Horses are to be required to carry approved speed sensing equipment in those races where its use is specified in the race conditions in the Racing Calendar.
A new BHB Order will be introduced, which is intended to apply for specified races run on and after 1st June 2005, although the precise date will depend on the outcome of further discussions about commercial and contractual issues.
The compulsory carrying of the equipment will not extend to those early-closing races run after 1st June for which the race conditions have already been published.
Although TurfTrax is at present the only company promoting and providing speed sensing apparatus, the requirement will extend to any other Jockey Club-approved equipment in due course. A fine will be applied in respect of horses that do not comply with the Order.
BHB Racing Director Ruth Quinn said:
“There is a widespread view that the information from speed sensing could be of great benefit to the betting and racegoing public and to industry professionals.
“Channel 4 Racing have already incorporated the information into their programmes. Statistics can be generated on, for example, each horse’s position and distance behind the leader at any stage of the race, sectional times, speed of each horse at any point, distance travelled and distance from the inner rail.
“Only a very small proportion of horses have not carried the equipment on the current voluntary basis. However, the Board agreed that it was not in the sport’s interests to have a situation where, if one horse in a race did not do so, the speed sensing information was rendered near-useless.
“The Board was mindful of the potential commercial benefits that could flow from the information in the longer term and, to this end, further discussions will take place between BHB and TurfTrax. Once these are satisfactorily concluded, a date for the introduction of the compulsory requirement will be confirmed.”