Racing: Trainers go for the draw to prove superiority

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The Independent Online
Trainers' knowledge of draw advantage as well as their ability to train will be put to the test when the stalls positions for next month's Lincoln Handicap are allocated.

The Jockey Club have given permission for a new system to be introduced in which the trainer, or the authorised representative, of each entry will have the chance to choose their stall number in an order decided by ballot. The draw for the Doncaster race, the first big event of the Flat season, will be made in public on 26 March - two days before the contest.

Connections of each horse will be able to walk the course in the morning in order to help make an informed choice.

Doncaster's clerk of the course, John Sanderson, said: "The draw for the Lincoln has always been a matter for great debate and this innovation will provide some additional live theatre as well as a new aspect to the start of the Turf Flat-racing season."

Arguments have raged over the years about the effect of the draw in the race, a one mile handicap run over the straight course. A runner from a low-numbered stall won the race every year from 1993 to 1996 but last season Kuala Lipis came from stall 21 to score.

The draw for the consolation Spring Mile will be made in the usual manner. But a similar public draw is planned for the Kentucky Derby on 2 May and has also been discussed by racing authorities in Australia.

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