Windsor Racecourse’s uniqueness comes in the form of its figure of eight shape. This of course presents challenges not only to jockeys, but also to punters when it comes to judging the draw.
The track is a turf surface and is a mile and a half in length. Races at the maximum distance and over 1m 2f task runners with turning both ways, while other races feature only a right turn.
The surface here is flat, but the tracks twists and turns can be sharp. That said, runners turn in at the five-furlong mark so there is a long run-in here. Races over five and six furlongs are almost straight, save for a slight elbow around three from home.
Windsor Course Draw Bias Overview
The bottom turn at Windsor can get inexperienced jockeys into trouble, so factor into your selections having a competent rider as well as what the pace and draw can offer.
It has long been thought that a cheeky front-running rider can kick away from the field on that turn and gain an advantage, though we’ll go into the pace and draw effects in more detail.
We always recommend that you factor pace into your thinking alongside the draw. At Windsor, this is especially crucial.
Even right up to a mile and a half, the pace bias is huge. Around 4 x more winners come from on the pace as opposed to from genuine hold-up horses. That is true at Windsor over all trips. Combine that with the below draw info.
5 Furlongs at Windsor
Over the minimum trip there isn’t much in the way of a bias. It’s best therefore to take notice of the jockeys, many of whom seem to think the far side is better when the rain comes.
So, on soft ground, it may pay to look for horses drawn high near that rail. The stalls position though of course counts for plenty, as does the field size. Over this trip, it remains all about pace but especially on better ground.
6 Furlongs at Windsor
For whatever reason, over the extra furlongs there is slightly more evidence than over five to suggest that higher numbers are indeed favoured. Once more, that bias is more exaggerated when the rain comes and the ground gets soft.
On good ground, look at pace more than the draw. In softer conditions, a proven front-runner on wet ground which is drawn high is likely to have so much in its favour.
1 Mile at Windsor
The one-mile races at Windsor start with the runners crossing the main track, then taking the right-handed loop into the run-in of five furlongs including the elbow.
The turn is tight enough, meaning many will think that low numbers are best. Depending on where they come up the straight that could be true, but the stats don’t confirm it and pace remains the most important factor of all.
1m 2f+ at Windsor
There is a 1m 2f start and a 1m 3½f start at Windsor. These are the longest trips around the course.
These races begin with runners going slightly left-handed, taking a left-hander into the loop and then going right-handed all the way to the turn. With that, the draw isn’t the important factor here.
Even at these middle-distance trips, pace remains the no.1 factor at Windsor. The only way the draw may come into play is of there is a very large field. In that case, a horse drawn low and furthest away from left turn may struggle to get into position early. A high-drawn front-runner in a large field over 1m 2f or 1m 4f may hold an advantage.