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Schedule – November 2015

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Dan Kelly’s FFP – Week 5

PRD – That sounds nasty


Back in February, a stone, in fact more a concrete slab was thrown into the sea that is Pre-Race Data.


“Fifty-seven British racecourses have today announced the formation of Racecourse Data Company (RDC).


The joint venture has been formed by Racecourse Media Group (RMG) and Arena Racing Company (ARC), and nine independent racecourses as shareholders.


RDC has been assigned the PRD (Pre-Race Data) licence for a five-year term from Racing Enterprises Limited (REL). PRD is information on a racecard, such as final fields, owners, trainers, jockeys, weight, colours, draw and ratings.”


Now the waves are beginning to hit the shore.


Last weekend a horse was listed in the Racing Post as being trained by Jane Western, when it was actually under the care of William Haggas. Still, we are all too aware that a mistake can be made within a database the size of the Racing Post’s, but then there was another glitch.


Pete, 11yo gelding trained by Barry Murtagh, who ran in the race famed for the headline “Forest Chump”, Monday’s 3:05 at Cartmel, was listed as being without his tongue tie in the Racing Post, whereas elsewhere was listed as wearing one.


Timeform, on the 7th July, announced that they had agreed a deal with RDC and that they had been appointed a distributor of official British horseracing Pre-Race Data (PRD) up to the end of 2018. This was on the back of SIS and Press Association signing up, hence why Timeform and Sporting Life were showing Pete with a tongue tie, but what about the Racing Post?


Well the way the PRD has been sold is in the form of a rate card. For the likes of Timeform, it very well maybe a rise in costs, but one they can certainly stomach, and more so if they can capatalise on a rival’s hesitation. But when we get to Racing Post, the costs are considerably higher:


Website and App usage will be through the roof. Take into account each LBO daily receiving a least one wallsheet as well as their own copy of the newspaper, you can see that Racing Post would be hit hard. Currently they have not signed up with RDC, and as a result this leaves punters in a very tough spot.


Over the last few weeks Racing Post have been trundling along by copying from other websites; “site scanning”, as such you will see cards change throughout the day. For Tuesday and Wednesday declarations this week, as at Monday AM there were three errors; two relating to change of trainer, and another was missing headgear, by post time these had been rectified.


But what if they aren’t?


Racing Post Database is one that the sport should be proud of. It’s a database that the sport needs to be maintained. Maintained correctly. I hope that RDC and Racing Post can come to some sort of compromise, as I dread to think how the database would look following six months of site-scraping. But judging by the press release on the 12th July, a compromise could be some way off.


“How will the Racing Post source its data now?


That is a question for the Racing Post, but – without agreement with RDC – it means the organisationand its customers will not be relying on official data direct from its source.”


Oh, the Racing Post, it would of been nice of you to tell us.


Dan Kelly can be followed on Twitter here

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