Free Tip – Unusual but explainable draw biases

Today’s free tip is below.

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Here’s today’s selection

5:40 Brighton – The King’s Steed

Regular readers will know that I like to find unusual but explainable draw biases, and one of my favourites is the mile at Brighton. It’s only over this trip that high draws enjoy an advantage, and it’s due to the unusual shape of the track at the mile start, which requires the runners to first move to the right along the outside rail before sweeping left into the straight. There are two aspects of this that are worth noting, with the poor record of low-drawn horses easily explained by the extra ground they must cover, while in order to take advantage of the shorter route, horses need to be prominent otherwise the advantage is easily negated by poor track position. Of those who do manage to overcome a low draw, most are hold-up horses who are less compromised by the need to take an early position.

On the contrary, it’s a big advantage for those drawn middle to high to lead, and since 2006, the record of horses leading outright from such draws is excellent. In double-figure fields, 20 have won from 91 qualifiers, and backing all of them blind would have produced a remarkable profit of £1,090 to a £10 stake.

There are two mile contests at Brighton on Tuesday, but the first is a nine-runner maiden, and the bias is reduced by both field size and spread of ability, so the race to concentrate on is the Sky Sports Racing HD Virgin 535 Handicap, in which outsider The King’s Steed is well-berthed in stall nine to make all. Shaun Lycett’s gelding is returning from almost a year off the track, and will be ignored by most punters for that reason, but he’s the most likely of these on historic form to make the running, and he has a good strike-rate on soft ground at 7f/1m, with form figures under similar conditions over the past five years of 141011.

The King’s Steed won off marks of 48 and 51 last May, with the first of those wins, on soft ground at Nottingham, coming by 8½ lengths having made all the running. He has not raced on easy ground since following up at Hamilton, and has fallen back to the former mark again, which looks generous given how dominant he was at Nottingham. The question is his absence, but this looks too good an opportunity to have him half-baked. Hector Loza and Danny Bleu can lead, but that pair are drawn badly in the inside stalls for such a tactic, and the selection could get loose on the lead with the other possible pace angle being the doubtful stayer Queen Sarabi.

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