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Talking Horses: draw bias and the Ayr Gold Cup

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It is natural to want to reduce a field of 25 sprint handicappers to something approaching a manageable shortlist

The Ayr Gold Cup – and its more recent siblings, the Silver and Bronze Gold Cups – are the feature races this coming weekend from a betting point of view, which means that, as ever, punters will invest considerable amounts of time, energy and ultimately money in trying to second-guess the effect of the draw.

Invest? Or waste? It is, of course, only natural to want to reduce a field of 25 sprint handicappers to something approaching a manageable shortlist, and taking a view about the possible effect of the draw is an obvious way to start with a race like this. What is more, this is a race where the draw has clearly had a significant effect in many renewals over the years, with the traditional wisdom being that high numbers have the edge in big-field sprints down Ayr’s straight five- and six-furlong track.
After all, it seems obvious if you look at a race like Regal Parade’s success on heavy ground a decade ago. Four of the first five home raced on the stands’ side, from stalls 20, 21, 26 and 24. Thanks to the clear draw advantage, those drawn low clearly stood no chance.

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