An insight into the types of people who bet on sport is provided in the first of this two-part series on the thriving greyhound racing industry in SA.
Over the past six years, greyhound racing has evolved to become a high-stakes sport in SA. Each season brings with it a plethora of betting opportunities, primarily via retail betting operators such as Vodacom and Ladbrokes, where punters can follow their preferred dog’s progress on TV and online platforms.
In addition, there are numerous offshore bookmakers in the US and in Australia, where the annual Powerball draw attracts millions of players.
Online retail betting operators offer as many as 10,000 different bet combinations — many of which involve racing greyhounds.
On Bet365.com.au, for example, punters have the option to bet on just a single greyhound by “picking” a number from two fields of random numbers, or by making as many as 20 bet combinations, including selecting the two numbers, running greyhounds in heats, eliminating greyhounds in heats, eliminating the top three finishers in the same heat, repeating the process for the next heat, repeating the process for the next heat and so on.
There are further options, including the possibility of selecting the age of each dog to predict its future performances.
While the process is easy to understand, the sheer volume of data that is at the ready is overwhelming. But it is interesting, if not fun, to observe how much each of the different bet combinations can change the odds.
Here is a quick sampling of some of the best bets to get punters going — for the latest 2018 races.
Here are the top picks:
Elit mccrimmon. Spots here are by no means guaranteed, and at best there is a 50% chance of winning — but in a field of 20 dogs, the 5-1 odds for a third-place finish is enticing. And while the name of the winning dog will be on the winning track in the Breeder’s Cup, he is also a possible B&M winner.
Ardrossan punchy. Don’t be put off by the odds of 80-1, this talented greyhound has been dominant all season. He loves to race out of a wide gate and if he can find a good one in this field, he could be in for a big day.
Leucus blitz speed. One of his biggest fans, former SA champion trainer Richard Hill, expects the handicapper has his eye on the son of Araldo. Hill has no doubt the handicapper has his eye on the youngster, but at 20-1, it’s the punters’ equivalent of a bargain buy.
Laser power. A lot of punters probably missed this son of Longshot Pursuit as he makes his SA debut. He has placed in nine of his 12 starts, so at a price of 16-1, there is decent value. The last-named son of Houdini was pulled up in a Golden Slipper trial and is still recovering from a back injury. He has never raced beyond 1200m.
Rufus has talent. The son of Noire is a winner over 1500m at Greyville, and this looks a more winnable race. The betting price of 1-6 is too big, but his recent record is enough to make him a decent bet.
Klawervlei warriors. Both Athena and Imber are from the Lippizan stallion, Forest Knight.