So many times when we’re handicapping dog races, it seems to come down to two dogs, doesn’t it? Or at least, that’s how it seems. You weigh up the factors of all the dogs and find that two of them are almost even for one or more factors.
What you do in this situation can mean the difference between going home broke or with a nice little bonus in your pocket. A lot of handicappers get bogged down at this point and spin their wheels going over and over each dog’s lines. This is a trap that you must avoid if you want to win at the greyhound track.
First of all, there’s no such thing as a “2-dog race” no matter how good those two dogs look. They’ll be running the race with 6 other dogs, and you’d better handicap those dogs, as well. Second of all, there’s no such thing as a “sure thing” in racing or in life.
One or both of those dogs may not be as likely to win, if you take into consideration the running styles, post positions and form of the other dogs. Dogs don’t run in a vacuum. Even with the best dogs, the way they run in one race can be markedly different from how they run in another race, depending on conditions.
So, when you look at a race, instead of narrowing it down to one or two dogs right away, handicap ALL the dogs, even the ones who don’t look so good at first. Look at their post position, where they’ll run on the track, their recent form and their times.
Once you have a good idea of the general makeup of the race, then go on to eliminate dogs whose post position, running style or times indicate that they’re not up to the current race’s standards. After you do this, and not before, is the time to look at those two “standout” dogs, if they’re still standouts after you really look at the other dogs.
Using this strategy will insure that you don’t handicap so quickly, just looking for dogs that stand out from the rest, that you miss some good solid contenders, who aren’t quite so flashy at first look. This broad method of handicapping the big picture is much better than narrowing in on small parts of the race picture.