Galway and Goodwood Draw and Run Style/ Pace Biases 2022

Galway 2023: Flat Race Draw and Run Style Bias

As well as the Qatar 'Glorious' Goodwood festival, the same week sees Galway host its seven-day bonanza, at which there is a race for every racehorse. The programme covers the whole gamut from two year old maidens to exposed handicap chasers. Here, we'll focus our attention on the flat handicaps. The layout is a little more straightforward here: a little, though not a lot...

 

 

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Shaped like a diamond, key features of the mile and a quarter Galway oval are sharp turns, undulations, and a stiff uphill quarter-mile run to the finish line. There is a shortish run from the seven furlong start to the first of two bends, both of which require wider drawn runners to either take back and wait or risk conceding ground on the turns.

With the going already soft and plenty of rain forecast for the week, here is a snapshot of how draw and run style might impact the ability of horses to make the frame in Galway 12+ runner seven furlong handicaps.

 

On soft ground or deeper, there is no notable draw bias, with the win, place and percentage of rivals beaten (PRB) figures all close to equal.
And the draw and run style combination heatmap offers nothing more for us to go at:

 

 

It's probably an advantage to be close to the lead but not on it; but, after that, there's very little clarity in the picture. The heatmap is showing PRB, or percentage of rivals beaten (see PRB in the dropdown top right). As you'll see on the right hand side, horses that race prominently outperform their rivals regardless of stall position (remember that a PRB figure of 0.50 is 'standard'). But there's really not much in it.

 

It's a broadly similar story over 1m 1/2 furlong, where the run to the first turn is longer. Here, horses able to get to the front from a middle or wider draw have fared well: this usually implies a weak early pace because, were the pace stronger, outside drawn horses would be unable to circumnavigate those with a pitch closer to the rails that want to go forward.

The main takeaway this time is the relatively poor performance of held up horses. In big fields, it's just very difficult to negotiate a passage through horses, or to concede all the ground going the long way around rivals.

 

 

So, whilst on quicker ground there are some bankable draw/run style biases to play at the west of Ireland track, when it's wet wet wet look for horses that are not held up, and which handle conditions and have a solid profile for the race. It's not going to be easy!

Good luck!

Matt

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