By guest contributor Todd Burmester I am always interested, in a slightly amusing way, to hear racing commentators speak of track bias. Sometimes, mind you, before the meeting has even gotten under way, they are speculating as to what the bias will be for the day. I have to say outright that I believe track bias is a load of rubbish. What we are seeing, 9 times out of 10 when there is a perceived bias is in fact pace bias not track bias. The most amusing part, I think, is that track bias often rears its ugly head according to the commentators when horses that are not in the market win. “How did that win?” is often the question asked. Have a look at your form guide is often my answer. Now, I am not professing to be the worlds greatest punting genius that backs long priced winners like they are going out of fashion but it is uncanny, the number of times a horse is heckled as only having won due to the bias, when in fact, it had the form to win the race. Had it been in the market, no such comments would have been made or questions asked. When I speak of a horse “having the form to win the race”, I speak of horses who have finished within 4 lengths of the winner in the same grade of race as today’s race at one of their last three runs. Generally, that proves that the horse is good enough to race in this grade and often the beaten margin it has been beaten previously, can be turned around, given a better run in transit in the race or a more suitable pace. When I speak of pace bias – we’re all aware, that when they go “like last weeks pay” in front, often a swooper can get home and when they go slow in front, the leaders are hard to run down. This is nothing to do with track bias, its the pace of the race. Also, I would like to be quick to point out, that in general, horses racing in the first 3 or 4 win the majority of races time and time again, this is a proven fact, it’s not track bias! Now, I will concede that there are sometimes various conditions, such as wet tracks, or when the rail is in various positions, that does seem for one reason or another to favour either those on the speed or those coming from behind but those are the only conditions under which I will entertain the concept of track bias – and even then, the pace is still usually the biggest contributor to the result. You can spend a long time trying to accommodate for it and that time, in my opinion would be far better spent trying to work out what the pace will be like in the race and where in the run your selection is likely to be positioned, that will give you far more edge than identifying any perceived bias.