Greyhound racing is a sport not unlike horse racing, taking place on an oval track with a laid surface composed of a mix of sand and clay. Just like the equine version, the race usually features a number of competitors, all of which race around a track to a predetermined distance.
The tradition of greyhound racing traces back to its origins in coursing, which is a form of hunting that employs fast dogs to run down prey, such as rabbits and foxes. The first attempts at actual racing came in the late 1800s in England, but the first race to feature a circular track (and an artificial hare/rabbit to lure the dogs) came in the early 20th century in the US.
The sport quickly evolved into an industry centred around gambling. Therefore, greyhound breeding and racing have become highly regulated in all countries where it’s found.
The great thing about this is that you can enjoy your sport, knowing that everything is safe and fair, and players can relax and enjoy the entertainment. The game is now centred around 8 countries in particular, although online access has made it even more widely followed.
There are variations on rules from place to place, but a typical race consists of 4 to 6 competing dogs which are released at once to race across a given track length. In the United States, the race is held over a distance of a quarter-mile.
In the United Kingdom and Ireland, there are 4 basic types of races, which are the sprints, the middle-distance, the stayers, and the marathons. This means that races can vary from just over 200 meters to just over 1000 meters (217 – 1093 yards).
Some dogs are quicker in shorter sprints, while others do well over longer distances, so the breeders will enter particular dogs in each of the race types, according to their strengths.
Usually, the system is simple. The dogs that win races proceed to the next round and so forth all the way to the final race. If everything has happened fairly, the dog that passes the finish line first is deemed to have won the race.
Scottish Greyhound Derby
Inaugurated in 1928, the Scottish Greyhound Derby is held annually at the Shawfield Stadium on the outskirts of Glasgow. It was previously held at other venues such as Carntyne Stadium, but Shawfield is its current home.
Currently, the race is held over a 480-meter distance. The greyhound betting scene has been highly popular here from the outset since the Scottish Derby is the biggest event in Scotland.
Irish Greyhound Derby
Also inaugurated in 1928, the Irish Greyhound Derby is an annual event held at Sherbourne Park, in the southern suburb of Ringsend, in Dublin. It has been run at several other locations over the years but has been a Sherbourne Park fixture since 1970.
It’s considered to be a major event in the racing calendar, along with the English Greyhound Derby. Since 1986, the race has taken place over 502 meters. Irish Derby Greyhound betting is a lively event on the calendar, and for any dog betting enthusiast, there’s a whole lot on offer.
English Greyhound Derby
The English Greyhound Derby is considered to be the most prestigious event on the British greyhound racing calendar and started in 1927. It has been held at multiple venues over the last 90+ years but is currently being held at Towcester Racecourse.
This course has a length of 500 meters, and the event is likely to stay at Towcester for the foreseeable future. This event is a major part of the dog betting year, and for the player with the right strategy, the bets are there for the taking.
East Anglian Derby
Boasting a winners prize of £15,000, the East Anglian Derby is one of the foremost events of the greyhound racing calendar today. It was established in 1975 and has taken place at Yarmouth Stadium since the outset.
For the player with the perfect system, the East Anglian Derby is a good option between the major events in the year.
The Sandown Cup is raced each year at the Sandown Park track in Springvale, Australia. The park attracts a lot of attention from fans of greyhound racing since it’s home to two of the premier events of the racing calendar worldwide.
The Sandown Cup is run here, as well as the Melbourne Cup. The track offers races over 515 meters, 595 meters, and 715 meters. The race runs in November, and betting is intense, which is perfect for the individual player who is getting into the sport.
Founded in 1955, the Association Cup is held each year at The Meadows, near Melbourne in Australia. Along with the Sandown and Melbourne cups, it’s considered a premier fixture in Australian racing. The grand prize for the winner is $300,000.
Races are run across distances of 525, 600, and 725 meters. Dog betting is a major aspect of racing in Australia, and the greyhound betting scene is especially vibrant at this annual event. Take a look at the sites online for tips on a likely system, and join the entertainment.
The race is held in November. The prize in 2018 was $435,000. Again like the Sandown Cup, the races are held over three different lengths.
The final race is run with the winners of 8 heats, which were run the previous week. It features a “shootout” format, in which four dogs run for a winner-takes-all prize.
Where to Bet on Greyhounds
There are many sportsbook options taking a wide variety of wagers on greyhounds online, so there will be something to suit everybody. With the popularity of the sport on multiple continents, it isn’t surprising that all the major players in the online betting industry are represented in the greyhound racing world.
With books available from Ladbrokes, Betway, and a host of other big players in the industry, dog betting is now a major part of the gambling scene and growing every year. So, with each passing season, the race gets more compelling for any enthusiast, and it could even become your favourite kind of racing.
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You could, of course, take a trip to the track yourself and make a day of the racing in person, but for a lot of busy folks, it just isn’t that easy. The online scene is very vibrant, and if you take a little time to compare the odds online, you’re likely to land on some interesting wagers. The best thing is, you could take a little punt on the train or bus.
It is also not as if there’s a limited market by any means. You could go for the straight win, which is a classic kind of play and a very common option, but there are others too. The show bet will give you a spread on the top three spots, with some wiggle-room. Quinella betting allows you to punt on the top two hounds in any order, which works well too.
If you are the kind of person that goes for the big stuff, there’s the superfecta option with most big books. If you get the order of the top four dogs, your payout will be excellent. Daily double is an option across races, in which you wager on the winners of the first two races in a row. This one also brings in a tidy packet for the correct dogs.
These are just a sample of the bookies online and by no means exhaustive. It’s a whole world of choice online, and each of these major industry players offers a comprehensive list of markets. If you see something you like, it is almost certainly on the book with your regular site.
If for whatever reason, it isn’t quite what you wanted at one site, you can find it on another. Multiple options being offered by multiple vendors means that the online dog betting scene has every corner covered, and that’s what we have grown to love about taking a dabble on the hounds.
You’ve got the spreads that mitigate your risk, and you’ve got those riskier shots that could make your day into an occasion to remember.
Greyhound Racing Facts and History
There are records of greyhounds dating back to the Pharaonic Age of Egypt, where the animals were used for hunting. Among the many kinds of dogs found depicted on walls of tombs and temples in Egypt, the greyhound is clearly visible.
The dogs were associated with royalty even then, and this tradition followed them through classical antiquity and into medieval Europe. The aristocracies across Europe used greyhounds for coursing hares and foxes, and this tradition still exists in certain places.
It is from this ancient use as sprinting hunters that greyhounds came to be raced in the late 19th and early 20th century. Once the oval track and artificial lure had been perfected in California by Owen Patrick Smith, the modern race had begun.
It has gone from strength to strength over the years and is now an internationally popular sport attended by large crowds in Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, the United States, and Ireland. The moment Owen Smith designed that artificial rabbit, bettors were off to the races in a big way.
It’s become a major part of the betting scene online and has also become safely and securely regulated to provide peace of mind to both the individual player and the racing community alike.
For the greyhound fan, there’s such a wide array of events that it can seem overwhelming at times. That’s a good thing! There’s likely to be something on the go whenever you feel like having a punt on the dogs.
Many racing fans enjoy getting into the nitty-gritty of breeders, owners, tracks, and all of the background knowledge involved, while others prefer to watch more casually and bet from the gut. Either way, it’s an exciting way to spend your downtime.
How to bet on greyhounds and win?
As with any bet, you have to know the game. It’s probably best to make moderate bets on the winner spot and take it from there.
What is a Two-Trap betting system?
This is a system that claims to ensure winnings on races. It was devised by P. D. Bright, who released a book by the same title.
How profitable is greyhound racing?
Depending on how you play it, greyhound racing can turn a really big profit for the smart gambler. Takes a little know-how and intuition, though.
How often do races take place?
There are events scheduled more or less year-round in different parts of the world. Luckily, online betting brings them all to you.
Can I bet online?
You definitely can! The sport is very well represented by all the major providers online and available in many regions.
Ellie is in charge of writing, editing, and publishing reviews in Bulgarian, English, and German. She has a long track record as a journalist and is passionate about writing. Also, she is quite experienced when it comes to bookmakers as well.