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Assessing The Best Distance For Your Virtual Racehorse

In the previous step we covered the first three time trial runs for your Raceclubs virtual race horse. What happens next very much depends on how it performed during those three runs.

Consensus of opinion seems to be that 200m on the track is equivalent to an extra 0.5 lengths victory (e.g. a horse winning by 4 lengths at 1600m is of similar ability to a horse winning by 4.5 lengths at 1800m). Not sure if it's exactly true, but it seems a pretty good approximation.

We'll take the time trial history from one of our horses as an example. We'll keep the track and going the same as before. Bl stands for Blinkers and Al stands for Alumites (racing shoes), as you can see at this point we haven't applied either.

No Distance Track Going Fitness Lengths B A
1 1800m USA Muddy 50% +5.60 N N
2 1000m USA Muddy 54% +2.95 N N
3 2850m USA Muddy 57% +7.43 N N

We'll use 2000m as a standard time and adjust the distances using the the formula of 0.5 lengths for 200m. We therefore add 0.5 (+200m) lengths to the 1800m distance, 2.5 (5 x 0.5) lengths to the 1000m distance and deduct 2 (4 x 0.5) lengths from the 2850m distance.

Distance Adj Lengths
1000m +5.45
1800m +6.10
2850m +5.43

We can see from the adjusted lengths, the example horse performed best at 1800m.

You'll need to bear in mind this is only a rough calculation. Time trials contain a random factor which can affect the winning margin by a length or so, plus your horse's performance will improve, by up to 2.5 lengths as it moves up the fitness gauge.

It does however give us a pretty good indication of the preferred race distance for the horse.

For the next three time trials we kept the track and going conditions the same and concentrated on the higher distances. Again we adjust to our standard distance of 2000m.

No Distance Track Going Fitness Lengths Adj
1 2400m USA Muddy 59% +6.41 +5.41
2 3200m USA Muddy 62% +5.57 +2.57
3 2200m USA Muddy 67% +7.23 +6.73

The race distance of 2200m gave us the best adjusted time so far, but we need to again bear in mind the random element and the fact the horse was 17% fitter than when it ran at 1800m.

We'll therefore check the distances again, but this time we'll change the going to fast.

No Distance Track Going Fitness Lengths Adj
1 1800m USA Fast 69% +6.76 +7.26
2 2200m USA Fast 71% +7.81 +7.31
3 2400m USA Fast 75% +8.04 +7.04

This evidence would suggest our example horse is suited by a range of distances between 1800m - 2400m when the going is fast, but struggles at 2400m when the track is muddy.

Up until this point we haven't applied any products from the tack shop (although if it's a Newbie horse it will already have been gelded and have racing shoes applied). The reason for this is we only wanted to change one factor at a time, but we also wanted to check our horse had some ability before we go spending extra money on it.

We'll it's not going to be a world beater, but we may be able to win a low grade race with it, so we'll take a trip to the tack shop.

Improving the performance of your virtual horse >>