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Does the draw affect the performance of the horse at Wolverhampton?

All races are run on the round course, with the 7f distance starting from a chute:

Wolverhampton 5f Draw Bias

A look at the minimum trip first: there have been almost 250 qualifying races since 2017 so it gives us a big sample to work with. Again focusing on 8+ runner handicaps, here are the draw splits:

Lower Third: 43.7%
Middle Third: 30.2%
Upper Third: 26.1%

Low draws appear to have a clear advantage from a win perspective. Let’s see whether the percentage of rivals (PRB) data agrees. Percentage of Rivals Beaten (PRB) is a calculation based on a horse’s finishing position in relation to field size. It makes key distinctions between a horse finishing third in a five-horse race (PRB 50%, two rivals beaten, beaten by two rivals) and finishing third in an eleven-horse race (PRB 80%, eight rivals beaten, beaten by two rivals):

Lower Third: 0.55
Middle Third: 0.51
Upper Third: 0.44

These figures also acknowledge a sizeable draw bias. Also this bias has proved to be consistent throughout the years. Here are the figures for both the bottom and top thirds of the draw by year:

2017 Lower Third: 0.54
2017 Upper Third: 0.46

2018 Lower Third: 0.58
2018 Upper Third: 0.46

2019 Lower Third: 0.52
2019 Upper Third: 0.44

2020 Lower Third: 0.55
2020 Upper Third: 0.45

2021 Lower Third: 0.56
2021 Upper Third: 0.41

2022 Lower Third: 0.54
2022 Upper Third: 0.4

So low draws’ yearly figures vary from 0.52 to 0.58; while high draws range from 0.40 to 0.46. In all years analyses the low drawn horses have clearly enjoyed a sizeable edge over their high drawn competitors.

In conclusion, for 5f lower draws should be favoured over higher ones.

However, it is worth noting that run style has more impact here, as front runners can win from anywhere including high. However, the non-front-runners when drawn high have a very poor time of it – especially horses racing in mid-division or near the back early.

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