Doncaster Racecourse is a left-handed, turf track.
The home of two Group 1’s, including the oldest Classic the St Leger, is essentially a fair course much like Newbury.
It is flat and has a long five-furlong straight, while races from five furlongs to a mile can be run on the straight course.
Despite the overall fairness of the course, there are still some draw advantages to keep track of.
Doncaster Course Draw Bias Overview
The straight course at Doncaster hosts races over 5 furlongs to a mile.
There is also a round mile and a 1m2f course which is turning all the way to the five-furlong mark at the home straight.
These varying starts make for differing draw biases.
While Doncaster is essentially flat, it can be very hard to get home in the mud. So, when the rain comes, keep an eye on running style and stamina and don’t only think of the draw.
5 Furlongs at Doncaster
As always, the draw bias only comes into play with enough runners. In smaller fields, don’t worry about it. In larger fields, such as the 5½-furlong Portland Handicap, high numbers (stands side) tend to do better.
This doesn’t mean that low numbers have no chance over five furlongs and many winners end up coming up the middle of the course, but those drawn high over this trip seem to have just a small advantage.
6 Furlongs at Doncaster
For whatever reason, the six-furlong straight course at Doncaster does tend to favour those drawn high a little more. The rail helps on occasions, while the ground could also be a factor, but for whatever reason high, stands side numbers do best at this trip.
The high-number advantage will be starker in big-field handicaps. Races such as the Cammidge Trophy will be less affected and will concern pace and ability more.
7 Furlongs and a Mile at Doncaster (Straight)
In terms of stats, there is little in the draw bias over seven furlongs but those numbers aren’t telling the full story.
So many races over Doncaster’s straight seven furlongs are small-field affairs, meaning the draw bias isn’t accurate and all winning numbers will be low ones anyway. When there are fuller fields, high numbers come to the fore once again.
Those looking for a Lincoln Handicap draw bias will find the same. While horses have won the race on the far side and the near side, it often comes down to a well handicapped sort being too good. All things being equal, the high numbers are best.
The Round Mile at Doncaster
Doncaster’s round mile sees runners start in a chute, running for three furlongs before taking the bend five from home. This tends to lead to low draws being best, though the bias isn’t a massive one.
The same can be said for the mile and a quarter start at which runners begin going slightly downhill, always on the turn until hitting the straight. This naturally means those on the inner have a small advantage (low numbers). Though the bias isn’t a huge one, it’s still worth keeping in mind when fields are large.
Longer Distances at Doncaster
Not surprisingly, races over 1m 4f, 1m 6f and even further don’t show up a draw bias. Races such as the St Leger and the Doncaster Cup are largely unaffected by the draw, both in terms of the field sizes they attract and the distance participating runners are asked to cover.