Tag Archives: course layout

Draw Bias

Beverley is a course that is known for it's draw bias.

And my research does confirm that there is an advantage to a low draw (1 or 2) especially at 5 furlongs.

But there has been lots of discussion and attempts to balance this out over the years.

So although there is an advantage and it is a positive if the horse you fancy is drawn 1 or 2 I don't see a profit from simply following low drawn horses here.

As with all these things you're more likely to find profit where others don't look.

While looking at the course layouts for todays meetings I noticed that at Hamilton the 1 mile and 1 mile 1 furlong starts are on a bend.

Often a draw bias comes about as a result of the way the water drains from the course and it is hard to correct. And is usually believed to only effect shorter distances.

But to me the draw advantage that gets overlooked is when it effects longer distances and that usually happens when the starting stalls are on a bend and a lead is an advantage.

So I've looked at the figures for Hamilton.

If you just backed runners from stall 1 over 1 mile or 1 mile 1 furlong then over the last 11 years you would have made an 8% return on investment at industry SP.

I suspect those profits would be much larger at Betfair Sp because there are some big priced winners in the list.

The strike rate for stall 1 over these distances has fluctuated greatly over the years and I have an old Raceform book from 2004 that declares that high stalls are favoured over these distances.

So it might be that work has gone on to change the bias and it has switched.

But looking at 2012, 2013 and this year shows a huge profit for stall 1 with a 70% ROI and a strike rate up to 20%.

So this seems to be a current bias and one worth taking note of.

Today's races at the distance are 2.40 & 3.40.

Today's Selection

Hamilton 2.40 Incurs Four Faults – win bet – 7/2 Bet Victor

Chester Draw Bias

As promised last week I'm going to share some stats about the draw at Chester which kicks off it's three day meeting today and which is on Channel Four.

We talked previously about draw biases not just effecting sprint races and about it being more about going around the bend.

Chester is all about the bend with the course being virtually a circle!

As we'll see in a minute the bias is all about the starting position in relation to the bend.

So here are the stats for the last 11 years for each starting stall.


Chester Starting Stall Stats

Click to Enlarge

What we see here is that the strike rate for Stall 1 is 19% and for Stall 2 is 18% the strike rate gradually decreases as the stall numbers increase, dropping as low as 2% albeit for lower numbers of runs.

Over the long term you can just back all Stall 1 and Stall 2 runners and make a profit at SP, the last four years have all been profitable.

The next table looks at Race Distance. (Stalls 1 & 2)

Chester Draw Bias by Distance

Click to Enlarge

Here we can see that the strike rate is highest at 5 furlongs, 5 1/2 furlongs and 6 furlongs.

But also at 1 mile 3 1/2 furlongs and 1 mile 4 1/2 furlongs.

Lets look at why that might be, with a look at the course layout.

Chester Race Course Layout

Click to Enlarge


What we can see here is that the 6 furlong start is right before a bend, the 5 furlong start is on the bend as is the 1 mile 4 furlong and the 1 mile 3 furlong.

All other distance start on the straight.

It's also worth noting that the 5 furlong races are not as profitable (ROI) as the others with the high strike rate and that will be because the Chester draw bias is well known and because most punters assume that it will be most effective at the sprint distance and so they over bet the low stalls in those races.

Today's Selection

Chester 3.15 Top Boy – eachway bet – 8/1 Paddy Power, Bet 365, Bet Victor

Image credits Horse Race Base, Racing Post

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