although I have had some win in distance races. It’s a judgement call. If there’s very little early speed in a race, then they might be a good bet in a route. In that case, I’d play a quiniela with a good closer and the early speed dog. There aren’t many maiden route races anyhow.
I don’t like these dogs in the very short sprints, the dashes. As a matter of fact, I don’t play dashes at all. Like quarter horse races, I think it’s just a matter of the horse that gets out first in those types of races. But in maiden sprint races, find a dog that flashes early speed for two calls and is at good odds in its second or third race and give it a chance to give you a nice payoff that other bettors overlook.
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