Queensland’s premier racecourse set to follow Singapore with timing system

The Trakus timing and tracking system, seen here in use at Singapore, is the front runner to gain the contract at Eagle Farm.

 

EAGLE Farm is set to become a punters’ paradise with the state-of-the-art tracking and timing system used in Hong Kong and Singapore to be ­installed at Queensland’s premier racecourse in time for this year’s Brisbane Winter Carnival.

Not only will Eagle Farm boast a plush new racing surface when it reopens in May but the racecourse will also be decked out with a new graphic timing system which is designed to change the face of how Brisbane racing is delivered to punters.

Racing Minister Grace Grace confirmed Racing Queensland and the Brisbane Racing Club were in the final stages of negotiations with Trakus and Swiss Timing over the rights to install the digital timing system.

The Bulletin understands Trakus is the front runner for the project with this system used in Hong Kong, Singapore, USA and even oncourse at Moonee Valley in Victoria. Swiss Timing is responsible for the Longines model used in Sydney.

Trakus gives punters an easy way to track their horse during a race through moving colour-coded tiles known as chicklets at the bottom of the screen.

The Trakus system also provides virtual replays of races and a host of valuable data for post-race analysis including accurate sectional times, the average and peak speed of every horse and data on exactly how far each horse has travelled throughout a race. Grace expects the new timing system to be a hit with punters.

“The technology will enhance the experience for racegoers and punters with instantaneous tracking of every runner during races,” Grace said.

“The technology maps the speed and position of each horse via radio tags which are inserted into the saddlecloth of each runner.”

Hong Kong and Singapore use different versions of Trakus with the style used in Singapore (pictured) where chicklets move constantly with respect to the horse’s position in a race being the preferred option for Eagle Farm.

The aim is to have the timing system installed at Eagle Farm prior to Queensland Oaks day on June 4 but it is likely to be trialled oncourse before it can be viewed on Sky Racing.

The BRC has already installed $50,000 worth of conduits around the track at Eagle Farm to carry the fibre optic cables necessary for the timing system to work.

BRC chairman Neville Bell said that it was important the club keep up with modern technology.

“The new generation of race-goers and punters are craving this sort of information,” he said.

Funds have been set aside in the Eagle Farm track upgrade for the installation of the timing system, while the BRC will look to sponsorship to cover the ongoing costs.

Plans are also afoot for the chosen tracking and timing system to be installed at Doomben within the next three years.

Racing Queensland interim chief executive Ian Hall expects the system to have a positive impact on Brisbane racing.

“We look forward to working with the BRC on its implementation at Eagle Farm and also at Doomben in the future,” Hall said.

“We expect a decision to be made on this new system in the coming weeks in order for immediate installation work to commence.”

Story courtesy Brad Davidson Gold Coast Bulletin

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