DISCOVER

# Tips on Winning at Dog Races

It looks easy. There are only six dogs in the race. Choose the fittest-looking dog, bet your bottom dollar and you'll make a bundle. But unfortunately, there is no easy way to win. Things are stacked against you by the dog track operators when they set the odds, and by normal rules of probability. However, if you do your homework, back sensible amounts of cash and adopt a levelheaded approach, you may end up a winner.

## Study the Stats

As an example, at a meet at Diamond Dogs Park, what may seem to be rows of meaningless letters and numbers on the dog's past performance chart is actually important information about a dog's form. There may be past performance data for several previous years, and a lifetime record. Say you read "DDP10 54 18 7 13 6." "DDP" refers to Diamond Dogs Park, the name of the track. The "10" is 2010. And "54" is the number of starts the dog had in that year.

## Wins and Places

Then come the important figures relating to wins and places. The "18" tells you the number of first places achieved, a very credible 33.3 per cent of all races started. The "7" tells you the number of times the dog has finished second. The "13" is the number of times the dog has come in third. And "6" refers to the number of fourth places achieved. A large number in bold, such as "76," is a computer-generated power rating figure, based on these stats. The higher it is, the stronger the dog is considered to be.

## Use Different Wagering Types

Study and utilise the differing wagering types to spread your bets and give yourself more chance of winning. If you put your money on a greyhound to win, your selection has to come in first for you to receive a payout. If you decide on a place bet, if your dog finishes first or second, there's money in it for you. Choose a show bet and your dog can finish in any of the top three positions. However, you don't collect as much with place and show bets as an equivalent win bet.

## Other Tips

Keep an eye on the ages of dogs Usually, a greyhound dog reaches the peak of its form at age 2. A bitch peaks at around 3 years of age. Trap allocation is often key. Some dogs are not good at running tight bends. Others thrive on it. When a good bend runner draws the inside trap, bet your shirt. Also, watch how the odds change. If a dog is heavily backed just before a race starts, it could be a sign that somebody knows something.