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Beaten Length – 2 different values

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• #11762
Sera
Member
• Total Posts 4

Hello,

I am new to horse racing and have a problem with reading a past racecard.

Polar Annie was beaten 1 length to the winner. So I understand it.

Then I click on Polar Annie’s horse card. There is another value for the same race on 31th May: 13L

Can anybody explain me the difference? Thanks.

#234158
Member
• Total Posts 3901

The 1 length on the RP Result page means that the horse was beaten 1 length by the horse who finished immediately in front, ie Best One in 7th place.

The total beaten lengths of 13 is made up of (nk+3+3.25+1+3+1.5+1)

#234159
Blackheath
Member
• Total Posts 105

They are both the same 13 lengths.

Add neck, 3 lengths, 3 1/4 lengths etc = 13 lengths

#234161
Sera
Member
• Total Posts 4

Both of you, thank you. The 13 is the beaten L (sum of all front running horses) to the winner and 1 to the direct one in the front. Now it’s clear.

#234162
Sera
Member
• Total Posts 4

Another question, L = horse lengths?

#234169
Member
• Total Posts 3901

Not exactly.

A length is actually a measure of time. As far as I know, 1 length = 1/6 of a second. So a horse finishes 1 second behind another horse, then the official distance beaten is 6 lengths.

Somebody else will have to give you the exact time measurement and if it differs for sprints and middle distance races and also between Flat & NH races.

#234815
Leemac
Participant
• Total Posts 74

Hi David

It varies between 4 and 6 lengths per second depending upon two factors:
i) whether it’s NH or Flat
ii) the official going (the faster the ground, the more lengths per second)

But NOT upon the race distance (which really should be taken into account along the with the nature of the track – eg galloping or sharp, uphill or downhill finish, since all those factors help determine the finishing speed of the runners). However an approximation is used leaving some things out to avoid making the calculation over-complicated.

The photo-finish equipment times the gap between each of the runners at the finish and converts them into "official distances". But they are not quite the same as real distances. For example, if horse A beats horse B by 10 lengths, and horse B then virtually pulls up before the post, the "official distance" between them will be bigger than 10 lengths because horse B takes longer than expected to reach the line.

Can elaborate if anyone’s interested.

#234855
seabird
Participant
• Total Posts 2924

Thanks for that, Lee.

Can’t speak for the rest of the forum but I would welcome some elaboration, please.

Colin

#234863
% MAN
Participant
• Total Posts 5104

Good luck Lee

When I first saw this thread I was tempted to post a reply but was then struggling to find a way to explain it without sending everyone to sleep

Also I do have doubts about the validity of converting time to distance – there are far too many variables.

If we just went for a time based differential between runners it would be so much easier – so horse B finished 0.2 seconds behind horse A, horse C 0.1 seconds behind B et, etc etc.

How the race distance is not relevant I don’t know. A sprinter will cover more distance in 0.2 second at the finish than a plodder in a 3m novices chase.

#234867
Leemac
Participant
• Total Posts 74

There’s good info here:

and

Will add a bit more detail tonight. I agree with Paul that it would be easier just to leave them as times without making a conversion at all, but maybe that’s bit too revolutionary because punters are used to dealing with distances.

Incidentally, the BHA website is a mine of info if you have the time to surf around – click on RESOURCE CENTRE and have fun!

#234890
Member
• Total Posts 3901

http://www.irish-racing.com actually gives the finishing time for every runner (Irish races only)

#235638
Leemac
Participant
• Total Posts 74

You may be interested to know that the judge has the authority to "tweak" any of the margins (up to 2 1/2 lengths) if he or she feels the computer-generated distances don’t quite reflect what actually happened.

Thus if the conversion from time to distance produces an official distance of, say, 2 lengths, but the judge feels it looked more like 1 3/4 lengths, it can be amended.

In theory this can be done all down the field, but in practice it is more likely to be applied to the winning distance than the others, and the closer the margin the more obvious any minor discrepancy becomes.

The most interesting instance would be when one horse beats another by a nose – when it is possible for the two horses to return the same time (to two decimal places, the standard for Flat racing in the UK). A time discrepancy of zero would technically mean a dead-heat, but common sense prevails and the judge is thus able to declare a winner.

While it isn’t entirely satisfactory to have a two-standard system, it does mean that the winning margin should match what punters see with their own eyes, so it is understandable why it was introduced. If you’ve got any more questions about this subject, either PM me or post here and I’ll follow up for you, cheers.

#235640
seabird
Participant
• Total Posts 2924

Thanks, Lee.

Colin

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