Tag Archives: Track Analysis

All-Weather Championships Finals Day – The Nature of the Track

The Lingfield map below is courtesy of Attheraces.com and is useful when considering some of the theories that follow:

Lingfield

Lingfield is a tricky test of a horse on the all-weather. It’s a twisting, turning track, with some interesting undulations to boot. The tight bends mean that the focus tends to lie heavily on the draw, and with good reason – in 6f races, for example (of which there are two today), the horses turn almost immediately after leaving the stalls, leaving those with a wide draw with more work to do from the offset.

So, a good starting point would be to look at the draw at each distance with relation to the conditions in which we’ll see horses run today. Today’s races are as follows:

1:30 – 7f, 14 runners
2:00 – 2m, 10 runners
2:30 – 7f, 12 runners
3:05 – 6f, 11 runners
3:40 – 6f, 12 runners
4:15 – 1m2f, 8 runners
4:45 – 1m, 11 runners

6 Furlongs

The 6 furlong races today have 11 and 12 runners going to post. Even if not familiar with the nature of the track itself, the theory for the 6f course is fairly obvious; at a short distance, low draws should benefit more over this trip than over further, assuming that a low draw is preferential. The fact that the bend comes so soon after the start of the race should heighten this effect.

Looking at races with 10-12 runners over 6f at Lingfield since the beginning of 2014:

Runners Winners from bottom half of draw Winners from top half of draw
10 25 28
11 27 17
12 25 12
Total 77 57

I’ve left out stall 6 when looking at 11-runner races, so that we can establish the top and bottom half. The difference doesn’t seem particularly pronounced when looking at 10-runner races, but if we just compare the bottom 4 and top 4 stalls in these races we can see a clearer advantage to the bottom stalls:

Stalls 1-4 Wins Stalls 7-10 Wins
20 15

The “advantage” of the top stalls in the first table in 10-runner races actually comes from stall 6, which has 13 winners alone. Regardless, it’s clear that the lower stalls do have an advantage over 6f, as we might expect.

7 Furlongs

In theory, this advantage should decrease gradually as the distance is increased to 7f and a mile, as each extra furlong takes the start a furlong further back from the first bend, giving the horses more time to move in before turning. Today’s races over 7f have 12 and 14 runners going to post, so I’m going to look at races with between 11 and 14 runners:

Runners Winners from bottom half of draw Winners from top half of draw
11 14 19
12 22 22
13 24 16
14 10 8
Total 70 65

Again, the middle stall has been excluded in the cases of 11- and 13-runner races. The advantage looks small or non-existent in fields of 11 and 12, but in fields of 13 and 14 it can be seen more clearly. Again, it might make sense to look at the record of those drawn in the top and bottom few stalls so that those drawn towards the centre don’t skew the data:

Runners Winners from bottom 4 Winners from top 4
11 10 17
12 17 13
13 18 9
14 9 5
Total 54 44

The 11-runner races seem to be an exception here, but it’s clear that in larger fields those drawn out wide are at a significant disadvantage to those drawn on the inside.

1 Mile

Again, the draw should become less significant as the start moves a furlong further back. Today’s race over a mile has 11 runners, so I’ll look at races with 10-12 runners:

Runners Winners from bottom half of draw Winners from top half of draw
10 47 31
11 25 35
12 34 24
Total 106 90

A bias is evident again, but the fact that it’s reversed in 11-runner races does bring its validity into question.

1 Mile 2 Furlongs

Here, things get more interesting again. The 1m2f start, like the 6f start, is shortly before the first bend so, as is the case in 6f races, the runners have little time to get themselves into a good position before turning.

Runners Winners from bottom half of draw Winners from top half of draw
7 22 20
8 31 27
9 27 23

There’s actually no clear advantage here, and it’s probably because we’re looking at races with so few runners – today’s race only has 8, though, so it doesn’t look like something that we should worry about hugely.

Jockeys

With the track being such a tricky one, it’s no surprises that certain jockeys have developed reputations as Lingfield specialists. Those with the highest strike rates (having had at least 25 rides at the track since the beginning of 2014) are listed below:

Jockey Runners Wins W% W/P W/P% P/L(BF) A/E
Frankie Dettori 65 22 33.85 39 60 8.2 1.06
Ryan Moore 137 40 29.2 72 52.55 -20.28 0.92
James Doyle 188 54 28.72 121 64.36 85.64 1.09
Connor Beasley 26 6 23.08 8 30.77 7.72 1.47

Connor Beasley’s record stands out but he only just makes the list, having had 26 rides in that time, and his success has all been on one horse (My Target, who has Lingfield form of 111172 under Beasley). His win/place strike rates are well below those of the other jockeys.

It’s interesting to see that Kirby doesn’t make the list. If we look just at the current season, his strike rate is decent considering the number of rides he has had (22 wins from 115, 19% strike rate, 40% win/place rate), but there are others with impressive strike rates (albeit with fewer rides) – Joe Fanning is one (11 wins from 37, 30% strike rate, 35% win/place rate, A/E 1.79).

Thoughts on Today’s Cards

Not much jumps out at Lingfield as a betting opportunity but, unusually enough, I don’t think that odds of 4/6 are unwarranted in the case of Kachy. He hasn’t been handed the easiest draw ever in stall 8 of 11 in the 3:05, but his initial speed when he breaks means that I would expect him to be able to get over to the inside quickly before the bend. He seems to have come on significantly since a wind operation in the autumn, and there are a few trends in his form which work in his favour today. His form in fields of 11 or less reads 11616262021213511 (that’s 7 wins from 17 starts, compared to 1 win from 7 starts in larger fields, and that was in a field of 12). His form going left-handed reads 1111211, compared to a much less consistent 1662600450202395 (1 win from 16 starts). Also, he has 5 wins from 12 after a break of over 30 days (2 wins from 12 after a shorter break) and he comes here after 76 days off the track. In my view, this race is his to lose, and while you’ll rarely see me put a horse up at such a price, 4/6 isn’t all that bad.
3:05 Lingfield – Kachy 1pt win 4/6 (general)

I was looking forward to seeing Chaplin Bay at Newcastle, considering his fine record fresh – he was 2nd on his reappearance in 2016, and won on his reappearance the last two years. He was rated 80 less than a year ago but has dropped to 75 now, which makes him an interesting prospect as he was rated 74 when winning on reappearance in both 2017 and 2018. His form at Newcastle reads 41128, the 4th and 8th coming after 18 and 13 days off, and the wins coming after 181 and 185 days off. He runs today after a break of 182 days.
2:45 Newcastle – Chaplin Bay 0.5pt win 5/1 (general)