Chelmsford City is one of Britain’s newest racecourses. With that, there are fewer stats to go on in terms of what style of horse wins there or whether there is a draw bias.
Some things have shown up however which we’ll go through.
Chelmsford has an all-weather Polytrack surface. This surface, unlike Tapeta, remains pretty fast. The track is left-handed and generally fair.
The course is approximately a mile around, with the one-mile and seven-furlong starts being in separate chutes while the five and six-furlong starts are on the back straight.
Chelmsford Course Draw Bias Overview
The answer to whether there is a draw bias at Chelmsford is basically “yes and no”. Pace is very important here, but that has a knock-on effect on the draw.
Those lying up with the pace tend to do best of all on what is a very fair track. The turns aren’t too tight, the surface is quick and fair and there is a nice long straight allowing few hard luck stories.
The knock-on effect with the draw comes from the fact that, if your horse does have speed from the gate and wants to lead, which is seen as a good thing here, then it will have to use up plenty of petrol if coming from a wide draw.
Those horses sharp out of the gate and showing the speed to go forward early coming from a low draw can naturally get into position in quick order and will be hard to catch if they have the ability. On that score, a low draw is best but it is not a track bias.
5 Furlongs at Chelmsford
There is no straight sprint course here. The five-furlong start is opposite the stands on the far side of the track, meaning runners take in the sweeping left-handed bend.
That means runners don’t want to be too wide, a low draw is best, but especially for those who have the pace to handle this track. A wide draw isn’t bad for a hold-up horse here, though that style in itself isn’t perfect for Chelmsford.
6 Furlongs at Chelmsford
The six-furlong start is also on the back straight, just where the one-mile chute meets the main track. Similar to the five-furlong races, pace is more important than the draw here but those out wide (high numbers) in a large field of over ten horses would naturally face a disadvantage.
7 Furlongs at Chelmsford
Seven-furlong races begin in a chute on the far side of the track. Runners go straight for around a half-mile, meaning there is plenty of time for jockeys to get organised which takes the draw bias out of things a little.
Once more, if there is a large field then a wide draw isn’t ideal as runners will naturally migrate to the rail to face the left-hand turn, so a low draw is ideal but not essential.
One Mile at Chelmsford
Just to the right of the stands beyond the winning line is the chute for starting one mile and two-mile races. The draw is more important here than over seven furlongs.
In this case runners, usually starting quickly on the Polytrack, have only a two-furlong burst before taking the first of two turns, meaning not only track position but ideally a low draw helps.
Those coming from a low draw near the rail are likely to get into a good position early in the back straight, an advantage they can then keep all the way to the line on a course at which it is hard for late finishers to successfully come from behind.