Lateral thinking keeps website ahead of the pack
Sunday's IT problems aside, we have a gold star for the Jockey Club's never-ending pursuit of an outstanding website for betting customers, which last week offered a new and useful facility on the race replays.
For those who haven't yet dabbled, the new set-up offers the lateral view - the standard race broadcast view - the stewards' head-on patrol view and the 'leading horse' view.
Frankly, we think we need the leading horse view about as much as a house brick needs a spoon, just like that other utterly useless addition, the Pass Through Analysis. (No, really, what the hell is that all about? I suppose someone out there reckons they backed a winner off it once so why not? There's no gun against your temple to make you waste your time watching it.)
Which leaves us with the lateral and head-on, which, erudite readers will note, we already had. Ah hah, but what has changed is that whilst viewing one, you can now one-click to switch to one of the other views and you are taken to the exact same point in the race. And that can be useful.
The Jockey Club website is the best free information site in the world and has been for some time, but what is impressive is the club doesn't let the turf grow under its feet. We recently talked here about the (free) smart phone Race Simulator app and whether you like it or not, it is a step forward.
It isn't easy to come up with new and better ideas for something as prosaic, time-worn and functional as race replays - changing how they are shown runs the risk associated with trying to reinvent the wheel - but the club has been able to make an improvement.