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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Distance In Time by Eric Winner

There is no sprint racing tomorrow so this blog shows some of the thoughts behind my own unique speed figures. The major problem become apparent when comparing one course against another. The official figures use Median times, which are in my opinion are a very poor inadequate way to measure the performance of a horse. A quick example: let's assume the Median figure at Ascot equates to a horse rated 90 if a horse rated 70 runs there it would say the going was slow by 0.2 seconds per furlong. However, if a horse rated 110 ran there it would say the going was 0.2 fast! Obvious this doesn't work properly. The charts (detailed below) give an indication of how much difference 0.2 seconds per furlong means in terms of yards or lengths observed by a winning distance. I could show you all figures for every course but I'll show those that are classed as undulating and sharp tracks. Other courses are categorised: undulating and galloping, flat and galloping: 

Epsom 20.52
Chepstow 19.65
Goodwood 19.64
Brighton 19.55
Thirsk 19.33
Catterick 19.26
Musselburgh 19.20 
Ripon 19.10
Hamilton 19.03
Chester 18.85
Windsor 18.85
Carlisle 18.71
Bath 18.55
Beverley 18.30
Pontefract 18.00

The figure beside each race course is the number of yards a horse covers at that course in one second over five furlongs. 

Yes, it does seem incredible but let's just say a horse can run five furlongs in sixty-seconds all you have to do is divide 1100 yards by 60 seconds and it reveals 18.33 yards. I have used the differing times from each track to come up with an accurate figure for each course. I won't divulge where my starting point was for each course but can assure you it was not the Median time. 

So now if the going is quoted as 0.2 seconds per-furlong slow at Epsom over five-furlongs it means it was a whole second slow over the whole race which equates to 20.52 yards. While if it was the same at Pontefract the difference would have been 18.00 yards. This difference doesn't look much but when you put it into terms of racing it's nearly 1 length, which is quite a distance in terms of a five-furlong sprint.

I hope this gives you some idea how important it is to get a better method of working out going allowances and why I only usually bet on good or firmer ground where I can ignore going allowances.

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