Another very popular Scottish track is Musselburgh, close to Edinburgh out on the east coast.
Musselburgh hosts jumps racing too, but it has a popular turf Flat track which is right-handed, very sharp, around 1¼ miles around and has a pace bias as much as anything else.
There is a straight five furlongs at Musselburgh, but otherwise everything is run on the round course.
Musselburgh Course Draw Bias Overview
Pace is a key factor at Musselburgh, just like at many UK tracks.
Early pace seems to be something American handicappers understand and we don’t, at least not enough anyway.
The pace angle is fairer over five furlongs at Musselburgh. So, if they happen to go off fast over the straight course, good hold-up horses will have their chance. Other than that, we don’t really want slow horses at Musselburgh with the draw also taken into account.
5 Furlongs at Musselburgh
On the “straight” five furlongs runners will take a very slight left just after the intersection with the bend onto the home stretch.
On soft ground it seems there is little to no bias. The stats in a given season can turn this way and that between high numbers and low numbers. When the ground is quicker at Musselburgh, low numbers do better over five furlongs.
These are the horses drawn on the far side, away from the stands rail. The bias isn’t huge, but it’s something to keep in mind on good or better ground.
7 Furlongs at Musselburgh
The seven-furlong start at Musselburgh is on the back straight. Crucially, the first turn comes up pretty quickly so most jockeys want a good position before turning in.
Two things can contribute to getting that good position; early speed and a low draw near the rail. Despite this, those drawn high have done well in recent years over this trip. The stats don’t tell us everything however.
There is a limited sample to play with. It defies logic that, if turning in early, rounding a tight bend into the straight and then NOT tacking across to the stands side, high-numbered runners can be favoured.
We’d still recommend that if you find a horse with good early speed on decent ground at Musselburgh, a low draw over seven furlongs will be of no disadvantage.
1 Mile at Musselburgh
The one-mile start at Musselburgh is around half way along the back straight. There is enough time for runners to get into position early, then enough home straight for them to do so there too.
As such, it is no surprise that there is no statistical advantage to be gained from being drawn anywhere in particular and we reckon it’s better to stick simply to other betting factors such as form, ability, weight and pace.
Longer Distances at Musselburgh
There are starts here for races over 1m1f, 1m 4f, 1m 5f, 1m 6f, 1m 7f, 2m and 2m 2f. None of these events seem to show up any draw bias in particular, which is to be expected on a course with this layout.