How to win on greyhounds: Split times are a vital weapon

Peter Harnden has a brace of solid chances at Nottingham this evening
It's an extravaganza of Open race action live on RPGTV tonight
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Early speed is a vital element in finding race winners and the information gleaned from analysing split times can be crucial as Darrell Williams explains in the latest installment of our 'How to win' series. Check out also our correspondent's best bets for tonight's Nottingham RPGTV card and an ante post bet for the Greyhound Derby...

"Salacres Dreams was insultingly over-priced for her heat of a 680m event last week and duly landed the odds when getting up on the line. Given her excellent CD record it was hard to fathom where those odds came from..."

Predicting how a race might be run is paramount to finding winners and as we have previously highlighted forecasting the early leader is a key ingredient in that analysis.

Split times - the time taken from traps to winning line - are a vital component of that study in four bend races and in graded races it is relatively easy to assess where the pace might come from as the form will generally be over the same course and distance.

Ideally, we're looking for improving splits but at minimum a degree of consistency. Personally, I take the view that some greyhounds break better from one box, while I also tend to rate form lines achieved in the same or a higher grade with more significance than those gained at a lower level.

Likewise, while I wouldn't completely disregard trial form lines, I would generally give those less credence than actual race form.

Keep improvers on your side

It's worth taking the time to analyse an individual greyhound's record to try and identify if the splits do reveal a pattern, positive or negative.

If a dog's sectionals are generally improving - naturally be prepared to eliminate trouble strewn starts etc - then even better, especially if you're dealing with a puppy, a bitch improving after season or a relatively new arrival at a track.

Remember though the racing manager is seldom out to make it easy and similarly fast starting runners can often be drawn alongside each other.

Your job is to decide whether an individual greyhound can 'get loose' early on and claim that all important lead into the bend.

Best bets tonight on RPGTV

Nottingham's predominantly Open race cards on a Monday night are proving especially popular for RPGTV viewers and there are no fewer than a dozen of them on Sky Channel 468 this evening.

Corrin Mall won well over tonight's 500m trip a fortnight ago to add to his excellent local record and is fancied to repeat the feat (20:22). Desperately unlucky last week from an unfavourable middle draw he is far better berthed tonight, while main rival Ballymac Miscula has a tricky trap four draw to overcome.

The gallant Shaneboy Freddie will be fancied by many to claim the following contest (20:37) - both are heats of a 500m competition - but I'm far stronger on Salacres Vincent, who easily accounted for the same rival last month. Peter Harnden's charge found all the trouble going in a hotter race behind Tyrur Hugo last week but also had that same rival in arrears in his aforementioned CD victory last month and can repeat the feat.

Kennelmate Salacres Dreams - formerly Incredible Flyer - was insultingly over-priced for her heat of a 680m event last week and duly landed the odds when getting up on the line. Given her excellent CD record it was hard to fathom where those odds came from and while she'll be a lot shorter tonight, she can follow up in the semi-final (20:51).

Exciting Derby prospect

Rising Brandy could hardly have been more impressive in running unbeaten through the Monmore Puppy Derby and it's all systems go now for a crack at the 'big one' - the Greyhound Derby - for Matt Dartnall's exciting youngster. While some over generous odds posted after his domination in the final have now disappeared he is still one to include in the portfolio at [36.0].

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