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Profiting from draw bias on the all weather
This article was the inspiration for Durnoverum’s highly profitable Kempton draw thread in the full members’ area of PunterProfits. Full members can go to the thread by using this link:
In this article, I am looking at draw bias on the all weather. At Lingfield and Southwell there seems no consistent or clear draw bias, while at Wolverhampton, the strong low draw bias in evidence 12 months ago is definitely less strong now. Hence for the first part of this article I will be focusing on the newest of the all weather courses – Kempton.
I am going to 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. I am going to 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’. I am also going to focus on handicaps as traditionally any draw bias tends to be stronger and more reliable in handicap races. The reason for this is that handicaps are races that theoretically give each horse the same percentage chance of winning. Better horses are penalised by having to carry more weight in an attempt to slow them down. In practice it is does not quite work like that, but handicaps are still by far the most reliable type of race for this type of study.
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 when the course opened on 25th March 2006 to 19th December 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 handicap races (10 or more runners). There have been 22 handicaps over 5 furlongs during this period and the draw bias split has been as follows:
65 races is a decent sample and once again the highest draws have a clear edge. As with 5f handicaps, perming the four highest draws in tricasts over 6f would have produced an excellent return. Of the 65 handicap races, only 4 would have landed the tricast, but the payouts of £1320.74, £1127.64, £1694.64 and £152.88 would have more than made up for it. Using a £1 unit stake as before (£24 per bet) the profits would have been a remarkable £2735.95 (ROI +175.4%). Now patience is a key requirement with any exotic bet, but certainly over 5 and 6f at Kempton your patience would have been heartily 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 third distance to consider. There have been 64 handicap races with the following results:
Hence the draw bias stretches to 7f. Indeed, this seems the one distance where it is a big disadvantage to be drawn very low. Backing the highest drawn horse “blind” would have yielded a profit of £20.00 (ROI +31.3%) thanks to 9 wins. The tricast idea that worked so well over 5 and 6 furlongs would not have worked over this trip, as there was only one successful tricast. However, there were several near misses.
Moving up in trip to a mile the bias completely disappears – this is often the case with draw bias that as the distance increases the bias diminishes. Indeed over a mile the top ‘third’ has actually performed worse than the other two ‘thirds’.
All in all therefore, Kempton is a course where draw bias is alive and kicking at the shorter trips – the bias is significant, if not of Chester proportions. How long this bias will last is difficult to say, but assuming course officials do not tinker with the surface, then it should be evidence for a good while yet.
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