It’s not often the first race Co at Palmerston North is one of the races of the day but undoubtedly that was the case with the race yesterday. All eyes were on the debut performance of Boys Get Paid.
Based on his qualifying trial, I think its fair to say confidence levels were pretty high although first races jitters and all and race day conditions. However, I suspect most were not expecting a performance as good as that.
If you new to greyhound racing, the next section is for you. Otherwise jump down to the analysis.
Talk the Lingo like a Pro
For those of you unfamiliar with greyhound racing, here’s Dog Racing for Dummies – chapter 1. It’s all about the bass. I mean time. In other forms of racing, there is always an element of strategy – time is important but there are other factors. With greyhounds, a lot of those other factors are eliminated (no jockey, no tactics, no different weights etc). You’ll also hear a lot of reference to box speed as in “box speed is gold”. That is a simple truism – dogs that are fast out of the boxes make their own luck and so tend to win more races.
With greyhounds, we look at time in two ways. First there’s the overall time. Second there’s the sectionals or splits – how long each dog takes to run parts of the race. For the 410m at Palmy, we look at the opening split (to the end of the back straight) and the closing sectional which is effectively from the end of the back straight to the finishing post. (It is a little more complicated than that but lets just take it as read).
410m at Palmerston North
The 410m at Palmerston North is the longest sprint distance in New Zealand. By comparison, the sprints at Addington are 295m while down the road at Whanganui, it’s 305m. It’s also a relatively recent distance with a change from 375m to give the dogs more time before the first bend.
GRNZ doesn’t provide sectionals on individual runners but our sister site, sectionals.co.nz does. It’s a real pity that GRNZ hasn’t yet invested in sectionals as punters trainers and anyone interested in dog racing needs this data. I digress …
Finally, the stuff that matters.
Winners time – outstanding. BGP’s winning time was 23.19. Out of some 350 races over the 410m, that is the 8th equal best time ever at Palmerston North. The best time is 22.99 run by Bigtime Pete back in June. The third best is 23.13 – so BGP was just one length off the third best ever over 410m at Palmerston North.
Opening sectional – the best opening sectional is 6.10 (low flying out of Ohakea). Nothing has come near that. BGP ran 6.81 was is great for a C0 but a little off the top dogs but as we all know, it was his first run. However, it was the best recorded opening section for the C0 runners (at least from the time we’ve been taking sectionals).
Closing sectional – now, this is where it gets interesting. If you listen to the replay again, you’ll hear Mark Roso double take the time. Debut runners don’t run that time and I suspect Mark guessed from the opening sectional and the distance BGP had at the end of the back straight that the opening sectional wasn’t blistering. So the closing sectional had to be special to run that type of time. Our pup ran the closing sectional in 16.38. That was the eight best closing sectional for the 410m we have on record. That’s out of a sample of some 2,800 closing sectionals.
Lots to get excited about – that of course was just the first run. The time suggests he should comfortably run further but I’ll leave that up to the trainers and didn’t they have the dog ready to race?
I suspect we might see the pup run around again next Monday and that will give us a chance to see if there is any natural improvement after an almost unbelievable first up run.