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There are any number of ways to pick your horse but using data to land on a winner is becoming more and more popular. We're delighted to partner with market leaders in that space, Total Performance Data, who will be providing breakdowns of some of the biggest races in the calendar.

A guide to Total Performance Data's metrics

Sensors are carried by each horse in a pocket in the number cloth. Each sensor contains GPS, accelerometer, battery and radio chips for live data transmission.

This enables the lid to be lifted on how the mighty thoroughbred performs. TPD have captured over 350,000 horse performances across the world and an example of speed and stride data for the 2021 Epsom Dash runners can be seen below.

Average strides per second

This is also knows as ‘stride frequency’ and in human sports is called ‘cadence’. Sprinters over 5f have a faster stride frequency (>2.45) than horses who run over 1m (+/-2.25).  Frankel’s cadence was 2.4 strides per second while most milers average c.2.3 sps. This means that strides per second are an indicator of a horses optimum racing distance since a sprinter can’t sustain that number of breaths and strides over longer distances due the laws of aerobic energy expenditure.

The measure compares all the runners against the same course/distance/ground combination.

Average stride length

The taller the horse, the longer the stride length.

There is evidence that elite horses have longer strides than horses of average ability. The logic follows from an understanding that each stride takes one breath, meaning the more ground covered per stride is tied to the efficient use of energy. From TV replays, people have estimated Secretariat’s average stride length to be 23.8 feet or 7.3 meters. Note that any judgements of this measure hang on whether you are assessing the average over the whole race or focusing on the peak average figures with the later being a popular way of identifying elite horses.

The measure compares all the runners against the same course/distance/ground combination.

Top Speed

The fastest furlong is measured in MPH for all horses against the same course/distance/ground combination. The best horses have a high top speed regardless of their optimum distance!


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