KEMPTON BIAS

Today, it is the turn of Kempton to come under the "draw spotlight". I have collated data from 2000 to 2003, using races of 10 or more runners.

KEMPTON (5 Furlong)

The eight qualifying races gave the following statistics:

Top “third” of
the draw
Middle “third” of the draw
Bottom“third” of the draw
Winning %
62.5
37.5
0
Placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd %
45.8
37.5
16.7

Statistical conclusion: a very small sample but high seems to have the advantage.

The seven handicaps gave the following win statistics:

  Top “third” of
the draw
Middle “third” of the draw Bottom“third” of the draw
Winning % 57.1 42.9 0

KEMPTON (6 Furlong)

The 43 qualifying races gave the following statistics:

Top “third” of
the draw
Middle “third” of the draw
Bottom“third” of the draw
Winning %
46.5
20.9
32.6
Placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd %
45.7
20.9
33.3

Statistical conclusion: high boxes do best, with middle draws struggling.

The 24 handicaps gave the following win statistics:

Top “third” of
the draw
Middle “third” of the draw
Bottom“third” of the draw
Winning %
50
25
25

More detailed summary of Kempton (5f-6f)

Sprints are run on a separate course, so the track is not used for round-course races. Only a handful of five-furlong races are staged each season, but when combining the four-year statistics for both sprint trips (51 races), it becomes clear that the top third has a definite edge:

Top “third” of
the draw
Middle “third” of the draw
Bottom“third” of the draw
Winning %
49
23.5
27.5
Placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd %
45.8
23.5
30.7

Higher draws have held sway generally, but one factor that always needs to be taken into consideration is the positioning of the stalls. In the past Kempton have placed the stalls on either the stands’ side (low) or far side (high), but last year often saw the stalls positioned down the centre.

There were only eight races with the stalls placed in the middle, so one cannot therefore make a definite judgement. The far-side/stands’-side positioning can be examined, though, and the figures produced are as follows (five and six furlongs):

Far side (25 races)

  Top “third” of
the draw
Middle “third” of the draw Bottom“third” of the draw
Winning %
52
20
28
Placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd %
53.3
22.7
24


Stands’ side (18 races)

  Top “third” of
the draw
Middle “third” of the draw Bottom“third” of the draw
Winning %
44.4
27.8
27.8
Placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd %
37
24.1
38.9

These results are highly informative, as it’s clear that when the stalls are placed on the far side higher draws have a definite advantage (the top stall is positioned next to the far rail).
When the stalls are placed on the stands’ side (low), higher draws still have the edge, but it is not so significant. The reason for this is that in fields of say 10-17, high numbers are still some distance from the favoured far rail.

To confuse matters further, there are times when the stands’ rail rides as quick as, or quicker than, the far rail.

Last year was a typical one for the track, with the bias swinging mid-season. From March through August high numbers had a massive advantage, as shown by the following results:

Date
Stalls Position
Winner & Comments
22/03/03 Far Prime Recreation won from stall 16 of 16
22/03/03
Far Glencoe Solas won from stall 10 of 12
19/04/03
Stands’
Hits Only Money won from 15 of 18 (beating 14 and 16)
21/04/03
Stands’ Seel Of Approval won from 20 of 20 (beating 18 and 19)
24/05/03
Centre
Peruvian Chief won from stall 10 of 11
24/05/03
Centre Ringmoor Down won from stall 14 of 18 at 66-1
16/07/03
Centre Ruby Rocket won from stall 9 of 10 (beating 7 and 8)
30/07/03
Centre Back At De Front won from stall 11 of 11
20/08/03 Centre Moonlight Man won from stall 9 of 12 (beating 10 and 12)

However, this changed in September, with the final three races showing no bias towards high numbers (indeed low to middle were favoured):

Date Stalls Position Winner & Comments
5/09/03
Centre
Unshooda won from stall 7 (beating 18, 3, one and 8
6/09/03
Centre A Very Good Year won from 9 of 17 (beating 7 and 1)
22/09/03 Centre Thurlestone Rock won from 5 of 18 (first two stands’ side)

To conclude, horses drawn close to the far rail (high) are often at an advantage, but runners nearest to the stands’ rail (low) are, at worst, competitive from time to time. The positioning of the stalls is clearly an influential factor, but when they are placed on the far side high numbers are always the ones to concentrate on.

KEMPTON (1 mile)

The round course at Kempton is essentially a right-handed triangle of 1m5f with run-in of about three and a half furlongs. The Jubilee course (longest distance - 1m2f) joins round course before home turn. The mile trip can be run on either course, and both seem to have some draw bias.

The round course has staged more races than the jubilee course in the past four seasons, and over a mile there have been 29 qualifying races. The results produced the following statistics:

  Top “third” of
the draw
Middle “third” of the draw Bottom“third” of the draw
Winning %
44.8
35.4
20.7
Placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd %
36.8
34.5
28.7

Higher draws seem to have an edge on the round course over a mile, while lower draws struggle. In handicaps, lower draws have been at a greater disadvantage winning just one of the 17 races (5.9%). In 03, there was a good example of the mile bias on 6 August, the Irish Post Apprentice Handicap going to Florian (drawn 14) from Castaigne (drawn 15) and Diliza (drawn 16). They were the top three-drawn horses in the field. The Jubilee course hosted 16 qualifying races over a mile between 00-03 and the results were as follows:

  Top “third” of
the draw
Middle “third” of the draw Bottom“third” of the draw
Winning %
37.5
62.5
0
Placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd %
45.8
29.2
25

Although there were only 16 races, it seems likely that low draws at a fairly significant disadvantage. However, there has been only one qualifying race in the past two seasons. Over both courses, it is a disadvantage to be drawn low, and as with many courses, the draw bias is more significant in handicaps.

To conclude, it is best to concentrate therefore on middle to higher draws on both courses and the highest four stalls have the best record at both courses (round course 12 of 29 winners; Jubilee six of 16 winners).



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