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By Graham Potter | Sunday, April 12, 2015

Graham Potter writes a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast daily. Due to demand from those having trouble accessing the paper these columns are now also published on HRO courtesy of the Sunshine Coast daily.

The Championships in Sydney means different things to different people but Friday’s unveiling of the Longines Positioning System (LPS), which was used for the first time at Randwick yesterday on Day 2 of the Championships, will be of interest to all racing enthusiasts, participants and officials.

The LPS has been called a game-changer in terms of race timekeeping. In fact, it is much more than timekeeping as we know it as the system also includes tracking technology which will provide instant data on the exact position of each horse during a race, race rankings, the distance between horses and the speed of each horse.

This information will be accessed via a 62-gram tracking device which is attached to the saddle cloth and transmits to 12 antennas on the track. The antennas then instantly relay all data to a base station on the track which puts the data up on the screen.

LPS claims accuracy down to 5 centimetres and features up to 1000 measurements per second.

Mr Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President and Head of International Marketing of Longines said: “For Longines, investing in technological advancements is the latest step in our long term relationship with horseracing.

“Whether you are a horseracing enthusiast, a world renowned jockey or a TV broadcaster, access to more accurate, flexible data allows you to understand, share and act on the intricacies of performance as never before.

"We are excited to see how the LPS technology can be utilised in the future to improve the experience for racing spectators.”

Capelli confirmed the system would be used globally to at race tracks in partnership with Longines.

Peter Moody’s responded to the system launch by saying: “I can now see where my horse lost ground, made up ground so I can then work with my jockeys and the way I train my horses and see where I need to improve. It will become a valuable tool in analysing pre and post-race.”

As a tool, the LPS will be invaluable to all industry participants and followers including New South Wales’ racing stewards who are interested in seeing whether the system can be of assistance to them in terms of assessing riding tactics and situations where interference occurs ... as data can be customised at any time during a race to show the movement of any horse and can reveal the change of speed of horses when they have received checks or been blocked for runs.

Mr. Darren Pearce, CEO of the Australian Turf Club said: “The Australian Turf Club is honoured to see this innovative technology installed at Royal Randwick Racecourse and used for the very first time at the Championships Day 2 - Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes Day.

“The ability to more accurately and repeatedly track real-time performance data is very exciting for horseracing and the LPS system has the potential to benefit our members, racegoers, racing professionals and punters.”

Longines has a proud history in equestrian timekeeping dating back to 1878 and this state-of-the-art innovation sets a new standard in that area of expertise which really takes at Randwick into a advanced technological era.

When will others be able to catch up?

Only time will tell.

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Graham Potter
Graham Potter
Queensland's Own www.horseracingonly.com.au Queensland's Best