What is Trakus?
More accurate and immediate than GPS or other positioning techniques, the Trakus system uses proprietary wireless communications to track tags fitted into each horse’s saddlecloth during live racing. It’s an established technology used in thoroughbred racing venues globally

Trakus is a real-time tracking system that determines the exact location of each horse throughout a race, enabling it to instantaneously capture and distribute data related to location, speed and distance travelled for all horses and each horse relative to the leader.

It enables individual horses to be timed in a more precise manner than ever before allowing an increased understanding of how races are run and won. Traditional race level data continues to be available as sectionals and splits - available both from the barrier as the race is run or calculated back from the finish post.



How does it work?
The tracking system is able to provide this information by determining the exact location of each horse using a wireless frequency system. Radio antennas are situated around the racetrack to receive the signals generated by the corresponding radio tags secured in each horse’s saddlecloth.

Saddlecloth placement is critical because the signal generated by the tag is the basis for ensuring the information is able to be captured. It must be placed so that the tag seam (which identifies the edge of the pocket containing the radio tag) has at least 5cm between it and the saddle’s cantle. This placement, which avoids the saddle overlapping the tag pocket, is also critical for the comfort of the horse and to enable an efficient change of tags on the rare occasion this may be required.

trakus placement

The ‘live’ signal that each horses tag sends is represented oncourse by a real-time video generated tile containing the horse number and colours of the jockeys silk.  This may be represented as a ‘positional display’ reflecting the actual position of each horse on the track and where they are relative to all other horses in the race or alternatively as the more traditional ‘running order display’ which simply shows the running order of the first 4 to 6 horses.

Both views are beneficial, but it is the positional display is able to bring instant clarity to race viewers, even when horses are difficult to see in the video due to close/crowded racing, wide camera angles, inclement weather or loss of live race vision.
Tips for trainers
Racing Victoria appreciates your assistance in ensuring the saddlecloths are placed so that the radio tag is free from any saddle pressure and the signal from the tag is not impeded (see image).
Where is it operating?
The system is now fully implemented at Flemington and Moonee Valley and is being installed and rolled out at Caulfield during the 2016/17 season, with other selected tracks to be assessed. The data has also been integrated with digital platforms and broadcast channels and a suite of new data and reports will continue to be made available.

Many new innovations are also being investigated with Trakus that will enable the manipulation of available data to assess a horse’s performance at any point or period within a race using the corresponding video vision, as well as assessing individual horse’s performances across multiple races.