Hi Guys, my first post so please excuse me if this is in the wrong place!

I'm having trouble with a calculation with regards to my UK horse racing timing. In the UK some tracks have sectional times for each horse in a race, other tracks only give the leader of the race, this makes it difficult to then calculate a time for the horses behind in those races by visually assessing their lengths behind and converting back into time. To test my theories so far I use the races which I do have sectional times for each horse and have been trying to find a calculation to 'roughly predict' (within a couple of feet) how far in lengths the horse should be behind the leader, I then visually check that against the video replay to see if it looks correct. The problem is I can get it right for one race but when I apply the same methods to another race the lengths behind can be way off... I think the problem is velocity? Each race being ran at different speeds to the same point. Below I have provided a basic example using a theoretical 2 horse race to try and help explain the problem I'm having.

Horse A (leader) travels from the starting stalls to the 2 furlong pole (2660 feet) in a time of 49.9 seconds.

Horse B (2nd place) travels the same distance in a time of 50.2 seconds.

Horse A covered the distance travelling at 53.31 feet per second.

Horse B covered the same distance travelling at 52.99 feet per second.

A racehorse is approximately 9 feet in length nose to rear.

Horse A ran at 53.31fps/9feet = '5.92 lengths per second' so 1 length = 0.17 seconds

The time difference between the two horses is 0.3 seconds, 0.3/0.17 = 1.76 lengths

SO in theory Horse B should be roughly 1.76 lengths, or approx 16 feet behind Horse A...yet the physical difference watching the video replay looks more like 7 or 8 feet??

If this had been race for example with only the sectional time for Horse A (49.9 sec) available, watching the video replay I would see Horse B is roughly 7-8 feet behind and award Horse B a time of 50.05 (1 length=0.17sec/9(feet length of a horse)*8(distance behind in feet)=0.15). So we now have two times for Horse B, 50.2 and 50.05. The 50.2 is the exact time recorded but yet the physical difference doesn't match the time?

Can anyone please help explain where I am going wrong and how the calculation should look? I'm sure I'm missing another variable, possibly the velocity that they are travelling in? I have checked dozens of races and video replays and in each one the time of a length and the visual distance of a length do not match.

Many thanks!

I'm having trouble with a calculation with regards to my UK horse racing timing. In the UK some tracks have sectional times for each horse in a race, other tracks only give the leader of the race, this makes it difficult to then calculate a time for the horses behind in those races by visually assessing their lengths behind and converting back into time. To test my theories so far I use the races which I do have sectional times for each horse and have been trying to find a calculation to 'roughly predict' (within a couple of feet) how far in lengths the horse should be behind the leader, I then visually check that against the video replay to see if it looks correct. The problem is I can get it right for one race but when I apply the same methods to another race the lengths behind can be way off... I think the problem is velocity? Each race being ran at different speeds to the same point. Below I have provided a basic example using a theoretical 2 horse race to try and help explain the problem I'm having.

Horse A (leader) travels from the starting stalls to the 2 furlong pole (2660 feet) in a time of 49.9 seconds.

Horse B (2nd place) travels the same distance in a time of 50.2 seconds.

Horse A covered the distance travelling at 53.31 feet per second.

Horse B covered the same distance travelling at 52.99 feet per second.

A racehorse is approximately 9 feet in length nose to rear.

Horse A ran at 53.31fps/9feet = '5.92 lengths per second' so 1 length = 0.17 seconds

The time difference between the two horses is 0.3 seconds, 0.3/0.17 = 1.76 lengths

SO in theory Horse B should be roughly 1.76 lengths, or approx 16 feet behind Horse A...yet the physical difference watching the video replay looks more like 7 or 8 feet??

If this had been race for example with only the sectional time for Horse A (49.9 sec) available, watching the video replay I would see Horse B is roughly 7-8 feet behind and award Horse B a time of 50.05 (1 length=0.17sec/9(feet length of a horse)*8(distance behind in feet)=0.15). So we now have two times for Horse B, 50.2 and 50.05. The 50.2 is the exact time recorded but yet the physical difference doesn't match the time?

Can anyone please help explain where I am going wrong and how the calculation should look? I'm sure I'm missing another variable, possibly the velocity that they are travelling in? I have checked dozens of races and video replays and in each one the time of a length and the visual distance of a length do not match.

Many thanks!

Last edited by a moderator: