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Author Topic: Is it Time to Specify Margins for Dead-Heats  (Read 3616 times)

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Online westie

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O.P. « 2008-Dec-22, 09:49 PM »
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From: dubbledee  (Original Message) Sent: 21/12/2008 6:39 PM
Modern digital technology allows us to discern margins in photo-finishes that are down to the veritable pixel.
 
Previously the "finish line" was somewhat arbitrary, and there's little doubt that a percentage of dead-heats in days gone by would now be separated without a question from anyone.
 
Chief Steward Murrihy yesterday adopted the unusual step of viewing the Villiers print before declaring "weight".  That step would be seen as a positive by most.  Murrihy is quoted as having said it was the narrowest margin he'd seen outside a dead-heat.
 
Today's technology will be able to break down almost every photo finish.  But there's a question as to how far we should take it.  The rule-of-thumb will be that the "judge must be satisfied that there is a clearly discernible margin" or something like that. With high-resolution cameras that could be down to below a millimetre.  Is that taking things too far?
 
A preferred approach might be to specify a minimum margin required to separate two horses, say 3 mm?  If the margin is less, then we declare a dead-heat.
 
The print certainly shows a mm or so in favour of yesterday's winner.  But would there have been any objections to a dead-heat being declared?  I think not.
 
 

Online westie

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« 2008-Dec-22, 09:50 PM Reply #1 »
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From: NineMSN NicknameMattDjebel31 Sent: 21/12/2008 6:59 PM
I think that is a pretty clear margin in that picture, it is about the length of my whatsemecallit.

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From: dubbledee Sent: 21/12/2008 7:05 PM
Yes, no one's disputing there's a margin....but are we getting it down too fine?
 
It's around a mm, I'd say.

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From: Steve M Sent: 21/12/2008 7:27 PM
Well I'm guessing the connections of the winner might have issue with that approach DD :)
 
It's interesting, I've said elsewhere that you when you look at the print I can see a judge might make a call on it [although I don't think it's definitive] but if you save the print and enlarge I reckon it's even less certain there's a margin.
 
Overall I agree with your sentiments but doubt it would ever be accepted.

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From: NineMSN NicknameMattDjebel31 Sent: 21/12/2008 7:31 PM
Why is it that the nose must be on the line first, why isn't a foot/hoof good enough ? It was for Debbie Flintof-King. ( i think it was her knee )

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From: NineMSN Nicknamegintara™ Sent: 21/12/2008 8:14 PM
There's a clear margin there ..... should be declared as 'A bees dick'

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From: NineMSN NicknameMattDjebel31 Sent: 21/12/2008 8:48 PM
The most important thing from that picture is that weight is right in Sha Tin.
 
 

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From: dubbledee Sent: 21/12/2008 9:21 PM
Yes, Steve M, there's no doubt that the winner's connections and others who benefitted from the decision would happily go along with it....but next time they might be on the receiving end of a pixel margin and might hold a different view.
 
The margin certainly is way less than a nose.  Probably an ant's nose, if that.
 
And the blur on the outside horse's nose doesn't give assurance that his nose is not touching the line.
 
Maybe the judge sees a more defined outline of the noses than we see here.
 
Would be interesting to know just what the margin was/is.

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From: NineMSN Nickname_imaufo_ Sent: 21/12/2008 10:16 PM
I was hoping to be on the winner but alas was on th eloser..as soon as I saw  the photo I knew my money was gonski. Clear as mud.

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From: ShortHalfHead Sent: 22/12/2008 6:17 AM
I don't know why they even used the camera. Chris Munce was wildly celebrating his win from the time he went past the post till the time he returned to scale....whilst the judges and stewards were still pondering.
Why not just ask the jocks who won?

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From: johnnysixpence Sent: 22/12/2008 6:53 AM
I agree SHH, doriemus would have another melb. cup, bossy another G1 win...win-win really.
 
Its gotta be the nose first. I remember an epsom, or doncaster 3 way finish where the eventual runner up clearly had a hoof over the line first. must be in the late nineties, kingston something, i think telesto was 3rd.....anyway, made for a good photo. 

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Sent: 22/12/2008 8:47 AM
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From: wily Sent: 22/12/2008 8:48 AM
On the photo in the newspaper yesterday there was a gap between BOTH horses noses and the line.

It only looks like a margin above as the nose of the outside hore is blurry and not as dark as the other one.

Deah Heat i reckon

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From: NineMSN NicknameAnyMido111 Sent: 22/12/2008 10:38 AM
There was a print of the finish with the second horse's nose on the line, the winner's nose was over the line. To the 'naked eye' the inside horse won, that's why Munce was dancing in the saddle.
 
The issue is the way the photo finishes are taken. The camera should be above the horses i.e. across the track over the top of the horses thus, eliminating the mirror.

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From: Bubble Sent: 22/12/2008 12:29 PM
Olympics now go down to 0.001 of a second or something. Grand Prix may even be an extra 0.
 
If the technology is there, why give a false result? One horse was there first and one wasn't.

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From: Bubble Sent: 22/12/2008 12:33 PM
Given Saturday's example- we all pretty much believe there is a margin. If that is within the allowed margin, then the photo comes up and the juges say- well it's a dead heat....
 
Ummm but my horse clearly won, see....
Yes, but it didn't win by far enough. Your horse won but the other horse got too close. Sorry.
 
If the technology is good enough in the future by using chips or satellites and there are no dead heats then so be it.

Online westie

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« 2008-Dec-22, 09:52 PM Reply #2 »
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From: Bubble Sent: 22/12/2008 12:33 PM
judges

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From: NineMSN NicknameMattDjebel31 Sent: 22/12/2008 12:39 PM
I agree 100% Mr.Bubble.
 
What state did the runner up come form ?

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From: dubbledee Sent: 22/12/2008 12:39 PM
We believe we can see a margin in favour of the inside horse, but are we being misled by the image we are being shown?  The outside horse's nose has a ragged edge.
 
Timing of swimmers, cars etc, is not analagous to horse-racing.  The tip of a horse's nose is not a discrete boundary.  Hairs bring uncertainty.
 
The answer is to set a minimum margin, and that will be the end of the controversy over DHs or close-too-DHs.

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From: dubbledee Sent: 22/12/2008 12:41 PM
It is of no relevance where the 2nd horse came from.  I backed him the place, and had no benefit in him winning or running 3rd.
 
If that's the best debate you can come up with MD, you're desperate.

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From: NineMSN NicknameMattDjebel31 Sent: 22/12/2008 12:59 PM
At the end of the day we can see a margin, that is NOT a dead heat. A dead heat is a dead heat. What you have said there in message 19 would be all well and good if there was a laser that detected the crossing of the line by a nostrils hair but it is not. clearly people including yourself can see a margin.
 
Unless your next arguement is how much weight is the difference between the winner and the runner up i do not see the problem with the  official margin being a nose or whatever the official margin has been posted as. I doubt there are too many punters who put a bob of the head down to a pound or less.
 
Again i ask why must it be the nose that is first accross the line, any part of the anatomy should be enough ?

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From: dubbledee Sent: 22/12/2008 1:01 PM
We can see a margin .... on the image we're shown ... but is it clear enough to accept as a margin.
 
That's the issue.

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From: wily Sent: 22/12/2008 2:06 PM
Why is the photo fuzzy on the losers nose and crystal clear on the winners?

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From: Geoff Sent: 22/12/2008 3:28 PM
Because S A's nose is on the line, some are hoping H E's is.

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From: dubbledee Sent: 22/12/2008 3:31 PM
I think a reasonable person could make a case for the tip of HE's nose being on the line...to the left of his nostril almost in the middle of the darker band.

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From: NineMSN NicknameMattDjebel31 Sent: 22/12/2008 3:46 PM

NO doubt Something Anything won the Villiers. Anybody with 20-20 vision, two magnifying glasses and a microscope can confirm it.

I am not saying he didn't win. All I am saying is I agree with Ray Murrihy that it is the closest finish I have seen where a winner has been declared. I have seen similar finishes where a dead heat has been declared.

You will know what I mean if you saw the photo finish on television or in The Sunday Telegraph.

You had to feel for the connections of the runner-up, Queensland visitor Hey Elvis and his trainer and jockey Bruce Hill and Paul Hammersley.

It was almost a triumphant return to Randwick for Hammersley, who went to Randwick Boys High and started his apprenticeship at headquarters with Graeme Rogerson. It was a triumphant return for Chris Munce and everybody in racing with a heart was delighted.

Word came through on Friday night that the new board of Racing NSW is comfortable with the decision to grant a licence to Munce and it is full speed ahead for the little bloke.

Nobody ever doubted Munce could ride - he has a Melbourne Cup, a Cox Plate and two Golden Slippers on his mantelpiece - but it is astounding how quickly he has slipped back into the winning groove.

Munce has only been back riding a week, but on returning to scale after the Villiers, he was not even puffing.

Part of the reason is during his time in Silverwater jail he linked up with a former Sydney football player who is a physical fitness junkie. Every morning during his 13 months inside Munce did a 75-minute cardio session with his mate, and then each afternoon they did a weights session.

"This bloke is the fittest person you have ever seen, he would never let you get ahead of him when you were running, but I really enjoyed it, it made me feel terrific," Munce said.

 

Kenneth Calladerisious.


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From: dubbledee Sent: 22/12/2008 4:39 PM
Ken's implying that no one would have quibbled over a dead-heat.
 
Here's a pic of Rags To Riches and Hey Elvis fighting for first prize at EF earlier in the month. 
 
VILLIERS BOUND
 

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From: strawberry road Sent: 22/12/2008 6:30 PM
Looks just like the Weekend Hussler - Triple honour photo where they found a mm when zoomed in favouring WH last autumn.

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From: Bubble Sent: 22/12/2008 9:31 PM
DD,
 
I can see your point. I have had a good look at the photo and a lot of it comes down to how clear my own computer is etc which is an issue.
 
But if we have a margin that will be considered a dead heat, what about if a horse (or it's hair) comes within 0.5mm of getting within the margin?
 
So we will have photo finishes where we are trying to decide whether a horse is close enough to being within the margin and that will be as difficult to work out as it is finding an actual margin now.  
 
Surely it gets down to a laser across the track and then we can tell where the line was broken first. The computer says that the line was broken 2.3532m away from the origin of the laser and  when we look at the photo we see that Weekend Hussler was that horse.

Offline MagiC~*

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« 2008-Dec-22, 09:58 PM Reply #3 »
My take on all this is that if you can find a margin no matter how small, then I believe it is a margin and somebody should be declared the winner.

As technology improves with higher resolution pictures, then so will the ability to declare a winner in a close finish.

Same goes for swimming and athletics, as the timing equipment improves so does the ability to seperate them.

 :thumbsup:

Offline Hillbilly

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« 2008-Dec-22, 10:30 PM Reply #4 »
DD why bother to ask us a question when all you really want to do is tell us what our answer should be? Typical of a person in any type of administration who pops out a survey with questions biased towards a pre conceived conclusion. That individual of course knows what's best.

People have obviously stated that any clear margin should be enough to declare a sole winner. If that's not good enough for one individual then that's too bad. If raceclubs spend money on technology that works then they should use it. If owners can't handle being beaten in a close finish they're probably in the wrong caper.

A dead heat by definition is a specific lack of a margin. 

Offline Hillbilly

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« 2008-Dec-22, 11:11 PM Reply #5 »
Anyone using the picture quality of newspaper images as photographic evidence is destined to spend life greatly disillusioned.

"On the photo in the newspaper yesterday there was a gap between BOTH horses noses and the line"

Offline OldLarsy

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« 2008-Dec-22, 11:18 PM Reply #6 »
The inside horse's nose is hard on the line whereas the outside hasn't touched it. There is a margin.
Rollit back a proverbial and the inside will be just touching it and the outside will be nowhere near it.
Clear cut to me

Offline Darkhorse

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« 2008-Dec-23, 09:46 AM Reply #7 »
There is certainly a margin shown that has determined the winner, but and this I think is the big question, is the photo finish camera in the correct position. By this I mean is it exactly lined up with the finish line and is it in correct alignment.

Offline MagiC~*

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« 2008-Dec-23, 10:00 AM Reply #8 »
Now you have just opened up another can of worms Darkhorse  :sweat:
« Last Edit: 2008-Dec-23, 03:24 PM by MagiC~* »

Online Arsenal

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« 2008-Dec-23, 03:25 PM Reply #9 »
Having had some experience in judging  as well as jury I adopt MagiC's reasoning .Although I must say I was confused before the DH decision was given relying on Richard Callender and seeing the image on my TV I couldn't discern the margin now available on the finish link Sorry for the connections of Hey Elvis which ran the race of his life and never on the track.  emthup

Offline dubbledee

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« 2008-Dec-23, 04:18 PM Reply #10 »
Well we can get the margin down to microns if we apply the correct technology but that would be totally inconsistent with the present attitude to the weights carried by the jockey.  We're happy to overlook a few grams here and there.

Offline calgary

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« 2008-Dec-23, 04:48 PM Reply #11 »
Well we can get the margin down to microns if we apply the correct technology but that would be totally inconsistent with the present attitude to the weights carried by the jockey.  We're happy to overlook a few grams here and there.

Then it is a second best policy to complain about the margins rather than the weights - the solution then would be to weigh jockey's more accuratley not make margins less acurate.

Offline woodywob

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« 2008-Dec-23, 04:54 PM Reply #12 »
there you go double d ....... looks like yours wins this one ... lol


Online wily ole dog

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« 2008-Dec-23, 05:56 PM Reply #13 »
I wonder how much that print was magnified on saturday.

50%, 200% 300%?????

As Murrihy said on the radio today, magnify enough and you'll as ways get a margin but the nose of the horse in this print is distorted and I don' think thats fair

Offline MagiC~*

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« 2008-Dec-23, 07:10 PM Reply #14 »
I think the quality of the print has to be taken into account, but that is all limited to the technology being used I guess.

If they can get a clear cut descision no matter how small they go, then I am all for it as long as everything is calibrated correctly and there is no chance of a false reading.

Offline Kato

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« 2008-Dec-23, 07:34 PM Reply #15 »
Yes good point Darkhorse. Are cameras correctly positioned?

I definitely would like to see margins in close finishes posted in metric as part of the result. i.e. no more half head, prefer to see 200mm or 250mm or in the case of a short nose say 5mm- sounds odd but it could work.

I also have issues with the accuracy of sectional times & distances of races.

But that's not for this thread     :biggrin:

Online JWesleyHarding

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« 2008-Dec-23, 08:13 PM Reply #16 »
Well, Mr Darkhorse, great minds must think alike. ;) I was going to pose the same question about the alignment of the camera.

Further, does wind affect the finishing post?

It might seem a trivial question, but when we getting down to the microns that we seem to be these days, it might have an effect.

Offline woodywob

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« 2008-Dec-23, 08:23 PM Reply #17 »
Gee ... some of you must be really hard to live with ... I hope you live alone ....

How simple could this be ?

There is a line from the outside rail to the centre of the finishing post ..... which ever horse breaks that line first is declared the winner ... just as it should be. If technology is such that we can break that margin down to one pixel ... then that is fantastic .... we can have a REAL winner.

I suppose you think that the people who position the instruments that first define that line and second that determine what horse has crossed that line first are amateurs ? .... I don't think so ..... such things, with today's technology are positioned very accurately ....


Offline Authorized

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« 2008-Dec-23, 08:30 PM Reply #18 »
So why should a horse not be able to break that line with his goddam HOOF ?

Online JWesleyHarding

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« 2008-Dec-23, 08:36 PM Reply #19 »
Just because..........that's why.

Offline MagiC~*

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« 2008-Dec-23, 08:42 PM Reply #20 »
Because they measure one length from the nose of a horse to their hind quarters, not from the tip of the hoof  ;)

Offline woodywob

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« 2008-Dec-23, 08:46 PM Reply #21 »
So why should a horse not be able to break that line with his goddam HOOF ?

Gee ... some of you must be really hard to live with ... I hope you live alone ....

How simple could this be ?

There is a line from the outside rail to the centre of the finishing post ..... which ever horse breaks that line first with some part of it's head  :) is declared the winner ... just as it should be. If technology is such that we can break that margin down to one pixel ... then that is fantastic .... we can have a REAL winner.

I suppose you think that the people who position the instruments that first define that line and second that determine what horse has crossed that line first are amateurs ? .... I don't think so ..... such things, with today's technology are positioned very accurately ....

Offline Hillbilly

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« 2008-Dec-23, 08:51 PM Reply #22 »
1) Have you seen how distorted a photographed leg/hoof can look in full stride Authorized?

2) How happy will folks be when photos show one horse clearly with its head in front but it loses first by a long toenail ( hoof )? Magic's summary of horse measurement hits the mark pretty well.

3) Even if the camera is set up in marginally the wrong place one day EVERY result that afternoon is still going to be consistent. Fixed positions are the norm eliminating this error.

4) Wind only effects the finishing post if it's a hurricane/tornado and lifts the structure from the turf a la Dorothy and her house. If the wind is so strong that it is moving the post around in a dangerous manner I'd say racing would be called off anyway for safety reasons.

5) Does anyone really think that the camera is set up on a tripod to blow about in the breeze or have they been sniffing their own "wind" too long?


Offline MagiC~*

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« 2008-Dec-23, 08:52 PM Reply #23 »
Was it Wanye Bennett that said he would rather a match decided by golden point rather then it be declared a draw ?

Offline woodywob

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« 2008-Dec-23, 08:57 PM Reply #24 »
Have you ever noticed how "disappointed" everyone looks after a dead heat or draw ...... a result is what it's all about ....


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