Whilst horse racing is essentially a race concerning nature, there is a scientific element both to the race itself and increasingly the training of racehorses, aimed at optimising performance.
One of the latest technologies to arrive in the UK is Total Performance Data, a methodology that can provide all sorts of useful information for people involved in or following the sport.
Course Specialist recently caught up with Will Duff Gordon @WillDuffGordon , CEO at Total Performance Data, to find out more about this technological breakthrough.
In your own words, please can you explain what Total Performance Data Does?
Total Performance Data (TPD) provides an in-race live tracking service for horse racing. The technology feeds back a whole host of data including stride length and split time calculations while the race is in progress via Global Navigation Satellite System technology which takes the form of a tracker in the saddlecloth.
What is the history of the company from concept to launch?
We were founded in 2013 by a small team passionate about horse racing. We wanted to facilitate the same type of data revolution we have seen in other sports but has yet to hit racing, and we knew the technology was available to do exactly that. Our aim was always to combine our passion for racing with technical know-how to create a product that improved the sport for racecourses, owners, trainers, bookmakers, fans and punters.
How does the technology work?
We use the latest Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) technology, fitting trackers into the horses’ saddles, to deliver real-time positioning coordinates during races, from which we can derive everything from sectional times, field order, race pace, distance and more. GNSS technology has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, and it is possible to track the horses extremely accurately and in real-time.
How has the company evolved and refined its technology?
We are still a young company but we have expanded very quickly. We are able to provide data from 40% of UK racing and are in talks to greatly expand upon this and take the technology global. But perhaps the most interesting aspect is what we can do with this data. We already offer an odds generation feed, but this data has a number of exciting use cases that can completely change the way racing is consumed and bet on, particularly in terms of opening up live betting.
How expensive is the technology to install?
The technology is very affordable and simple because there is virtually no permanent infrastructure required on course.
Who and where are your customers?
The data is available and useful to a full range of people. Performance indicators such as stride length and split time calculations are becoming of great interest to bookmakers, punters and the media.
How does this technology compare to other parts of the world?
The technology is being pioneered here in the UK. Our technology uses the very latest GNSS technology, which was designed and developed in the high-tech cluster surrounding Cambridge University. We are already finding there is a lot of interest internationally and we are in advanced discussions with racecourses from a number of countries around the world.
What feedback have you had from racecourses and trainers?
We have had some fantastic feedback so far. We have found trainers and jockeys in particular are fascinated by the insight we can provide on performance. For as long as racing has existed, much of the evaluation process of a race has been based on perceptions, but we can now provide hard data to show where a horse has performed well and where it has struggled. The sectional times we provide have been a real eye-opener for many.
What plans do you have for 2017?
2017 is looking bright for us. We are going global, and will roll out our products with more courses around the world. We have very recently penned a number of fresh deals, which we will announce shortly – so watch this space!
As for the technology, we have several upgrades and new tools for our in-running feed for bookmakers.
Other new features we’re building on heading into the new year include live data tracking for mobile, and we will be experimenting with live ways to display data feeding back from the horse to give our clients a real eye-opener.
Where can potential customers find out more information?
You can read more at www.totalperformancedata.com.