The days when Clerk of the Course going reports were gospel are gone thanks to Going Stick Readings with Turftrax, but have we been sold down the river?
Following a tweet from @zaarito (Dan Richardson) I was intrigued by Ascot going report, and how soft exactly was Ascot round course on the opening day.
Inquisitive as I am, away I went, and what I found was astounding.
60 active courses, so you’d think the use of the Going Stick would be uniform, bar the festival meetings like Ascot with it’s wide straight. How wrong I was.
20 of these 60 courses have “Grid Zones”, this is where course is split into furlongs, and at each zone they take 3 readings, stand, centre and far, resulting in an average rating.
Firstly, can we please be provided with a list of courses that do use “Grid Zones” and those that do not?
Secondly, why is this data not available to all? I would appreciate knowing if the slowest part of a course was the first 2f of the home straight, or that the turns were the slowest parts of the course.
This is data readily available and already being forwarded to Turftrax. The publication of this data is down to BHA, and them only, as confirmed by Turftrax themselves.
The other 40 courses take readings from points in the course on a regular basis, and this data is used to produce the Going Stick Report.
Can we have a course diagram showing the positions where these readings are approximately taken from? Then in turn, can readings be posted on BHA/Turftrax/Courses website?
I’m not asking for information which is unattainable, sectionals are months away, but these readings have been taken for years. This information should be published and then it’s for the punter to deem if it’s worthy of interpretation or not.
I leave you with the response of one Clerk of the Course, one that does take a “Grid Zones” reading, which just shows what punters are up against, and that once again BHA are unaware of who is responsible for what in house:
“Would be a decision for Turftrax as they have the data. Not sure the raw data would be helpful”
I for one wouldn’t mind knowing if the last furlong was the slowest/quickest furlong underfoot.