Tel 0161 223 8000 Member of the Greyhoud Racing Association
(revised 1997-06-26)


The track is at the junction of Hyde Road and Kirkmanshulme Lane, in Longsight
(A-Z: edition7 page 61 square F2; edition8(1992) page 102 square D2)
It's right opposite the bowling alley and cinema, which are handy places to park, or you can park on the street: they want 50p(more now?) for their own car park.


3.50 Tuesday or Thursday, 4.50 Saturday.
This includes a race programme containing all form details. A good independent form guide is on sale just inside the turnstiles, 1.00
Look out for free admission coupons in the Evening News, Daily Mirror, Sun, etc. These typically get 2 people in free with a free pint each, but you have to buy a racecard. Try to find out about special deals (there are often leaflets at the track) - for instance admission was free every Tuesday and Thursday in July (though you had to buy a racecard), and nobody told me! If you book for the restaurant there are always some deals going.


1st race is 7.25 - there are 13 races at 15 minute intervals. You'll want to arrive in time to buy a drink, study the form for the first race, locate friends, seats etc.
Last race is 10.25, which I think is timed for people who need to get the bus home


When selecting a seat check your view of (a) the track, (b) the main display board, and (c) the closed circuit tv monitors


Available both downstairs and upstairs. Prices OK but the beer is nothing special:- was Websters, John Smiths, Fosters; now also some of this rubbish 'creamflow' stuff. They DO have Guinness though. At one time this was the only bar in Manchester where you formed a queue.


Acceptable fast food outlets near both bars. There is also a waitress service dining area (centre grandstand) where the food is rather better but costs about the same as a half decent restaurant and you need to book.


Facilities were a bit primitive (in the gents at least) but they have done a bit of rebuilding since amalgamating with the speedway crowd since when it has markedly improved. Left rear top of grandstand or at end of downstairs bar.


If you drive like a maniac, you can easily be home by 11. (well, I can, anyway)


There's a race every 15 minutes, an each race has 6 dogs unless a dog is sick or injured and there are no reserves.
Before the race the dogs are paraded so you can check which look 'muscled up' etc.
The dogs are put into the starting traps, and the marshall waves a flag when they're all in.
In handicaps dogs get various starts so the traps are staggered.
The controller starts the hare; a bell rings and the tote stops taking bets.
It's NOT a real hare! It's an "outside Sumner" which is a brightly coloured ball of artificial fur on a rail
As the hare passes the traps, they open and the dogs start running.
30 seconds later we ask each other what won (45 seconds for long races!).
[standard race distance is 460metres, a couple of races each night are 645 metres, plus lately they've had odd distances in various open races, like 250 metre sprints]
The handlers then catch the dogs, and we return to the bar etc.
Occasionally there is a hurdles race: the hurdles are about 15 inches high.
A certain amount of bumping goes on. Knowing which run wide/on the rails/ down the middle may help you choose which to bet on, as collisions slow them down. This information is included in the programme.
I've only once seen a dog fail to finish.
Finally the race gets replayed on the closed circuit tv with slo-mo at the line.


Bookies set their own odds, and you get what they offer at the time the bet is made. The tote is run as a pool, so the odds fluctuate according to everyone else's bets, right up to the off. You get the starting price.
Bookies only take straight win bets: minimum 1.00
Tote takes win, place (min 1.00), forecast, trio (min 20p)
TOTE windows: at side of track, downstairs, and the rear of the grandstand.
BOOKIES are just before the winning line (to its left, facing the track). What colourful characters they are! Most of the action here is crammed into the last 2 minutes before the off - they don't even post the odds until then. These particular bookies are noted for giving poor value, but then the Tote here takes 22.5% out of each pool, so..... You have to weigh up which will give better odds: if you're betting, say, a fiver on a race when the market is weak, you may depress the tote odds yourself and might as well go to the bookies.


Bookies: take only win bets. Odds are displayed on their boards.
Find the bookie offering the best odds for the dog you fancy, run up to the man and tell him which dog and how much you're betting. He gives you a numbered ticket and repeats the bet in bookie's tech-speak so his ledgerman can record it next to the ticket number. If you win just give him back the ticket and he'll give you your money.
Tote: takes a variety of bets described in full below. In short, though: Win is a bet that a dog comes first (obviously); Place bets that a dog comes 1st OR 2nd; a Forecast is a bet that 2 dogs finish 1st AND 2nd; the Trio is a bet on 3 dogs to finish 1st, 2nd, and 3rd
  Go to any tote window and state your bet in the following format:
  <bet-type> <trap-number(s)> <any-extra-data> <unit-stake>
  Bets available:
    Win         <trap> <stake>                            (multiples of 1.00
    Place       <trap> <stake>      [Finish 1st or 2nd ]  (
    Win & Place <trap> <unit-stake> [Is actually 2 bets]  (
    Forecast <trap1 trap2> <stake>  [In correct order  ]  (multiples of 20p
    Forecast <trap1 trap2> Reverse <unit-stake>           (
                                 [Either order, = 2 bets] (
    Forecast <trap 'The Field'> <unit stake>              (
       [named trap finishes 1st, any dog second, 5 bets]  (
       [also available "reversed", 10 bets             ]  (
    Forecast <3 trap numbers> Allways <unit stake>        (
       [any 2 of the 3 finish 1st and 2nd, 6 bets]        (
    Forecast <4 trap numbers....................          (
    Trio <3 trap numbers> <unit stake>                    (
       [dogs finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd            ]            (
       [similar combos to forecasts available]            (
  There's also a 4 race accumulator pool for which you fill out a special
  ticket: it has a unit stake of 50p and you won't win so why bother?
  {Actually I have won this once - it paid me back my previous 3 months losses!}
The tote operates as a set of pools, 1 for each bet type. At Belle Vue the place pool is sometimes particularly good value, though this can be very hard to calculate on the fly - I can explain the formula used to calculate the dividends but not without a drink first. Remember that you don't get fixed odds like you do with the bookies.
There is a large indicator board which displays data on the pools as betting proceeds, but it invariably has a few blown lightbulbs so you need to be careful when reading it. It also shows the weight of each dog and a few other bits and pieces. The betting data is also on the closed-circuit tv, but there are several screens shown cyclically so you get some delay.

WHICH DOG(s)???????????

Muscular? Glossy coat? Damp nose? Bright eyes? Alert? Nervous? Constipated?
What about the dog?
Some people always do 'Forecast 1 6 Reverse 20p'. This is betting that dogs 1 and 6 finish 1st and 2nd in either order, and costs 40p (20p for the 1-6 bet and 20p for the 6-1 bet). They win about twice a night at odds that never quite break even overall.
The programme lists one race per page:
Across the top: race start time; race distance and class; prize money.
  Standard race distance is 460 metres: 1 lap + 1/2 a straight
  Longer races are 645 metres: 1 1/2 laps
  Class of race: dogs are grouped into classes to help get close racing- 
    the organisers are experts; look out for dogs dropped in class etc.
An entry for each dog:
   1st line: trap name owner colour sex sire dam trainer
   Then 6 lines describing its last 6 races:
date dist trap stime pos marg dog run wtime going weight odds class atime
DATE of race described in this line
     DISTance of race described in this line
          TRAP dog started from
               TIME dog took to run 1st straight (or handicap info)
                     POSitions at 1/4 lap points and finishing line.
                 winning MARGin, eg 2 lengths, neck, short head
                              DOG that won, or came 2nd if this dog won
                commentary on the RUNning
                               winners TIME
                                  effect of GOING on times that day
                                                  WEIGHT of dog that day
                                                         ODDS on dog
                                                         race CLASS
                                                   dog's calculated TIME
By comparing data you're supposed to work out how fast they can go etc. Check distances to get fair time comparisons.
Some dogs do better from certain traps (apparently).
1/4 lap positions show up fast starters and late chargers.
Commentary on running shows quick starters, fast finishers, various reasons it may have got slowed up, if it often hits trouble.
Commentary is all shorthand, like crwd which means crowded.
Compare weights - serious fluctuation is suspicious? Class - has it gone up? come down? why?
Calculated times - taking into account the other data, extrapolate to get the time you think it can do tonight.
Take into account- betting forecast and tips in programme and in the Evening News: these guys know more or less what they're doing. The independent form guide is worth having.
They try to put known 'wide runners' in the outside traps etc, but try to suss if there will be lots of bumping. 1st to the 1st bend has an advantage.
Most important of all: has it got a suitably silly name?