How To Use A Horse’s Draw To Profit

Earlier this week I wrote a review of Nick Mordin’s Winning Without Thinking. While I was re-reading the book to write the review there was a section on betting the draw and a strategy that he used. I thought that it would be a good idea to re-analyse this strategy and look at how we might be able to use the draw as a profitable strategy today.

While there are definite biases in the draw at certain courses over particular race distances, most punters know about them. This means that by betting them you won’t make a profit because the odds have already accounted for these biases.

What Nick suggested was that you look at short sprint races and find out where there are biases towards the outer draws and then find runners that win from being drawn shorter. He then outlined which of these runners he would bet on.

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, his method no longer works as he wrote it. I have done some analysis and found that we can resurrect this method and still use it to find profitable selections.

There are a few rules that we need to adhere to in order to find selections:

  • Only look at races 6 furlongs or less
  • Only look at races with 16 or more runners
  • Only use the courses Beverly, Catterick, Folkestone, Goodwood, Lingfield, Nottingham, Warwick and Windsor
  • Only look at runners that are drawn from stall 10 or lower

We are looking at the tracks above because these are where there is a strong indication of bias in the outer draws for the races that we are focussing on.

When you see this race type you will obviously find 10 runners in each race to look at in more detail. There is no way of getting around manual analysis for the next part of the strategy, it is time to delve into each horses form and look for some pointers.

You will be able to throw out a number of the runners straight away, we are looking for only those horses that have won a race on the same course before. This will seriously reduce your qualifiers.

If there are any qualifiers left then it will most likely be just one horse, possibly two in a race (this is not a strategy that is going to give a large amount of bets). Ideally we now want to go and look at the video footage of the race and see if our selection came from the back/middle of the field to take the lead and hold it comfortably before winning. If you don’t have this then you will want to look at the in-running comments for the race. We are looking for evidence that this horse made nearly all or led the race. Such comments may include ‘led over …….’ and ‘…made most….’ Of course there will be other comments that also indicate that this horse came from the back/middle of the field and made all or nearly all to win the race.

These horses are those that like front-running and usually are racing in a lower class than they should be. It is important to check that they have not run in more than 10 races since they first won under the conditions above. If they have run five or less races then I would suggest placing a full unit stake on the runner, if they have raced between 6 and 10 races then I would most likely reduce this to half a unit.

Any more than 10 races and it is likely that they may no longer be performing at the same level because they would have been moved up in class significantly enough and after this amount of races the majority of punters will have noticed that these are class horses capable of winning races.

The profits available from this strategy also show why it is a good reason to go back through old books, articles and similar because there are sometimes ideas that although no longer work in their original format only require a few tweaks in order to be able to turn a profit. This strategy is an example of basic pattern finding, a topic that I shall look at in more detail in future articles.

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.


  1. I wonder whether you should have checked the current stats for the draw biases on the courses you gave in your article. To my knowledge, Beverley has always had a definite high draw bias – it was easy money up until 3 years ago when they decided to selectively water in order to try and negate it.

    Catterick has a low draw bias on good or firmer ground but this often swings to a high draw bias on softer ground.

    The Lingfield 6f turf bias is definitely high and it pays to race prominently along the stands rail. The AW bias is low but I think the maximum number of runners per race is under 16 so it wouldn’t apply.

    Nottingham generally has a high draw bias on firmer ground and a low bias on softer ground and the same comments can be applied to Windsor, where there is a strong high draw bias on good or firmer ground over 6f.

    And why didn’t Chester get a mention? Surely the most pronounced low draw bias in the country?

    Detecting a bias is one of the key edges a punter has over the bookmaker – a good example would be the Newmarket Guineas meeting this year where, after a few races, it was obvious a low draw was essential for distances up to a mile.

    So, while it was a useful article, I would suggest it’s factually inaccurate!

  2. Rob, thanks for your comment. The article was re-developing Nick Mordin’s strategy and I think you may have miss-read me as you are agreeing with me. I was looking for outside (high) draw bias tracks. There are certainly differences in relation to going but the article did not have enough space to contain every ground condition bias. The idea is to look for high draw bias races and then to find horses that win them from a low draw (which is why Chester didn’t get a mention). As always I check the stats before I write anything. Your comment has prompted me to consider providing daily draw bias information for every race being run though.

  3. i enjoyed your artical on draw bias it was a diffrent way at looking at it witch
    i found interesting

    and i see were your coming from i am not superised Rob got a little bit confused though,as i thought i was with you at the begining then i lost the thread but after your conversation with Rob i`m back with you now

Back to top button