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About The Sectional Timing Flag

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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.

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FREE DAILY RACE PASS

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PONTEFRACT 3:35

Sunday 19 August
8. FOXTROT LADY 123
David Probert silk David Probert
Andrew Balding
12. ROCK ON BAILEYS 119
Joe Fanning silk Joe Fanning
Chris Dwyer
9. GOLDEN SPELL 116
Oisin Murphy silk Oisin Murphy
John Patrick Murtagh, Ireland hot trainer
Go to Full Race

LATEST HORSE RACING RESULTS

8:10 CHEPSTOW

1st Scott McCullagh silk 9. MACHO MOVER (IRE) 5/23.5
2nd Charlie Bennett silk hd 6. RAINBOW JAZZ (IRE) 14/115
3rd William Cox silk 1 11. KINGFAST (IRE) 10/111
J: Scott McCullagh (7)  
T: Mick Channon  
11 ran. NRs: 13  2 
FULL RESULT

8:00 MARKET RASEN

1st Danny Cook silk 3. LUCKY ROBIN (IRE) 2/13f
2nd Kielan Woods silk ½ 6. FLEETING VISIT 9/25.5
3rd Nico de Boinville silk ½ 8. CHIEFTAIN'S CHOICE (IRE) 6/17
J: Danny Cook  
All 9 ran.
FULL RESULT

7:40 CHEPSTOW

1st Megan Nicholls silk 10. ZILLION (IRE) 12/113
2nd Tom Marquand silk 2. THE JEAN GENIE 4/15f
3rd William Cox silk ½ 4. ANCIENT LONGING 6/17
J: Megan Nicholls (5)  
12 ran. NRs: 8 
FULL RESULT

7:30 MARKET RASEN

1st Aidan Coleman silk 4. PERFECT MAN (IRE) 3/14jf
2nd Brendan Powell silk 7 2. SPORTING BOY (IRE) 12/113
T: Olly Murphy  
All 7 ran.
FULL RESULT

7:20 TRAMORE

1st G. P. Halpin silk 12. JAKE PETER (IRE) 10/111
2nd T. P. Madden silk nk 6. AA BEE SEE 8/19
3rd K. J. Leonard silk 5. MICRAS 25/126
J: G. P. Halpin  
12 ran. NRs: 14  16  3  9 
FULL RESULT

7:10 CHEPSTOW

1st Rhiain Ingram silk 2. KENSTONE (FR) 9/25.5
2nd Hayley Turner silk 1 6. WELD AL EMARAT 6/42.5f
3rd Gina Mangan silk ¾ 7. WAHAAB (IRE) 10/111
J: Rhiain Ingram (5)  
8 ran. NRs: 1 
FULL RESULT

7:00 MARKET RASEN

1st Jamie Hamilton silk 4. BOSS DES MOTTES (FR) 9/25.5
2nd David Noonan silk 13 2. MARJU'S QUEST (IRE) 7/24.5jf
3rd Tom Scudamore silk 6. HELIUM (FR) 7/18
8 ran. NRs: 1 
FULL RESULT

6:50 TRAMORE

1st W. M. Lordan silk 10. LIKE AN OPEN BOOK (IRE) 10/111
2nd K. J. Leonard silk 3. YOU CAN'T CATCH ME (IRE) 25/126
3rd Rachael Blackmore silk 6. AWAYINTHEWEST (IRE) 5/16
J: W. M. Lordan  
All 11 ran.
FULL RESULT

6:40 CHEPSTOW

1st Nicola Currie silk 4. FIELD OF VISION (IRE) 9/25.5
2nd Phil Dennis silk ½ 7. SOMEWHERE SECRET 10/111
J: Nicola Currie (3)  
T: John Flint  
All 7 ran.
FULL RESULT
Go to Horse Racing Results