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Draw Bias at Kempton
For this article, I am going back to my “roots” and looking at draw bias on the all weather. At this time of year I start collating the yearly draw stats and adding them to my database. With four more months of all weather racing, it seems a good time to see whether there are any new biases, or old biases that we can still take advantage of
In this article I am going to look in depth at the newest of the four all weather courses – Kempton, and I will concentrate on races of 10 runners or more. The 10 runner figure has always been the cut off point for my draw bias research as you need a reasonable number of runners in order for any biases to note-worthy. As usual I will split the draw positions into three – the top third, the middle third and the bottom third. Hence, in a standard 12 runner contest draws 1 to 4 will be in the bottom third, 5 to 8 in the middle third and 9 to 12 in the top third.
The Kempton all weather track is right handed, which is the only all weather track in this country that is. The stats for this article are taken from 25th March 2006 to 11th November 2007.
5 furlongs – the perception is that the higher draw, the better, as horses drawn high are positioned next to the inside rail – hence assuming they stick close to the rail, they should travel the shortest distance giving them an advantage. Firstly let us take a look at the stats for all 5f races (10 or more runners). There have been 36 qualifying races:
The percentages suggest that high draws have the advantage as expected. Middle and lower draws have similar percentages. 11 of the 36 races (30.6%) were won by the two highest drawn horses, while only 3 races were won by two lowest drawn horses (8.3%). Hence, it is obvious that the very highest draws have a considerable edge over the very lowest ones.
Focusing on handicaps is always a good idea when studying draw biases – handicaps are by nature the most competitive types of race and hence the draw stats from handicaps should be the most reliable. There have been 21 handicaps over 5 furlongs during this period and the draw bias split has been as follows:
The draw statistics correlate extremely well with the “all races” data.
Interestingly, there has been no mileage so far in perming the highest two or three draws in forecasts / exactas. This idea has provided decent profits at many course and distances over the years, but despite the clear bias, as yet there have not been enough winning forecasts to merit the bet. HOWEVER, another exotic bet I have used in the past at draw bias courses (with some success) is perming the four highest draws in tricasts. This bet has been successful twice from the 21 handicap races and assuming a £1 unit stake (£24 per bet), this would have yielded a healthy profit of £412.56 (ROI +81.9%).
6 furlongs – moving up a furlong, it is likely that there remains a high draw bias. Let us see what the stats show. Again I shall start with all races (10 or more runners) of which there have already been a considerable amount – 89 to be precise!
The percentages are remarkably similar to the 5f figures. Again there is a clear edge to horses drawn in the highest stalls. If, as above, I compare the highest two drawn horses with the lowest two the advantage is less strong – 26 wins against 13 wins. However, this still means that the highest two draws have been twice as likely to win as the lowest two.
Moving onto handicaps - there have been 61 handicaps over 6 furlongs during this period and the draw bias split has been as follows:
There is an extremely strong correlation again with both sets of figures.
As with 5f handicaps, perming the four highest draws in tricasts over 6f would have produced an excellent return. Of the 61 handicap races, only 3 would have landed the tricast, but the payouts of £1320.74; £1127.64 and £1694.64 would have more than made up for it. Using a £1 unit stake as before (£24 per bet) the profits would have been £2679.07 (ROI +54.6%). Now patience is a key requirement with any exotic bet, but certainly over 5 and 6f at Kempton your patience would have been rewarded. Of course, these results may not be replicated in the future, but for a fun bet, you could a lot worse!
7 furlongs – the 7f trip is the final distance to consider. As before I shall start with all races (10 or more runners) of which there have been a healthy 108:
The stats for all races seem to indicate that any bias is fairly weak. Indeed middle draws have done best and if anything the stats suggest the key bias is AGAINST lower draws.
Moving onto handicaps the following figures are generated (57 races):
These figures indicate that the high draw bias is certainly in operation after all. As stated earlier, handicap races give the most reliable draw data and so I would be fairly confident that high draws have a significant advantage at this trip.
All in all therefore, Kempton is a course where draw bias is alive and kicking – the bias is significant, if not of Chester proportions. No doubt in the near future Kempton officials will find a way of negating the bias, but as it stands we need to take advantage of the current situation – especially in handicaps.
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