TPD Infographic Explainer

By Vincent Souillat, TPD Commercial Executive


Why is Stride Data useful?

  • A horse’s speed in getting from A to B is a product of its stride, which consists of stride length and stride frequency 

  • During each stride, the horse takes one breath. 

  • For each stride taken, metabolic energy is expended for both breathing and moving the limbs

  • Horses, like humans, have a certain amount of energy to deploy, thus stride characteristics are a good indicator of the optimum racing distance for each horse.  

  • The best striding horses cover more ground than average striding horses per unit of effort. 



What is stride length?

  • The distance travelled per stride

  • A horses limb length broadly correlates to stride length. The taller the horse, the longer the stride length (with exceptions such as Stradivarius)

  • Long but infrequent strides defines the characteristics of long-distance flat horses or jumpers. 

  • Stride length is heavily affected by both surface speed and course topography 

  • Slower going and uphill sections will shorten a horse’s stride, faster ground and downhill section will do the opposite. 



What is stride frequency?

  • Stride frequency, otherwise known as cadence, represents the number of strides (and therefore breaths) per second.

  • Sprinters over 5f generally have a higher stride frequency than horses who run over 1 mile or further (with exceptions such as Kachy).

  • To accelerate in races, elite horses tend to use both stride length and frequency in a linear fashion. Less talented horses use stride frequency over length to quicken but that comes at a higher metabolic cost, so they tire more quickly.

  • As observable in the graph, the expected stride frequency decreases as the race distance increases.

  • Note that some like to consider the average SF over a whole race while others prefer to assess the peak average.



What are par times?

  • Thousands of races enable TPD to calculate the expected speed second by second. 

  • Winners can win by running efficiently or by running less inefficiently than their competitors

  • Some horses will only win if pace suits their style of running as only exceptional horses can win when the pace doesn’t suit their profile

  • Jockeys will try to set or follow the pace that  best suits their horse on that day

  • These charts run live and after the race to tell the pace story