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New sectional data a major win for punters

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Leading harness form analyst Darren Clayton has applauded Racing Queensland’s recent initiative to provide individual horse sectional times on its website.

Clayton, who writes form previews for Queensland meetings on www.harness.org.au said the data would be a major boost for punters, and could help lift betting turnover.

Punters and participants alike will be the major beneficiaries of enhanced sectional data – including individual 400m and 800m splits - at Queensland (Redcliffe and Albion Park) TAB meetings.

Form students will also see how wide their runner was at key moments, and how many metres that runner gained during the final 800m with easy-to-read graphics.

Clayton said the data would provide punters like him with the statistical back up to make better-informed decisions.

“It’s a fantastic tool to use when assessing form,” he said.

“By being able to actually see the figures, it gives you a better idea of how lucky or unlucky a horse may have been in a particular run. It gives you statistical back up as to what you thought you saw yourself.

“When you see a horse really rattle home, you’re able to look at the sectional times and you might see they’re not that flattering. If the times were strong and it’s made good ground, you know it’s probably racing well and needs a bit of luck.”

Some of the data may seem daunting for the inexperienced harness punter, so Clayton provided some key things to look for when assessing form.

How to read


Step 1
“The first thing I look at is the lead time versus what barrier the horse has jumped from. The lead time is the time it takes to get from the start (1660m below) to the 1600m mark.”


Step 2
“Then I’d look at the first quarter mile-rate (400m). For a 1660m race at Albion Park – no matter what grade – anything under 28-seconds is very fast. Then you look at the second and third quarter. Say they ran 28-seconds and 28-seconds you are pretty much setting it up for something back in the field to swoop home late. Stronger and better class horses can sometimes sustain that speed for longer. If they go slower (about 30sec) in those quarters, and are really closing late from the back, then the last 400m time is important.”



Step 3
Clayton provided a specific example in Race 1 at Albion Park on Saturday, August 12.
“Outlaw Fella did well to make up that amount of ground in a very fast final sectional. As you can see, he was two positions from the fence (three-wide in running) and was moving around the bend. They have run the third quarter in 26.8sec – which is flying – and for him to make up 10.9m over the last 800m means he has done a big job. If they’re racing three-wide in the last 800m then I’d definitely factor in the metres gained.”


Clayton said the data could be the difference between a punter having a bet, or looking elsewhere for more information.

“If there’s 10 factors to consider in a race and I can easily access nine, that is going to persuade my decision to have a bet on the race,” he said.

“If you have nothing available it’s up to the individual to do all the legwork. This is coming from the control body and it is the most accurate, detailed information out there. The more we can provide, the better place we are in to try and grow turnover.”

The data will be available at www.racingqueensland.com.au/Harness/Racing-Calendar/Sectionals, presented in a printable PDF format.
 
In further good news for punters and harness racing enthusiasts RQ has also committed to;
 
  • the display of photo finish images on the results section of the harness.org.au website, providing greater transparency of the race result function
  • improved access to trial video replays, now accessible directly from the trial results page


 
Harness Sectional Data Now Available