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The worse they look, the better they pay

It is human nature to want to back the winning side, the side that seems stronger and most likely to be able to do what it takes to win. This applies to greyhound racing as well as team sports. This is why so many favorite dogs, who seem like they “can’t lose,” have such low odds.

We know that playing favorites is a lost proposition. On average, they win only a third of the time. That means that two-thirds of the time, a dog with a higher chance wins. That’s the dog you want to play with, but how do you know which underdog is likely to beat the dog with the lowest odds?

An approach is something that has worked for me many times in the inaugural races. Find a dog with early speed on his first two calls, preferably first and second, but who did not hit the board at the end. A dog that finished fourth or worse is ideal. It doesn’t matter if he was fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth or how many lengths behind the winner he was.

As long as the dog is close to the leader or the leader for two calls, there is more than a chance that it will blink at that initial rate in its next race, and if the conditions are right, it will be able to use it to win the breed. However, there are other conditions.

You don’t want a dog that is a perpetual “flash and fade” runner. I like to keep my game with this type of dog in his first three races. Very often, they click on the second or third run. After that I guess they just can’t keep up with their initial pace and backing them won’t make me money.

I also prefer to play this type of early sprinter in sprints, although I have had some victories in distance races. It is a judgment call. If there is very little initial velocity in a race then it could be a good bet on a route. In that case, he would play a pool with a good closer and the early speed dog. However, there are not many races on the inaugural route.

I don’t like these dogs in the very short sprints, the dashes. In fact, I don’t play scripts at all. Like in quarter horse racing, I think it’s just a question of which horse comes first in that kind of race. But in the early sprinting races, find a dog that has early speed for two calls and has good odds on his second or third race and give him a chance to give you a good reward that other punters miss.

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