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The home of intelligent horse racing discussion

race times

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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  • #6985
    sberry
    Member
    • Total Posts 1801

    with flat racing, particularly sprints i can see the point of recording race time to fractions of a second but just looking at some jumps races i thought ‘what’s the point of hundredths with jumps races ?’

    no need to go deeper than seconds is there and when did it start, as presumably it didn’t happen centuries ago ?

    #148936
    Pompete
    Member
    • Total Posts 2391

    Simon, the beaten distances in all NH races although expressed in lenghts are a factor of time: 1 lenght = 0.25 secs (adjusted to Going).

    I think this started in about 1996, but I’m not sure.

    #148948
    ReasonoverFaith
    Member
    • Total Posts 346

    I don’t want to hijack the thread, but I have another query related to time. (Did Luca Cumani really say ‘only worry about time when you’re in jail?)

    Anyway, my query… when speed figures are calcuated in jump racing, I’m assuming that speed figures do not take into account the number of fences missed out?

    Obviously it’s easier to run faster without the obstacles, but do those who compile speed figures change their median times according to fences omitted?

    Many Thanks.

    #148951
    Librettist
    Member
    • Total Posts 559

    Maybe the extra ground covered having to run round the fence negates the benefit of not jumping it!?

    #148953
    ReasonoverFaith
    Member
    • Total Posts 346

    Hmmm, interesting!

    #148966
    % MAN
    Participant
    • Total Posts 5104

    More to the point how can a decent assessment be made at courses like Stratford where they change the configuration of the chase course almost every year?

    #148992
    graysonscolumn
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6965

    …or Market Rasen, where the pushing in or out of running rails from one meeting to the next is as much the rule as the exception?

    gc

    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    #149031
    Artemis
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1736

    Speed figures can really be only estimated at certain jumps courses when obstacles are removed and the course changed by moving running rails.
    That said, an estimate is better than a guess and much better than nothing at all. Experienced ratings compilers are adept at making the necessary adjustments to race times to allow for any changes, but the margins of error are considerable when you take into account the variability of the going in jump racing from day to day.

    Therefore it is unwise to give too much credence to such figures in this branch of the sport.They are merely a rough guide to whether particular form is solid: one inconclusive piece of evidence.

    #149051
    Leemac
    Participant
    • Total Posts 74

    Some of you may not know that there are no electronically-recorded times in jump racing; they’re all clocked by a race-reader with a stopwatch. And although they’re often published to a one-hundredth of a second, in reality they are actually only clocked to one-tenth of a second.

    So while you may read 4 mins 51.20 secs, it’s actually 4 mins 51.2 secs, and never, for example, 4 mins 51.23 secs.

    That said, there are problems interpreting jumps times too literally for the reasons several other posters have already pointed out. At Exeter, for example, this winter the chasers have frequently used the hurdles course on the home turn, which is a completely different track – sharper and several metres higher. Information like that is invariably issued by the courses (and Exeter is very good in that respect), but it is possible you may not get to hear about it.

    There is also a problem when the runners stand for ages before jumping off – in a recent Kempton bumper it was 15 seconds before the race actually began. I think there is a case for starting the stopwatch when the runners cross the starting line rather than when the tape is released, but doing that would produce its own difficulties.

    Any other observations or ideas will be gratefully received!

    #149057
    Prufrock
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2081

    I always try to take times from when the runners cross the starting line rather than when the tape goes up. It is not always possible, however.

    There’s also a lot to be said for taking a time from the first obstacle to the finishing line, as that does away with the occasional dawdle to the first.

    There is no hard-and-fast adjustment to be made for omitted obstacles, but going round an omitted fence often comes to a similar thing (in time terms) to having jumped that fence. I did a lot of research into this about 10 years ago.

    Missing hurdles in bumpers require a fixed adjustment which is anywhere between 0.50 sec per obstacle and 0.80 sec per obstacle, depending on who you listen to. I make it nearer the latter than the former.

    #149072
    Wallace
    Participant
    • Total Posts 862

    Leemac, are you sure about the hand timing?

    My understanding is the Omega photofinish computer/camera is used for all timing. On the flat the start is activated by radio link and for jumps the Judge starts the timer on the computer.

    #149081
    Pompete
    Member
    • Total Posts 2391

    My understanding is the Omega photofinish computer/camera is used for all timing. On the flat the start is activated by radio link and for jumps the Judge starts the timer

    That was my understanding as well. I was surprise to read NH race-times are still done by hand – but then again it is only 2008 :roll:

    #149148
    Leemac
    Participant
    • Total Posts 74

    Leemac, are you sure about the hand timing?

    My understanding is the Omega photofinish computer/camera is used for all timing. On the flat the start is activated by radio link and for jumps the Judge starts the timer on the computer.

    Correct up to a point, Wallace…. in both Flat racing and jumping, the photo finish equipment generates the time separating each horse at the finish, which is then mathematically converted into lengths (an approximation). However, the time it takes for the winning horse to complete the course is only electronically recorded on the Flat.

    That’s why, when you are at a Flat race meeting, you will hear the judge announcing the "official" time after naming the fourth horse home. However, there is no official winning time in jump racing.

    For NH events, after every race, race-readers from Raceform/Racing Post and the PA will cross-reference the times they have clocked on their stopwatches to make sure they more or less agree, which is usually the case to within 0.1 sec. But it’s all done by hand – an attempt to introduce electronic times in jumps racing was tried for All-Weather jumping, but – like the product itself – it did not last.

    Indeed, if you need confirmation that all jumps races are timed by hand, I can reveal that I was in action at Chepstow today doing just that very thing!

    #149163
    robert99
    Participant
    • Total Posts 899

    On the NH race distance issue I have asked BHA about using a £80 hand held GPS distance measuring instrument that the clerk can use to check out actual race distances before racing. They are now conducting a trial. It will not be perfect but will be within 10 yards, or so. There is now some hope that the extra distances will be reported for each race – so if that info is useful, get on to BHA and demand it – don’t just whinge on racing forums.

    There is not sufficient cash for weighing horses but it has been seriously considered in detail by BHA. "Times" are really changing for the better and BHA deserve some credit.

    Leemac – BHA are relying on the media to cooperate with them and report to their public the "hidden" information given out on course. I am sure Bernie Ford has ample room to include all that.

    For missed out chase fences the correction can vary with how far they have raced – the further the bigger. The huge amount of energy taken per jump as compared to the small extra distance/ time raced at a gentle angle makes this a worthwhile correction.

    The real problem with NH speed figures are that the majority of ex flat runners are not up to carrying large weights over those distances at speed. They have to dawdle the first circuit to last out, and the standard times have not been extended to take that into account – hence distances are thought to be more wrong than they really are. (Which is why at Cheltenham next week the top class full out competitive racing looks like a different sport).

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