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Draw, Does It Really Make A Difference

Home Forums Archive Topics Draw, Does It Really Make A Difference

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  • #4226
    • Total Posts 20

    Just what difference does the draw really make if a smart jockey runs his race to suit his own particular draw.

    Take yesterdays results at Lingfield as an example where low numbers are reckoned to be an advantage.

    Race 1)    Winner drawn 16 out of 16 runners over 7f.<br>Race 2)          "         "   14   "      16      "         "    7f.<br>Race 3)          "         "   14   "      14      "         "    6f.<br>Race 4)          "         "   14   "      14      "         "    6f.<br>Race 5)          "         "   2     "      16      "         "    12f<br>Race 6)          "         "   8     "      12      "         "     8f<br>Race 7)          "         "   15   "      16      "         "     7f<br>Race 8)          "         "   3     "      12      "         "    12f<br>Race 9)          "         "   11   "      12      "         "     8f.

    See what I mean?

    The only low numbered drawn winners were in the two longer distance races where the draw is, supposedly, less significant.

    Come on now lads & lasses lets explain this one.

    I am of the firm belief that the draw is only a disadvantage if the jockey allows it to be.<br>A low draw at Lingfield in a large field is IMO a disadvantage if you do not get out of the stalls quickly enough to secure your position. Get left behind, even just by 2 lengths and you are stuffed as you will have to get round the rest of the field to hit the front, and when push gets to shove, literally, you will find yourself possibly with a lot of horse underneath you with nowhere to go!

    On the other hand with a high number (I am specifically talking about Lingfield) the jockey can take his time to secure his position and consequently time his run at his own pleasure.

    Am I talking rot or does any one else agree with me?

    I will start another thread shortly about the weight a horse carries. How can a couple of pounds make any difference to a 1/2 ton animal?<br>It is like a 100 metre athlete running with a large gold chain around his neck!!!  and you would never see that would you? LOL.



    prince regent
    • Total Posts 221

    <br>john<br>an interesting thought

    as regards to draw   i would add  some thoughts

    k fallon  is probably the best   in breaking  draw bias

     some tracks  the draw bias is always  high or low but some tracks it changes

     ascot straight mile  and newmarket rowley and july   being prime examples   as an example this years guineas  favoured very much  the far side  but in other years   favoured the near side low numbers if u check hunt cup and britania  handicap   u will see same changes in results

    at  say three day meetings   u can use normally first day results to check to see if any  draw bias  from your notes above  if the first 2 races show  a bias to high nos   i suppose you could use that for the rest of the days races

     it may have something to do with watering and ground management

      some jockeys of course  could be slaveshly follwing  the draw.

      at 12f races as ascot  sometime u find low numbers are disadvantaged in large fields   as they get pushed wide at the final bend  and the short straight   makes it difficult to make up lost ground

    in a lot of cases  it depends how the race pans out  which is why it is always useful before the race to try and imagine  from what you know of the horses how the race is likely to be run  and from that  u should have some idea whether your horse  will be advantaged or disadvataged by his stall position

    <br> no doubt  there are plenty of others  with differing thoughts!!!

    • Total Posts 2685


    your figures suggest not that there is no draw bias at Lingfield as you suppose, but that in races up to a mile there is currently a distinct high draw bias, which is very interesting and potentially lucrative to genuine draw bias aficionados.

    prince regent
    • Total Posts 221


    the draw does make difference  but i think john has pointed out something correct  in that lingfield is supposed to be advantagous for low numbers  but on some occassions   it completely changes.

     i note your point about beverly where high nos always seem best and there are other tracks  that show the same distinct  bias   but there are tracks  where the bias changes   and that i think is what john is trying to point out

     another example of the change  was thius years york meeting  where in some races (ie the ebor)  it has always been an advantage to be drawn low  but the last three winners have been drawn high and in some other races at this years meeting  the high nos did much better than normal

      you make scoff at johns theory about weight as well  but if he poresents his case well  he may have a case.

     how many times do you here  A is better of with B BY 2LB  for a lenght beating  and yet when they meet  the result is the same.  weight makes a difference but people over emphasise it

    Pocket Rocket
    • Total Posts 15

    The key words in John’s argument appear to be "smart jockey". I would dearly love to know just how many of those there are in the weighing room…

    As far as the draw goes surely what is more important is where the pace in the race comes from.  If it is all drawn low then one could assume the advantage would be for those horses drawn near it and vice versa.  

    prince regent
    • Total Posts 221


    not many  and  your last point  is what  i would say is  one fo the most important factors  on many courses

    • Total Posts 379

    ‘Weight makes a difference, but people over-emphasise it.’ (prince regent)

    Maybe that’s the key point here.  There’s been a lot of emphasis on draw bias over the last few seasons. This year we’ve had that excellent Raceform book, and the new feature in the Racing Post at each meeting.

    Lately, Pricewise seems to have become obsessed with trying to downplay the effect of the draw.  Presumably he believes it’s become over-emphasised.

    Looking at the figures presented I’m with rory – that looks a mighty draw bias to me, albeit possibly temporary, but one it should be able to profit from.

    Personally, the factor I think is the most over-emphasised is the Going!!


    • Total Posts 20

    Thanks for all your replies and I do think that Ian has got the wrong end of the stick.

    My point is, as Prince Regent correctly points out, that according to the papers low numbers are best at Lingfield and the results patently show that to be incorrect.

    P.R. makes my point precisely.

    The other P.R. (the Rocket variety) also hits the nail on the head, which if I read her correctly, agrees with me that the pace of the race, particularly at the begining can overcome a bad draw or indeed bugger up a so called good draw.

    As for the weight, all things being equal, which they never are, then a pound or two would make a difference, perhaps, but I think that the horses well being together with the jockey and the latest trainer form will overcome at least 3-4 pounds weight difference.

    Interesting to read your thoughts.


    prince regent
    • Total Posts 221

    <br>its funny you should mention trainer form i am just going through last years jumps form book and an om the pages of the warwick meeting where  joss naylor  reversed form by about 2l  with lanzerac on worse terms. on similar ground and distance

     i know cases of the opposite could be brought up  but as u say there are many other factors than weight that can affect the result of the race

    • Total Posts 20

    Another thought.

    At Southall all weather, again a low draw (against the rails) is said to be favoured. However with the tight bends if a horse does not lead from the start and get a good early pace on then one of two things may happen.

    1) The horse will get squeezed on the rails by other tight turning horses on the bends and be forced into the rails.

    2) Be overtaken and boxed in and not get a run.

    I have seen both of these thing happen at Southall and will never bet on either a low or high drawn horse, (high because the horse has to run too wide).

    IMO only back horses with a middle draw at Southall and similar tight turning tracks.


    • Total Posts 899

    A most enjoyable read which really shows up that publishing a fixed draw bias is very misleading. IMHO complete swaps on wide courses from far side to stand side in the draw bias are more to do with pace than the state of the ground. On tight courses with bends then the horse (not the jockey) must take full advantage early or will get shuffled back as has been pointed out. Horses tend to run at the same high pace in the first 4 furlongs whether the going is firm or soft – if its soft then the leaders tire badly near the finish. York is one course where the far rail never seems to be evenly watered and gives an advantage for one horse width – until they over water it.

    One point not to forget on weights is that the horse’s own weight can change by anything up to 50 pounds during and after racing – so an extra 3 pounds of lead may appear to make a horse run faster or slower. Handicapping is only an ineffective means of trying to correct these errors after the race is run.


    Colin Little
    • Total Posts 338

    Hi Guys,

    I’m still of the belief that low-drawn horses, particularly ones who can race up with the pace, have got to have an advantage on turning left-hand tracks, because they will invariably travel a shorter distance than those drawn wider. I always use the analogy of an athletics race, say the 800m, or the 4 x 400m relay, where the runners have to keep in lane for the first lap (or lap and a bit), & then break towards the inside. Imagine if all the athletes had to start in a straight line, rather than use a staggered start; there would be absolute uproar, because the wider drawn runners would have to run further than those nearer the kerb……but this same thing happens in horseracing every day. I do agree, that for a bias to have an effect, certain constants & circumstances must be in place. Imo, these are:<br>1. The race has to take place on a turning course.<br>2. The field has to be big enough to cause inconvienence, & thus a negative bias, to badly drawn horses.<br>3. The race really must be truly run. Otherwise, clever jockeys may well be able to overcome a poor draw.<br>4. A large majority of the field, need to be of similar ability, a very competitive race, I suppose. Because imo, for draw bias to work, you need them to be scrummaging for position, especially on the turns, with wider drawn horses, trapped wide. That tends to lead me towards big field handicaps; with maidens, sellers, classified stakes etc. being bad races to consider for a potential draw bias, because they are not always that competitive, & a couple of runners can just out class the rest.

    If I can go back to the card at Lingfield, it comprised of two handicaps, a nursery, five maidens & a seller. I wouldn’t worry too much about the draw in the maidens & seller. Even though there were plenty of runners, imo there was no real depth in the maidens & this made the draw far less important. There were only a few decent horses in each race, against loads of 33/1 & 66/1 shots. A Loder/Sheik Mo horse won the first at 1/4f from stall 16, & a Gosden/Sangster won the second at 9/4f from stall 14, & this is on the AW at Lingfield! I struggle to call that draw bias, it’s top stables plundering weak maidens, those horses probably would have won wherever they were drawn. The two 6f handicaps were more of a mystery, they were both won by horses coming from off the pace, with low drawn horses leading, then weakening in the straight. There may be some sort of bias there, but I don’t think it’s as bad as it looks at face value in John’s post. At most LH tracks, in a true run race, I’d still want to be on something drawn low.

    I agree that Fallon has a very good understanding of the draw, probably far more so than he’s given credit for, as he doesn’t seem to talk about it in too much depth. It’s backing him when he’s on a real going day that’s the problem for me!

    • Total Posts 17

    what about 5 furlongs at Beverley on any going harder than good,of course the draw makes a difference.the only trouble is that it gives another excuse.

    • Total Posts 2685

    Don’t forget the effect of centrifugal force!!

    Beverley has a draw bias, not simply based on the state of the going and the way water drains across the course (although this is a factor), or the fact that the distance covered is shorter, but largely because the ground falls away from the rails on the inside and horses racing wide of the rail are expending too much energy by fighting against their sideways momentum on the bends.  

    If a bend is cambered towards the rail, then horses racing wide are actually propelled through the bend and have greater momentum than those on the inside, which is why going up the inside is often a tactical error on the part of many jockeys.

    Start looking at a race in running, and ask which horse will have to expend least energy in completing the course (also applies to hurdling and fencing technique), and you start getting a different viewpoint – try it sometime!

    On that point, someone made the point that front runners tend to tie up in softer ground as the early pace tends not to vary.  Conventional wisdom suggests this is true, but a horses style of running needs to be taken into consideration – horses often fail to pick up from the back on soft ground, while some speedsters manage to build up such a healthy lead that they can’t be hauled back, when they sometimes cannot last home on firm ground.  Of course "soft" is a word with a hundred interpretations, and there’s the rub.  

    • Total Posts 20

    I am finding this thread very interesting as now we are more or less singing from the same hymn sheet.

    Goodwood, the best racecourse in the world, has a straight that leans away from the stands rail and so IMO a high draw in the 5 & 6 F. races should be an advantage, & yet the papers say low number advantage.<br>In every race the runners race the first 3-4 f up the rails and then creep over to the far rail at the finish.

    Why?<br>It must be the herd instinct, the Jockeys think low numbers are best because generally rails draws are considered to be so, but in a large field of runners when, in a sprint, they have to more or less keep to their draw position then high numbers have an advantage if they have enough runners with them to race against.

    I would be interested in comments from Manny, Manugirl, JTS, Racing Daily & JohnnyB as to whether they take the draw terribly seriously when making their selections, plus, of course, other members who have views on this subject.

    I am more convinced than ever now that the weight carried is only a relatively small inconvenience given that the horse in question is fit and ready to win.

    Be Lucky


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