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More Draw Bias Research 2009


More Draw Bias Research 2009 by David Renham

 

With many courses taking steps to eliminate draw bias through watering or rail movement, draw bias has generally become less of a “hot” topic over the past two or three seasons. However, there are still some courses where draw bias is still prevalent and importantly consistent. This article looks at some of the course and distances involved.

 

In terms of data for this article I am only including races containing 10 or more runners. I have always used the 10-runner cut off point in my draw research – my reasoning behind it is that for a bias to exist, there needs to be a reasonable amount of runners. I am also restricting the research to handicap races only as these races are designed to be the most competitive.

 

My main method for analysing each race is thus - I divide the draw into thirds - those drawn in the bottom third (low), those in the middle third, and those in the top third (high). On a completely fair course the winning percentages for each third should be around 33% and, while some courses hover around that figure, others clearly do not. I will use this “thirds” method once again as a starting point, but I will look in detail, where appropriate, at other statistical methods in order to help unravel the draw bias picture.

 

The data for this article is taken from the last four seasons – 2005 to 2008.

 

Thirsk 5f

 

When Nick Mordin wrote his ground breaking book 'Betting For a Living' at the beginning of the 1990s, draw bias was something that 99% of punters probably did not consider. However, the Thirsk draw bias was one of the biases mentioned in the book, and nearly 20 years later, it still exists. Here are the stats for 10+ runner handicaps for the 5f trip at Thirsk since 2005:

 

<TBODY>

 

Top "third"

of the draw (%)

Middle "third"

 of the draw (%)

Bottom "third"

of the draw (%)

Winning percentage

63.6

16.7

20

 

 

 

 

Placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd percentage

60

17.8

22.2

 

As the stats indicate, there is a very significant advantage to horses drawn high. Indeed 13 of the 30 races were won by horses drawn in the two highest stalls. There have been numerous ways of profiting from this draw bias over the past four seasons:

 

1. Backing the second highest drawn horse “blind” in every qualifying race would have yielded a profit of £24.50 (ROI +81.7%).

 

2. Backing the highest drawn horse “blind” in every qualifying race would have yielded a profit of £11.50 (ROI +38.3%).

 

3. Perming the highest four draws in twenty four £1 straight tricasts in every qualifying race would have yielded a profit of £1265.24 (ROI +175.7%).

 

4. Perming the highest four draws in twelve £1 straight forecasts in every qualifying race would have yielded a profit of £206.90 (ROI +57.5%). This bet would have been landed in 12 of the 30 races (40% of races).

 

5. Perming the highest three draws in six £1 straight forecasts in every qualifying race would have yielded a profit of £285.10 (ROI +158.3%).

 

6. Laying stall 1 in all 30 races for just £2 units per race would have yielded a profit of £26.30 (ROI +43.8%) – this is assuming 20% above starting price + 5% commission.

 

7. Laying stall 2 in all 30 races for just £2 units per race would have yielded a profit of £57.00 (ROI +95%) – no wins in the 30 races for the second lowest draw so the profits need only to take the 5% commission into account.

 

As you can see there have been numerous ways to make profits from the draw bias at this course and distance. Hopefully 2009 will continue to produce similar profit levels.

 

Catterick 5f

 

The 5f trip at Catterick has traditionally favoured lower draws, especially on decent ground. Indeed more recently lower draws have also held sway on easier ground. Here are the stats for 10+ runner handicaps for the 5f trip at Catterick since 2005:

 

<TBODY>

 

Top "third"

of the draw (%)

Middle "third"

 of the draw (%)

Bottom "third"

of the draw (%)

Winning percentage

23.7

23.7

52.6

 

 

 

 

Placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd percentage

24.6

32.5

43

 

As the stats indicate, there is a decent advantage to horses drawn low. As with Thirsk there have been ways of profiting from this draw bias over the past four seasons:

 

1. Backing all four of the lowest draws “blind” in every qualifying race would have a tiny profit of £2.75 (ROI +1.8%). Although the profit is really small it is still a strong statistic that you could have backed four runners in every race and still made a profit.

 

2. Backing the second lowest drawn horse “blind” in every qualifying race would have yielded a profit of £26.00 (ROI +68.4%).

 

3. Perming the lowest three draws in six £1 straight forecasts in every qualifying race would have yielded a profit of £229.09 (ROI +100%).

 

Clearly the bias is not as strong here as it is at Thirsk, but it is definitely a course where you better off focusing on lower draws.

 

Lingfield 5f / 6f (turf)

 

The two sprint trips on the turf at Lingfield are run on the straight course. I have combined the 5 and 6f stats as there were only 8 qualifying races over 5f. In the 90s high draws enjoyed a big advantage, but this had evened out as we moved into the new millennium. However, the last four seasons seem to suggest the bias has returned. Here are the stats for 10+ runner handicaps for the two trips:

 

<TBODY>

 

Top "third"

of the draw (%)

Middle "third"

 of the draw (%)

Bottom "third"

of the draw (%)

Winning percentage

60

25

15

 

 

 

 

Placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd percentage

43.3

26.7

30

 

The win stats indicate a very strong bias, although the win and placed stats perhaps suggest that the bias, although strong, is not quite as strong as the pure win stats suggest. Interpreting stats is sometimes tricky, but it is safe to say that you would prefer a very high draw at Lingfield over the two sprint trips. Indeed the highest two draws have accounted for 16 of the 40 winners (40%). Here are some ways of how you could have profited from this draw bias over the past four seasons:

 

1. Backing the highest drawn horse “blind” in every qualifying race would have yielded a profit of £44.08 (ROI +110.2%).

 

2. Backing the second highest drawn horse “blind” in every qualifying race would have yielded a profit of £10.41 (ROI +26%).

 

3. Perming the highest two draws in a reverse £1 straight forecast in every qualifying race would have yielded a profit of £116.43 (ROI +145.5%).

 

My feeling is that the ground very close the stands’ rail is the quickest and horses able to get to the rail early have a big advantage.

 

This article along with other recent ones I have written clearly demonstrates that draw bias is alive and well, albeit at fewer courses than in the past.

 

 

 








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