21 Feb 2008 Pre-2014 Releases

The British Horseracing Authority has confirmed that it will be introducing new finishing distances and amended the way that finishing distances are calculated. The changes will be introduced from Monday 25th February 2008.

Currently the following finishing distances are used:

Dead heat; short head; head; neck; ½ length; ¾ length; 1 length; 1¼ lengths; 1½ lengths; 1¾ lengths; 2 lengths; 2½ lengths; 3 lengths; 3½ lengths; 4 lengths – 30 lengths; Distance

The finishing distances are calculated by the Photo Finish computer, using 4 lengths per second for National Hunt racing and 5 lengths per second for Flat racing.

From Monday the following new distances will be incorporated:

Nose (between dead heat and short head)
2¼ lengths
2¾ lengths
3¼ lengths
3¾ lengths
4½ lengths

In addition, the following revised formulae will be used by the Photo Finish computer when calculating finishing distances:

National Hunt
4 lengths per second when the going is good to soft or worse
5 lengths per second when the going is good or better

5 lengths per second for AW Fibresand and when the going is soft or worse
6 lengths per second for AW Polytrack and when the going is good to soft or better

Ruth Quinn, BHA Director of Racing, said:
“The downside of the current formula is that it does not take into account going variations and currently involves rounding some distances up or down – therefore the finishing distance on firm going uses the same formula as on heavy going. By introducing new finishing distances, alongside the revised formulae, it will ensure increased accuracy in the measurement of finishing distances which in turn will allow the Handicappers to be more accurate in their assessments of horses.”

For more information please contact Paul Struthers, PR Manager, on 020 7189 3862 or 07966 590105.