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About The Sectional Timing Flag

ArticleImage

A horse’s finishing position and overall time does not necessarily reflect its ability. Many of the factors affecting this, such as bad luck in running or unsuitability to the circumstances, may require a large degree of interpretation, but the efficiency with which a horse ran its race can be analysed more scientifically.

Sectional-timing analysis considers how an overall time was achieved, and not just what that overall time was, by using times for sections of the race along the way. Some of these sectional times are provided electronically, but Timeform augments these extensively with times taken from video analysis and live at the course.

As explained in the free-to-download booklet “Sectional Timing: An Introduction by Timeform”, the difference between a horse’s relative speed in a sectional and the par for that course and distance can be used to upgrade the performance.

Horses which run close to efficiently, or totally efficiently, get little or no upgrade to the ability implied by their overall time. But horses which run inefficiently will get marked up greater or lesser amounts according to the degree to which they differed from par.

This process has identified some superior performers long before it became more widely appreciated: horses such as Limato, Golden Horn and Western Hymn. But it applies every bit as much to run-of-the-mill racing, in which a horse apparently finishing quickly or slowly may be doing notably well or being flattered within the context of the race.

Visual race-reading has long sought to identify such horses. Sectional-timing analysis not only formalises this approach in a way which leaves little room for ambiguity, it quantifies the degree to which a horse has been assisted or inconvenienced by the run of a race, so that meaningful conclusions can be carried forward with confidence.

The Sectional Flag is attributed to a select number of horses which have been identified, through sectionals, as of particular interest. Over and above having shaped better than the result in a recent race, such horses are likely to have sectional ratings (their timefigure upgraded as a result of sectionals) which suggest they are potential winners in the future.

In addition, a degree of subjective filtering is undertaken, so that a horse with a stand-out sectional is not automatically put forward if, for instance, it has proved itself to be an unreliable proposition who often flatters to deceive.

The upshot is a unique list of horses whose merit may well be underappreciated by the public, due to information of which they may even be unaware, and from which the sectional flag is prompted.

Royal Ascot week with the Sectional Flag

Gutaifan WON 1.65 Time Test WON 2.95 Ervedya WON 4.72 Direct Times WON 2.69
Celtic Sixpence WON 10.19 Space Age WON 12.5 Arab Dawn WON 7.00  
Washington DC WON 7.33 Tumbaga WON 2.06 Mahsoob WON 2.8 Winners Jun 14-20 inclusive
Dhahmaan WON 1.89 Muhaarar WON 14.74 No Delusion WON 5.77 All prices BSP

13 winners from 39 runners! 37.29 points profit at BSP, 26.41 points profit at ISP!

Follow The Flags

Flags and ratings are exclusively available in Timeform Race Cards and Race Passes.

TIMEFORM RACE CARD PDF DOWNLOADS

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FREE DAILY RACE PASS

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ASCOT 4:20

Saturday 23 June
4. HARRY ANGEL (IRE) 143
Adam Kirby silk Adam Kirby
Clive Cox
9. REDKIRK WARRIOR 138
Frankie Dettori silk Frankie Dettori
David & B Hayes/Tom Dabernig, Australia
7. MERCHANT NAVY (AUS) 137
Ryan Moore silk Ryan Moore
Aidan O'Brien, Ireland
Go to Full Race

LATEST HORSE RACING RESULTS

9:15 AYR

1st Nathan Evans silk 2. COVIGLIA (IRE) 9/43.25f
2nd Rachel Richardson silk ½ 7. LUCKY VIOLET (IRE) 20/121
3rd Jamie Gormley silk hd 14. MY VALENTINO (IRE) 12/113
J: Nathan Evans  
12 ran. NRs: 1  4 
FULL RESULT

9:05 NEWMARKET (JULY)

1st Silvestre De Sousa silk 4. FLYING FOXY 11/102.1f
2nd William Carson silk 1. LA FORTUNA 8/19
All 6 ran.
FULL RESULT

9:00 DOWN ROYAL

1st Mr M. J. O'Hare silk 7. NOT THE CHABLIS (IRE) 3/14
2nd Ms Lisa O'Neill silk 3 5. CATS FOR CASH (IRE) 4/51.8f
J: Mr M. J. O'Hare (3)  
5 ran. NRs: 1  6 
FULL RESULT

8:55 WETHERBY

1st Cam Hardie silk 2. CANFORD BAY (IRE) 9/25.5jf
2nd Graham Lee silk ¾ 3. YOUNG TIGER 15/28.5
3rd Joe Fanning silk 5. ARNOLD 9/25.5jf
J: Cam Hardie  
All 10 ran.
FULL RESULT

8:50 LIMERICK

1st C. T. Keane silk 2. YOU CAN'T CATCH ME (IRE) 5/16
2nd G. F. Carroll silk ¾ 4. POLITICAL POLICY (IRE) 14/115
3rd William James Lee silk 8. DENHAM SOUND 3/14f
J: C. T. Keane  
All 14 ran.
FULL RESULT

8:45 AYR

1st P. J. McDonald silk 5. DR DORO (IRE) 4/15
2nd Paul Mulrennan silk nk 2. FUMBO JUMBO (IRE) 4/15
3rd Phil Dennis silk 4. ETERNALIST 7/24.5f
T: Ian Williams  
All 10 ran.
FULL RESULT

8:35 NEWMARKET (JULY)

1st William Buick silk 1. LOXLEY (IRE) 2/13jf
2nd Tom Marquand silk 3 3. RAYMOND TUSK (IRE) 2/13jf
All 7 ran.
FULL RESULT

8:30 DOWN ROYAL

1st Mr F. Maguire silk 5. GONE DANCIN (IRE) 15/82.87f
2nd Mr S. F. O'Keeffe silk 10 10. RATHMUCK MINSTREL (IRE) 10/111
J: Mr F. Maguire (3)  
7 ran. NRs: 1  12  2  3  4 
FULL RESULT

8:25 WETHERBY

1st Sebastian Woods silk 16. SPANISH MANE (IRE) 16/117
2nd Jack Garritty silk ns 6. VENTURA CREST (IRE) 7/18
3rd Tony Hamilton silk nk 5. PLANSINA 9/110
J: Sebastian Woods (5)  
15 ran. NRs: 13 
FULL RESULT
Go to Horse Racing Results