Coronavirus not withstanding, Britain’s tracks go into this summer’s racing schedule with a premium on available racing dogs writes Floyd Amphlett.

I am reliably informed that the well established ‘summer effect’ of increased injuries and bitches in season has a 6% effect on racing strengths. But there are more factors to consider including a decline in breeding and the planned re-opening of Towcester.

While looking at the greyhound numbers of the individual tracks is one issue, I thought I would start by looking at the age of the various racing strengths.

While the oldest greyhound in training, is Pelaw grader Act Quickly (who will be eight in September but ran as recently as Feb 22d when beaten a short head), at the thin end of the wedge are the 2013 whelps.

At many tracks their numbers are so small as not to register on the graphs below, but they still contributed to 84 appearances (not individual runners) among the 57K racing appearances for the first two months of the year.

This chart gives a breakdown of the overall average racing strength from the 21 tracks. If we work anti clockwise, the orange segments relate to the youngest group of dogs, the 2018 whelps. The cyan coloured section, which tends to be around 40% is for the 2017 whelps.

So a fairly decent guide of a healthy race strength would show around 59-60% of 2017/2018 whelps.

There is one other factor to perhaps bear in mind. Replacing the 2018 whelps may prove a significant challenge given the 15% decline in breeding between 2013-2018.