Will Duff Gordon, CEO of Total Performance Data, talks to Racing Ahead
How GPS analysis is the future of racing
Our aim has always been to combine our passion for racing with our technical know-how to create an experience that improves the sport for bookmakers, racecourses, owners, trainers, fans and punters.
I have been an avid racing fan and racehorse owner for many years. When I served on the ROA (Racehorse Owners Association) Council,I was their youngest ever member.Seeing racing through new eyes,plus my professional background in a market data firm, led me to develop an idea to update the sport through in-running data. With new technology and statistics the appeal of racing would widen and new betting products would help to bring it to a new generation.
We started off with a small team passionate about horse racing, all on the same wavelength: that racing was ready for a data revolution. With other sports treated to increasingly available and accurate in-play data, it was clear that racing was losing ground.
Put simply, we use the latest Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS/GPS) technology, fitting our own trackers into the horses’ saddlecloths, to deliver realtime positioning coordinates during races.
Our high-speed transmission enables our custom algorithm to derive everything from sectional times, field order, race pace and distance, which is then streamed directly to broadcasters and bookmakers. Our data provides the platform which allows our customers to create interactive experiences and new betting products.
Digging into the data…
Our data displayed on AtTheRaces.com is arranged by horse and by race,so punters studying the form will have likely come across the odd sectional time to get a grasp of a horse’s performance. Maybe that has shaped their betting judgement too?
As an example, how about a look into how grand old servant Grendisar has performed at Lingfield Park over the years (below).
Judging by his sectionals, he seems to enjoy a bit of pace early on. Three of his three fastest 1-2 furlong sectional times were recorded when going on to win the 2016 All-Weather Championships Final and Winter Derby and a second in the Winter Derby Trial.
TPD have a treasure trove of back history, comprising nearly 25,000 horses’runs. Data like this is of value to bookmakers and punters alike,as well as trainers, jockeys and owners who have shown a great interest, suggesting that these tools could play a big part in race preparation.
Betting on horse racing needs to keep up with the pace…
For the operators,it’s all about making the best betting product available to the customer. Just as in-play betting in football, where every goal, foul or booking can alter the odds, our technology is being integrated into racing to create in-play betting odds as every furlong passes.
We are at the heart of modernising betting on the race with a product that provides all the data needed to accurately trade in-running. Racing has never been able to offer in-race odds,based on real positioning data, until now.
With positive feedback coming from all the key stakeholders, we have 40% of UK racing available, and we have grown internationally with a recent deal in South America.
The future forTPD…
We are currently in a key year for the racing industry, both as a sport and for bookmakers. Racing is under increasing competition from other sports and betting on racing is going to need to do all it can to offer punters a more engaging, entertaining and informative experience. We believe data, and in-race betting, will be vital to this.
During the remainder of this year, I expect to see the leading sportsbooks and suppliers getting involved with our in-race data to create innovative new products that will help racing to remain a driving force of the betting industry.
Ultimately, we feel our technology fits at the very heart of horse racing growth and we want to see a wider audience benefiting from it and enjoying racing for years to come.