The Longines Positioning System, coming to Lismore and Ballina racecourses, delivers a wealth of information via credit card-sized transmitters which go into secure pockets in each horse’s saddle cloth.
The Longines Positioning System, coming to Lismore and Ballina racecourses, delivers a wealth of information via credit card-sized transmitters which go into secure pockets in each horse’s saddle cloth. Marc Stapelberg

New tech giving punters lowdown on horses at local tracks

BALLINA, Lismore and Grafton are among 20 country race tracks across the state that will have a new radio frequency timing system installed by Racing NSW, with the two Richmond tracks hopefully having their equipment installed before their cup carnivals in September.

The Longines Positioning System delivers a wealth of information via credit card sized transmitters which go into secure pockets in each horse’s saddle cloth.

Radio signals are sent to base stations around the track then to a control centre where the data is used to produce a wealth of information including each horse’s individual time, its speed and acceleration, position in running and even the distance it has covered.

“This is a state-of-the-art system and one we settled on after extensive research on a number of GPS systems,” Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys said.

“This will be the same system that is going into all the Sydney and provincial tracks and will provide punters with a wealth of information about each horse.

“As you know, the present system only gives the time of the winner.

“This will provide the time for every horse, for the whole race and also for the sectionals.

“If a horse is trapped wide in a race over, for example, 1600 metres this system can tell you how much extra ground the horse travelled.

“That can be important information for punters.

“Once we have finished putting the systems into the Sydney and provincial tracks we will start with the selected country tracks.

“That should be about three months away.”

Chairman of stewards Ray Murrihy said the new system would be important from an integrity point of view.

“This will provide stewards with a whole range of new information,” he said this week.

“It will be an invaluable tool at protest hearings and even in determining things such as if a horse was going too fast or too slow.”

CLEARER PICTURES

SOMETHING that is going to every track in the state is an updated television coverage of local races.

Racing NSW has fitted out several outside broadcast vans with high definition cameras and associated equipment that will provide far clearer pictures.

Even picnic meetings will get the new technology.

“It is an expensive exercise but again it will be an important aid to punters by providing a much clearer picture and much more information,” V’landys said.

APPRENTICE QUESTION

TRAINER Owen Glue is waiting for stewards to get back to him before deciding whether last start winner Mile High Madam will run in the Benchmark 55 Hcp at Grafton on Tuesday.

Glue has booked Queensland apprentice Noriyuki Madusa but this race is a heat of the Rising Star Series for New South Wales apprentices.

Under the rules of the series, Noriyuki can ride the horse only if there is no other NSW apprentice available.

All the apprentices riding at the meeting have been booked for other horses.

“The stewards are trying to find an apprentice for me,” Glue said.

“If there is no one, Noriyuki can ride her.

“If they want me to give the ride to an apprentice who I don’t think is suitable I will scratch her.”

GRAFTON START

TERRY McCarthy has a nice horse in Heroism, one of his two winners from Ballina last Friday, and the horse will back up in the Class 1 at Grafton on Tuesday with Masuda picking up the ride.

Ben Looker rode the colt at Ballina but Heroism has top weight of 59kg and McCarthy has booked Masuda to take advantage of his claim.

McCarthy’s other winner was My Cousin Rhett, which was seen in new role as leader and stayed there to score an all-the-way win in the Benchmark 55 (1600m).

That was a departure from most of the three-year-old’s recent runs where he has settled midfield but apprentice Brooke Ainsworth explained to stewards that, in her opinion, he is a one-paced horse and was able to dictate terms then sustain his finish.

It is worth noting that when he won his maiden at Grafton last May he led all the way.

NORTHERN RIVERS RACING CALENDAR:

Tuesday Grafton (TAB), Friday Coffs Harbour (TAB), Monday February 15 Grafton (TAB), Monday, February 22 Coffs Harbour (TAB), Friday February 26 Grafton (TAB), Tuesday March 1 Lismore (TAB), Saturday March 5 Bowraville Phillip Hughes Memorial (non TAB), Sunday March 6 Grafton Country Championship Qualifier (TAB).

* The Richmond Racing column is sponsored by the Ballina Jockey Club and the Lismore Turf Club.



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