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There are a few simple factors which affect draw advantages:- 

Age groups

Stalls positioning

Number of runners   The going.

Reading directly from a chart these 4 factors can be used to identify strong draw advantage patterns, and should form the basis of any draw advantage analysis of any course and distance.

All the results quoted, are the official results.

Age groups.  Any analysis should use the best data available, and good sized samples.
In the case of draw advantages, the best available data is the race results of horses aged 3 yrs or older.
We could go one step further and use the results of handicaps only, or dilute results even more by looking at handicaps that exclude 3yr olds but too much refinement could leave us with very few races from which to draw a conclusion.
Also, as a general rule, refining in this way does not increase the percentage of winners from the favoured stalls.

2yr olds are not always closely matched in ability and physical development.  There are a lot of unknown quantities.
Some 2yr olds may be more developed than others, or they may simply have more experience or class.
In short, 2yr olds are not as closely matched in their races as older horses, and a talented 2yr old is more likely to overcome the disadvantage of a poor draw.
This is always reflected in 2yr old draw advantage patterns at all courses.
2yr old races almost always produce weaker draw advantage patterns than races for 3yr old and older horses.
2yr olds can give us misleading data.

Older horses on the other hand are usually more evenly matched in their races, and are less likely to be able to overcome a poor stalls position when racing against similarly talented horses.

If  we concentrate on races for horses aged 3yr and older, results are far more consistent that 2yr old results
Obvious stuff really, and results every year prove that this approach is worthwhile.

If results for horses aged 3 yrs and older show that there is an advantage on a particular course, that advantage should still apply in races for 2 year olds but be aware that a talented or more experienced runner would be more likely to overcome even the strongest of disadvantages if drawn badly in a 2yr old race.

I no longer record race results for 2 year olds.  With the exception of races at Newcastle for 2 yr olds over 7 furlongs. I have found 2 year old races to be less reliable than races for 3 year olds and older horses.

Types of race.
Fillies races, apprentice races, and amateur riders races can throw a spanner in the draw advantage works.
These races are often won from advantaged stalls, but personally, I don't like these races.
Also, I have my doubts about lady riders against top jockeys in sprints.
I don't keep specific stats for these types of race, but I usually check a few results, especially for Thirsk where there is usually a sprint for amateur lady riders each year at the end of July.
3 yr old fillies races are also a bit of a nightmare and can throw up a good performer racing against potential brood mares racing for a bit of black type.
Having said that, all these types of races are included on the charts.

Stalls positioning information started to become available during 1978 when one or two daily newspapers started to include  this information within their racecards.
Stalls positioning information is now available in most, if not all daily newspapers, but unfortunately, this vital information is not shown on The Racing Post website in their race results..
Some racecourses place the stalls against the high rail, the low rail, or even in the centre of the course.
You can see the effect on results of these different positions on the charts.

Number of runners.
As a general rule, as the number of runners increases, draw advantages become less effective.
The Beverley 5F chart is a good example of this.  Results become more spread in races of 19 and 20 runners.
At present, Sandown 5F seems to be an exception to this general rule.
In those races, winners have started from a minority of stalls in races with bigger fields.

At many courses, splits occur when there are a lot of runners.
Jockeys split from the main bunch of runners in search of better, faster ground.
Inevitably, these splits affect draw advantage patterns to some degree, and usually it can be seen from the charts at what point results become inconsistent due to larger numbers of runners and split races.
A good example of the effect of splitting is Thirsk 5F.
Another course and distance that is affected by large fields and splits is Ayr 6F.
We know that races with large fields at Ayr such as The Ayr gold Cup split, but in smaller fields, the Top 7 stalls have totally dominated results over the last 9 years
By waiting for races with limited numbers of runners e.g 8 to 14 runners at Thirsk and 8 to 18 at Ayr, we can avoid split races and the effect of large fields, thus increasing our chance of finding the winner from the most favoured stalls.

Results of races with smaller field sizes can be very consistent.
This can be seen on the charts, and is reflected in the Stalls To Follow list.
In races with smaller numbers of runners we can expect the horses to race as a bunch, thus enabling our well drawn horses to take full advantage of any good ground, without a jockey or two finding better ground by splitting away from the main bunch.

This selection principle has been adopted for the Stalls To Follow list at courses such as Thirsk, where the effect of splitting is described in the write up.

I fully realise that by highlighting that 6 stalls have produced a high percentage of winners in races of 8 to 12 runners, I am recommending between 50 % and 75 % of the runners in these races.
There has to be a starting point somewhere.  In my first publication of this information in this format in 1982, I showed race results starting with 6 runners.
In a lot of cases, draw advantages do seem to take effect in races of 8 runners, with stalls 7 and 8, or 1 and 2, proving less advantageous than other stalls.
A draw advantage doesn't have to favour a minority of stalls.  Consider a LAY.
A Lay consists of a few Disadvantaged stalls, compared to all the other stall positions, therefore the remainder are at an advantage.

The going is very important.  The majority of reliable draw advantages are to be found on going that is good or better.
All races run on going described as yielding or softer, or more recently good with good to soft in places or softer, are shown in red.
Good or better means going which is good, good to firm, firm or hard.  These results are shown in black type.
Good to soft or softer means any going with soft mentioned as part of the description (including good with good to soft in places), or soft, or heavy.
Where there is any mention of "patches" of good to soft or softer, e.g. "going is good , good to soft in places" there is some doubt as to the state of the ground, therefore these results are shown in
red.
Draw advantages are primarily caused by drainage being better in one part of a course rather than another, although some advantages could be caused by the shape of the course.
When the going gets soft, draw advantages usually become less predictable, rather than more exaggerated.
It could be argued that watering of courses changes draw advantages, and I wouldn't dispute that, but all the results shown here include all races, including races which have occurred on courses which have been watered.
I would therefore advise you not to worry about course watering and rely on the going descriptions.

One final thing, keep your eye on the weather.
It is not unusual for the going to change during the course of an afternoon's racing.
If you have doubts concerning rainfall, you don't have to bet.  There are plenty of other races.  Wait until all factors are in your favour.

Non - runners occur in many races.  A race with 3 non - runners could give a result such as the winner being drawn 20 of 17 runners.  This would make reading a chart or just making sense of such results very awkward.  To eliminate this problem, all the results shown on this website include empty stalls.

Thus the example of stall 20 winning when only 17 horses actually ran would be shown as winner drawn 20 of 20 runners.
This means that the numbers shown down the left hand side of each chart actually represent the number of the highest occupied stall.  It is far easier to think of it as the number of runners, including all non - runners.  I hope that is clear.
If these empty stalls were not included,
it could actually make most high draw advantage results look better.
In our example race, winner drawn 17 of 20, the top six stalls are stalls 15 to 20.
With 3 non runners in the top few stalls above number 15, the top 6 occupied stalls could actually be stalls 12 to 20.
Gets messy doesn't it ?

6th top 5th top 4th top 3rd top N/R Winner 2nd top N/R N/R Top
12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
As shown on the charts --> 6th 5th 4th 3rd 2nd Top

In this case, a draw advantage pattern following the Top 6 stalls on a chart, would be reliant on the performance of just 3 horses, in stalls 15, 17 and 20, and not 6 as you would expect.
If you were betting in that race, it would be best to consider the Top 6 occupied stalls.

Top half, Bottom half splits.
Below every chart are 2 numbers showing the number of wins from the 2 halves of the draw on good or better going.
In some cases, if you count up the numbers of wins, you will find there are 1 or 2 races that appear to be unaccounted for.
These extra races are those won from stalls which were exactly in the middle, in races with odd numbers of runners.
E.G. stall 6 in races of 11 runners, and stall 7 in races of 13 runners ...... and so on.
These wins were neither in the Top half nor the Bottom half of the draw.
Use these splits as a quick guide.
Also the Totals shown for stalls 1 to 6 and the Top 6 stalls are for quick and easy reference.
If you are analysing a chart yourself, hopefully these totals will speed things up for you.  I certainly find them helpful.

Short term trends and small samples.
Draw advantages worth betting on need to prove their reliability and consistency over a period of several seasons.
In draw advantage terms, a series of results of just one or two past seasons must be considered a short term trend.
A statistical short cut that is often used by journalists and particularly T.V. presentors (mainly concerning betting markets), is to quote the results of the last 10 runnings of a particular race.
As a guide to draw advantages, this small sample, 10 year approach cannot possibly be used to produce a balanced picture of what has been happening on the racecourse.
Just 10 races is a very small sample indeed, but every year, you will see and hear figures for the last 10 runnings of a particular race being put forward as a guide to the draw.
This may be done for races such as The Lincoln at Doncaster and was certainly used for the 1m 2f Smith's Magnet Cup at York in 2004, and 2005.
Surely it would be better to quote all races of the last 10 years over a given course and distance.

Some advice may refer to results of the last meeting, the previous day, or more commonly, recommend that you watch what happened in a race earlier on the same day's racecard.
It would appear to make sense to use an earlier race as a guide to the draw for a similar race later on the same card, but from a statistical point of view, this is not good practice.
Just one race is the smallest possible sample, and any analyst who recommends this approach is not doing you any favours.

Obviously, the best approach is to look at as many results as possible from past races and base your decision on the pattern produced by the winning stall numbers, the going, stalls positioning, the number of runners, and most important of all, use the most reliable data -  races confined to older horses.

1976 - 1981 Records.
In some of the write-ups there are references to historical patterns.
These comments refer to the patterns of results produced in the races of 1976 to 1981, my original publication in this format.

Any historical figures quoted will have been taken directly from the book I published in 1982, which showed these results.
You may feel this is totally irrelevant as these races took place over 20 years ago.
However, experience has shown me that it is not a good idea to rely on the patterns of results produced during just a few past seasons.  
These references to the results from 1976 - 1981 are used as a check for reliability.
If there was a matching good pattern 20 years ago, there is a very good chance that the current pattern has continued for over 20 years, and will continue to be a very reliable trend in future, providing conditions such as stalls positioning remain the same.
I am reluctant to promote course and distances to the Stalls To Follow List if reference to these old results shows an unreliable pattern.
In being very selective, I am showing you what has worked for me in the past.  I have found it has paid off to follow long lasting patterns.  Short term trends will always let you down.

How to get the most out of this startingstalls.co.uk information

The best draw advantage patterns have been listed for a quick reference :-

Some draw advantage patterns show that as few as 3 or 4 stalls have won high percentages of races, but it is always best to consider a minimum of 6 stalls.  It doesn't pay to be "blinkered" and inflexible.

The best way to get the most out of this information is to look at the details of your race, and look at the relevant chart.
If for example you have a 5F race at Ascot with 14 runners, look at the Ascot 5F chart.
Initially, look at the overall pattern.
Then, analyse the pattern formed by races of say, 12 to 16 runners - a couple either side of your 14 runner race..
What kind of pattern has formed in races with these numbers of runners ?
Even though there might not appear to be an outstanding pattern which makes the A list, it could still be possible to get a feel for the draw advantage of your race on the day.
However, having said that, if you are a serious and patient punter, the A list usually provides plenty of races each flat season.
Please remember to make sure that all the key elements are in your favour :-
The age group, the number of runners, the going, the stalls positioning, and consider 6 stalls.

Finally - The comments I have made for each course and distance, are only my interpretation of the results shown on the charts.
I am only one person who has done an analysis.  You may well see something that is blatantly obvious, but has been missed.  Interpretation of graphs is quite often a matter of opinion as to what the data means.
Therefore, your interpretation is just as good as anyone else's.
Armed with this information, I hope you now feel -

you are now an expert on the subject of draw advantages.

Copyright 2005 [Howard Hutchinson]. All rights reserved.