Sectional timing aim for all British courses by 2021 after Levy contribution

Plans are in place for all British racecourses to have live sectional timing and tracking data by the end of 2021 after the Horse Racing Betting and Levy Board pledged £900,000 towards the operating costs of the initiative over the next three years.

The HBLB will work with media rights holders and their selected tracking partners, the BHA and the RCA to realise the plan.

A statement from the HBLB read: "Accurate and fast data for all races is widely regarded as beneficial in engaging new audiences, while also offering bookmakers the opportunity to develop more compelling betting products in an increasingly competitive market.

"This technology will also provide key data-based evidence for industry priorities, including equine welfare, integrity and regulation.”

The investment has been welcomed by Total Performance Data, which is already providing live data on 12 courses owned by Arena Racing Company.

TPD is planning to complete installation at the remaining ARC courses by October this year.

A statement read: "We fully share the Levy Board’s criteria whereby this funding is to speed up and drive faster investment leading to a position where the technology is self-sufficient by 2021, available on every UK racecourse and generating new levy through new betting turnover."

Data-sharing agreement

The HBLB has also announced it has entered into a major data-sharing agreement with leading bookmakers.

Betfred, Ladbrokes Coral, Paddy Power Betfair, Skybet and William Hill have agreed voluntarily to share with the board race-by-race betting data from both digital and retail channels for every British racing fixture from January 2017. This could help develop a better understanding of the type of contests which are attractive to punters.

Increased budget

The HBLB recently announced a cut of £5m in expenditure (from £99m to £94m) for 2019 but has managed to increase the budget for industry, recruitment, training and education by £1m to £3.1m.

The key additional funding areas include a substantial boost to the vocational training programmes at the British Racing School, Northern Racing College and National Stud, plus extra investment in careers and a range of other activities.