Lengths aren’t the most scientific metric, so in this article, we’re taking a look at how many lengths per second a horse travels in horse racing. Calculating this number gives us a clearer indication of the winning or losing margin of a horse race.
The more specific the metrics we use, the more accurate the picture. Data science has taken over the world in the last 10 years, and with good reason. Be wary of speculative opinions, they’re the complete opposite!
The length of a horse race can vary, with flat races typically being shorter in distance compared to National Hunt races. In flat racing, races can range from sprints of five and a half furlongs (around 660 feet) to middle-distance races of around a mile and a quarter (2050 feet). National Hunt races, which include steeplechases and hurdles, can range from around two miles to over four and a half miles. Watch out for that if you’re trading in-running, it can be deceiving. Looking at historical with this in-running data tool can be far more accurate.
Horse Racing Speed in Lengths Per Second…
Regardless of the distance of the race, it is important to consider the speed at which the horses are running. This can be measured in terms of lengths per second, which refers to the distance a horse travels in one second. This measurement is important for several reasons.
Now, first of all, it allows for comparison between different races and different surfaces. For example, a horse may be able to run a certain distance in a certain time on a turf track, but may not be able to maintain the same speed on a dirt track. Lengths per second can help to standardize these comparisons and give a more accurate picture of a horse’s performance.
The lengths per second can be used to calculate speed figures in horse racing. Often used to compare the performance of horses in different races. These figures take into account the length of the race, the surface the race was run on, and the time it took the horse to complete the race. By comparing speed figures, handicappers and bettors can get a better sense of how fast a horse is and how it may perform in future races.
So, how many lengths per second does a horse typically run in a race?
The answer can vary depending on the distance of the race and the surface it is run on. In flat racing, horses may run at speeds of around 5-6 lengths per second in sprints and around 6 lengths per second in longer-distance races. In National Hunt racing, horses may run at speeds of around 4 lengths per second in shorter races and around 5 lengths per second in longer distance races.
It is worth noting that these are just rough estimates and that individual horses may run at different speeds. Some horses may be better suited to sprinting and may be able to maintain higher speeds over shorter distances, while others may excel at longer distances and be able to maintain a steady pace.
Lengths Per-Second Vary on the Surface…
There are also variations in lengths per second based on the surface the race is run on. Turf tracks tend to be softer and slower than dirt tracks, which can affect the speed at which horses are able to run. As a result, horses may run at slightly slower speeds on turf compared to dirt.
Relevant explainer: Full Guide to UK Horse Racing Types Click Here
In addition to the surface, the condition of the track can also impact lengths per second. A track that is wet or muddy may slow horses down compared to a dry and fast track.
Overall, the measurement of lengths per second is an important tool for comparing the performance of horses in racing. It allows for standardization across different surfaces and is an important factor in calculating speed figures. By considering lengths per second, handicappers and bettors can get a better sense of a horse’s abilities and potential in future races.
It is also worth noting that length per second is just one factor to consider when analyzing horse racing performances. Other factors such as the horse’s running style, the competition it faced, and the jockey’s tactics can also play a role in its success (or failure).
As an example; a horse that is known for its strong closing kick may not necessarily run the fastest early pace in a race, but may be able to make up ground in the stretch and finish strongly. In this case, the horse’s overall time and lengths per second may not necessarily reflect its true ability.
Similarly, a horse may run a strong race on a certain surface, but may not perform as well on a different surface. Some horses may prefer firmer turf tracks, while others may prefer a softer, more yielding surface. In this case, lengths per second may not be as accurate measurement, as it does not take into account the specific surface the horse is running on.
It is also important to consider the level of competition a horse is facing. A horse may run a strong race against a weaker field, but may not be able to maintain the same level of performance against a stronger field. In this case, the horse’s lengths per second may not accurately reflect its true ability. A bit like a jockey who’s got a stubborn horse under the pump early on. It’s always amusing when the in-running trading data goes haywire because of such things. This tool is good for identifying value in such situations.
Overall, lengths per second are an important measurement in horse racing, but it is just one factor to consider when analyzing a horse’s performance. By considering other factors such as running style, competition, and surface, handicappers and bettors can get a more complete picture of a horse’s abilities and potential in future races.
Speed Figures and Lengths Per Second:
There are several other metrics that are commonly used to analyze horse racing performance. One such metric is the Beyer Speed Figure, which was developed by Andrew Beyer in the 1970s.
The Beyer Speed Figure is calculated based on the time a horse takes to complete a race, the distance of the race, and the surface it was run on. It is expressed as a number, with higher numbers indicating faster performances.
The Beyer Speed Figure is widely used by handicappers and bettors as a way to compare the performance of horses in different races. It is considered to be a more accurate measure of a horse’s speed than raw times, as it takes into account the specific conditions of each race.
Another metric that is commonly used in horse racing is the Racing Post Rating (RPR). Developed by the Racing Post, a UK racing newspaper, the RPR is similar to the Beyer Speed Figure in that it is based on the time a horse takes to complete a race, the distance of the race, and the surface it was run on.
Like the Beyer Speed Figure, the RPR is expressed as a number, with higher numbers indicating faster performances. It is commonly used by handicappers and bettors in the UK and Ireland, and is considered to be a reliable measure of a horse’s ability.
Aside from the Beyer Speed Figure and the RPR, there are several other speed figures and rating systems that are used in horse racing. These include the Timeform rating system, the Equibase Speed Figure, and the International Class Rating (ICR).
Overall, speed figures and rating systems are important tools for handicappers and bettors as they provide a more accurate measure of a horse’s performance than raw times alone. By considering these metrics, along with lengths per second and other factors such as running style and competition, it is possible to get a more complete picture of a horse’s abilities and potential in future races. Historical in-running data is another reliable source of information as discussed on the link below…