This week fixtures at Wolverhampton Racecourses became the first in British Racing to have sectional timing and in-race data shown on screen by At The Races.
It means that viewers of At The Races are now able to see, in real time, a wealth of new information on the screen which includes, the speed of the leading horse, the time taken by the leading horse to complete each furlong and the total time taken for the race to be run.
At The Races will now show on screen data for every race from Wolverhampton Racecourse as part of the channel’s coverage of season 5 of the All-Weather Championships. On screen data for races at ARC’s three other all-weather racecourses – Lingfield Park, Newcastle Racecourse and Southwell Racecourse – will follow shortly.
For the last three years Arena Racing Company (“ARC”), At The Races and Total Performance Data (“TPD”) have been working together to develop this exciting field which has huge potential for British Racing. Sectional Timing and in-race data gives new ways of analysing the sporting action and can highlight fascinating stories by shining a light on the way a race was run, rather than just the result. It also provides the opportunity for the racing industry to develop its relationship with bookmakers by creating information that can feed into existing and new in running betting markets.
At The Races’ Executive Producer, Rob Dakin, commented: “This is an exciting step forward giving fans of the sport new information and insight about racing in a manner which is easy to appreciate and understand. The team at TPD are using the latest satellite technology to produce robust data which our team can now share with our viewers on our TV channel and website. We look forward to developing this further in the months ahead as we cover more action from the All-Weather Championships.”
Total Performance Data’s CEO, Will Duff Gordon, added: “Our aim at TPD is to use data to bring horseracing firmly into the modern era by providing the added content and information which fans have come to expect from all sports. This important development with At The Races gives us a new opportunity to showcase data to their viewers but is only the start of what can be achieved in the future. We are eager to bring on screen information to fans watching racing from ARC’s other all-weather racecourses, along with a range of other exciting initiatives. These include measuring horse stride lengths and frequency, as well as bringing sectional timing to jump racing.”
ARC’s Director of External Affairs, Susannah Gill, said, “We are really pleased to be in partnership with TPD and At The Races in order to help bring sectional timing to British Racing. It is requiring significant time and investment from all involved but we fully believe it will make an enormous contribution to the sport in the years ahead.”
TPD is the first company to develop a viable and reliable way to collect and distribute sectional timing and in-race data using only GPS. The process is set out below:
- Each horse must carry the speed sensing device in their number cloths. This currently weighs 100 grams and has been officially approved by the sport’s governing body since December 2015 with the rules of racing amended to include in the race conditions the requirement for all horses to carry the speed sensing device;
- To facilitate this all number cloths across ARC racecourses were replaced in 2016 with new designs by TPD to ensure the timing device could be carried in the optimal position behind the saddle;
- TPD’s Race Pace positional data streams live racing calculations using the latest GPS technology. During the race, real time positions are transmitted within fractions of a second, facilitating speed and split time calculations in real time;
- Data travels from the horses back to the broadcaster in under 50 milliseconds.