Home page
Articles for Windows, Linux, OS X
Mac tips and articles
Mac tips
Windows 8 tips and articles
Windows 7 tips and articles
Vista Tips
XP Tips
Linux tips and articles
Read the blog
Online store
Windows, Linux, OS X programs

Greyhound Cracker tips and techniques

If you are interested in greyhound racing and have downloaded Greyhound Cracker, here are some tips and techniques for using the program. Most of the program's functions are fairly straightforward, but some of it is not so obvious. Let's kick off the article with a look at a hidden feature first.

Entering race cards
Typing in race cards in order to analyse them and predict the winner is the most tedious part of Greyhound Cracker. However, there is a hidden feature that may enable you to cut down on a lot of the typing (it doesn't work with all browsers, try Internet Explorer 8). Run the program and just to the right of the red Exit button in the toolbar is the word "Databases". Point at it with the mouse and click the right-hand mouse button. Now go to the File menu and you will see that there is a new menu option: Import Race Card.

Start Internet Explorer and go to the Ladbrokes Web site at www.ladbrokes.com. Click the lttle triangle next to Greyhounds in the left panel and select one of today's tracks. Click the Greyhound Form link near the top and a new window pops up. Clicking the Racecards link displays today's race meetings. Pick a meeting and a time to display the race card. Click and drag the mouse over the whole race card like this:

Press Ctrl+C to copy it to the clipboard, then switch to Greyhound Cracker and select File, Import Race Card, Ladbrokes. All the information is entered into a new race card for you. When you start Greyhound Cracker, the clipboard is cleared, so it needs to be already running before you copy the race card on the Ladbrokes site.

Although you can use this as it is, you will probably want to double click each dog in the race card and set the dog and trainer ratings. There are no sector times displayed above, so you need to enter these manually. Clicking the dogs on the Ladbrokes race card displays its recent race history.

You may be wondering why this feature is hidden. One reason is that the program doesn't cope well with missing or incorrect data. If the data is all present and correct and you copy the race card as shown, then it works. If you don't copy it right, or there's missing data, or the Web site changes the page format, Greyhound Cracker will stop with an error message. Basically, too many things can go wrong. Use this feature at your own risk! The worst that canhappen is that the program will freeze. Windows can close it down though, and then you can simply run it again.

Add a dog
When adding a dog to the race card or when editing it, there are four boxes next to Race Time and Section Time:

You can enter just one race time and one section time if you want and you might want to simply enter the dog's best time. However, if you enter 2, 3 or 4 times, the average will be calculated and some people consider this a better way of predicting the dog's race time. It's best time might be a month or more ago, or it's last race might have been a one-off, so the average might work out being a more accurate predictor of the dog's next performance. It's up to you. Fill in the boxes from left to right.

Dog rating
The dog rating in the Add a dog dialog above can be used in different ways. If you know the dogs (the same dogs run at the same track week after week), you can rate them yourself. However, there is an alternative way of using the ratings. Go to the William Hill Web site at www.willhill.co.uk and click the Greyhounds link to go to the dog racing section. Click race card link to display the card and then click the Form link (just to the left of Live Commentary. A new window pops up that contains the trap statistics like this:

Here you can see that the dog in trap 3 is more likely to win than the dog in trap 1. You can use the dog ratings to reflect these stats. For example, you could set the rating of each of the six dogs to 2, 4, 6, 4, 3, 2. When the prediction routine does its work, it will boost the scores according to these ratings.

If you do use the dog ratings like this, you should be aware that the trap stats are different for races of different lengths, so for a 400m race they will be different to a 480m race.

This is an important point to bear in mind. If you choose Databases, Track Database, you will see that there are tick boxes to indicate the best traps. These are for the most common races at each track and they will be wrong for other distances. You might therefore want to select Tools, Options and drag the Trap Advantage slider to the left to turn it off. Then use the Dog Rating to indicate any advantage or disadvantage.

The pop-up window at the William Hill site has some other useful information too. Click the Times tab at the top and you can see an animation that shows the fastest starter and there is a link to show the fastest finisher. You could award points for the fastest starter and/or finisher and enter this as a dog rating.

A lot of useful information is available on the Form tab and it shows detailed stats for each of the dogs in the race: