As well as hosting jumps racing, Lingfield has two separate Flat racing tracks.
There is the long-established Polytrack all-weather course which is pretty tight and sharp, around 1¼ miles in length.
The turf course hosts races up to 7½ furlongs on the straight course, while the round course surrounds the all-weather track and is about 1½ miles in total featuring a downhill run into the final turn.
The layout of the turf track is good for horses preparing for Epsom, hence the resurgence of the Derby and Oaks trials here being key before the Classics.
Lingfield Course Draw Bias Overview
It has been well noted that on both the all-weather and the turf tracks at Lingfield, pace is important.
There is also a strong bias towards certain parts of the course meaning that such pace is needed to get into position and/or a good draw is required to get into the right spot.
We’re taking a look at the draw biases and each track.
5 Furlong Turf Course at Lingfield
There is a severe draw bias on the five-furlong turf track at Lingfield towards those drawn high. The majority of races are won by those in the highest stalls with the rail being the place to be. As long as your high-drawn horse can break well from the gate, it will be hard to catch in most instances.
5 Furlong All-Weather Course at Lingfield
Runners do face a quick bend over five furlongs at Polytrack and then another turn into the straight, but the stats tell us there is no major draw bias.
This may be because, while those on the inner may save ground on the turns, the winners don’t always come up that far rail and instead often challenge successfully down the middle so those turning a little wider can redress the balance as the leaders head towards the line.
6 Furlong Turf Course at Lingfield
Much like over five furlongs and unsurprisingly, those drawn high have a huge statistical advantage over six furlongs at turf at Lingfield. Even in an eight-runner race for example, those drawn 7 and 8 are statistically much more likely to win than the others unless they are slow from the gate.
6 Furlong All-Weather Course at Lingfield
There are two definite bends for six-furlong all-weather runners to take at Lingfield, but again as with five furlongs there is no strong draw bias.
It wouldn’t harm a runner to be drawn on the inside if they have the desired pace, but it doesn’t seem to be essential.
7 Furlong Turf Course at Lingfield
There are both seven furlong and seven and a half furlong starts down the straight at Lingfield. As with the sprints, the high numbers most definitely come out best here.
The highest stalls simply always do well, but just for due diligence always check out the pace of the horses you are looking at as well as the starting stalls position.
7 Furlong All-Weather Course at Lingfield
Once more, there is no draw bias of any major note over seven furlongs on the all-weather track. The quicker horses have an advantage in the early part of the race, especially from the low numbers, in terms of getting into a tight position around the rails.
However, many times those drawn higher can simply stay in contention and then challenge on the outer up the straight to good effect.
1-Mile All-Weather Course at Lingfield
Runners have even longer before making a turn going over a mile at Lingfield on the all-weather course, with the draw looking very even. Don’t be put off at all by those drawn a little higher over this distance.
1m 3½f Turf Course at Lingfield
It’s worth mentioning the 1m 3½f start on the turf at Lingfield, as this is where May’s crucial Classic trials are run.
We’re at pains to point out here that it is in fact NOT the draw that should take your attention. There is no real Lingfield Derby Trial draw bias, nor is there one in the Oaks Trial.
You should remain flexible however. If the ground is good, look for those with decent pace as they can hold an advantage. If it gets soft, they’ll need plenty of stamina. In any case, this is early for young horses to go over this trip so those by stallions such as Sea The Stars, Golden Horn, Galileo and Frankel will tend to do best.