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How are margins measured?

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Hot2Trot View Drop Down
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    Posted: 23 Jun 2011 at 10:59pm

When I consider beaten margins, I always have in mind the number of lengths that each horse is behind the winner, when the winner crosses the finish line.  However when I think about it, this cannot be how official margins are measured.  If it were, then you would find lots of instances of horses 'out of order'.  For example you might get the horse finishing 8th with a margin of 8.1 lengths, and the 9th placed horse with a margin of only 7.8 lengths.  This would happen because the 8th placed horse was behind the 9th horse when the winner crossed the line, but overtook the 9th horse before the winning post.  Do you follow?

I'm thinking they maybe they measure beaten margins somehow using the photo finish camera.  In which case the beaten margins are not strictly accurate.  Like I said at the outset, I always think of beaten margins representing how far the winner beats each horse when it crosses the finish line.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Grinnersawinner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2011 at 11:04pm

This is an example of a possible solution.

The beaten margin for the 4th horse could be calculated like this.
Margin between 1st and 2nd placed horse when 1st placed horse crossed line PLUS margin between 2nd placed horse and 3rd placed horse when 2nd placed horse crossed the line PLUS margin between 3rd place and 4th placed horse when 3rd placed horse crossed the line.
 
Im sure somebody will know exact answer; possibly Andy as I believe he has/does work in judges box.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote horlicks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2011 at 11:35pm
The "photo finish" is actually activated as each horse crosses the line so even though the image looks as if it is taken as the winner finishes it is actually a "composite of each horse finishing.

Link below is from Pinjarra today.


http://www.rwwa.com.au/cris/raceresults.aspx?meeting=15183&race=2&photo=true
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote scamanda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jun 2011 at 12:29am
Margin 1-2 1L at the post
Margin 2-3 1L 3rd beaten 2L at the post
Margin 3-4 1L 4th beaten 3L at the post
Margin 4-5 0.5L 5th beaten 3.5L at the post
etc

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hot2Trot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jun 2011 at 8:55am
Originally posted by horlicks horlicks wrote:

The "photo finish" is actually activated as each horse crosses the line so even though the image looks as if it is taken as the winner finishes it is actually a "composite of each horse finishing.

Link below is from Pinjarra today.


http://www.rwwa.com.au/cris/raceresults.aspx?meeting=15183&race=2&photo=true
 
Yes I'm sure you're right.  I understand why they do it this way (for convenience), but IMO it is strictly speaking incorrect to call these 'beaten margins'.  IMO a true beaten margin is how far each horse is beaten by the winner when the winner crosses the finish line.  But I realise this would be much harder to calculate.  In the 'old days' people used to measure them from photographs taken when the winner crossed the line.  I doubt anyone bothers doing it this way now - too time consuming.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote topoftherise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jun 2011 at 10:56am
the photo finish is taken when the operator pushes the capture buttons, its not automatic.
 
the camera's take around 2000 frames per second and the program, usually called finish lynx streches out each image to provide the strip you see in the paper or on various websites.
 
beaten margin for the placings is decided by the judge
 
beaten margin for all other horses is decided by the program when the operator clicks on each horse. its all time coded. i.e. if the winner finished at 1:32.45 and the 8th place horse finishes at 1:34.87 the program works out the margin.
 
the only problem is that RacingNSW don't have the margin go to 2 decimal points unlike melbourne. in NSW if your horse is beaten 3/4L, the form guide will read 0.8L from the winner not 0.75. if 3 horses go across the line nose x nose x nose, 1 length from the winner, the 2nd horse must be 1.1L behind, the 3rd horse 1.2L behind and the 4th horse 1.3L behind. so when looking at the form for its next start, instead of the 4th horse which really finish just over a length from the winner, the form will say it was 1.4L behind. not an accurate description.
 
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