Winning With Eb Netr...
Any dog track program will tell you how greyhounds are graded. Except for the highest and lowest grades, they move up when they win a race and - at most tracks - move down when they fail to finish in the top three positions in three consecutive starts or fail to earn better than one third place finish in four consecutive starts.
The rules for J and M may differ somewhat and, of course, dogs who win in the top grade can't advance, but these are the basics of how dogs are graded. The reason they're graded is so that dogs with similar abilities will be running with each other, instead of with dogs who are much better or much worse at winning.
That is, unless they're in a "T" race. Many people don't realize that "T" races aren't special races in the way that Grade "S" or stakes races are. "T" races are set up by the racing secretary, which is interesting, I think. What's more interesting is that "T" races may include any grade of dog. Think about it.
Instead of being drawn by slips from a hat or cup, the entries are hand-picked. The racing secretary decides - for whatever reason - that there needs to be a race with "special" situations in it and picks the dogs to create that situation. Now, I'm not accusing anyone of anything and as we all know, no matter how people try to influence the dogs, they have a way of surprising, but this sure looks like a chance to make money to me.
Of course, you have to figure out who or why the race was set up for. Is there a good dog in it that hasn't been running well? Are there dogs from a kennel that isn't making enough money to survive? Is there a dog with early speed between two slower starting dogs? You really need to examine the race and the entries with a fine-tooth comb to try to break the code, so to speak.
Once in a while, you'll find a "T" race with a dog in it who is about to be graded off, but is in a favorable position in this "T" race. I've seen that happen more than once. I've also seen the dog still fail to come in, but I've also seen dogs surprise everyone and come in at long odds, beating dogs who looked much better but had difficult boxes or got bumped or blocked.
Sometimes, "T" races are just set up to let some dogs run that wouldn't have been on the cards - sort of an extra race to tune them up for some reason. Don't forget that the racing secretary and the dog people know things about their dogs that we don't know and may have reasons we don't know about for wanting dogs to race with certain other dogs.
One final note about "T" races. You can't lean as heavily on class as you do in normal races. Class can be very deceiving in "T" races and so can speed. My advice is to lean more heavily on the angle of style and pace. Try to figure out who's going to set the pace of the race and then figure out who's going to run where. That done, look for the dogs with the most advantageous start and clear running room. That's the way to win a "T" race.
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