It is a glorious Sunday morning and I am sat in the garden at 8am barefoot and earthing.

Some times it best to just stop and think and then when you have done that think a bit more. Of course Nike would like you to just do it but then again increasing their sales is dependant on your compulsion to buy.

While I was thinking I hit upon a rather simple and obvious idea that I had been pondering over the last few days. I produce Pace Figures daily on the SmarterSig web site and even if I say so myself, they are rather good. They should be I have tended them carefully over the last 10 years, tweeking them when ever I spot a miss-reading of a race comment. They form an integral part of my daily betting. I have however been pondering another recent interest of mine which is Machine Learning and sentiment analysis. Sentiment analysis is the adoption of machine learning techniques to analyse text and derive meaning. If you have read my earlier blog on this you will get the picture. What I am now pondering is could a machine learning approach produce better predictions of pace than my hard wired program approach. Furthermore it would also be capable of self updating or learning. For those of you not familiar with ML it will involve feeding the program as many examples of race comments as you can muster along with a an outcome for each comment. this outcome for example could be 1 for held up 2 for tracked and 3 for led or perhaps some other variation. Now the off putting aspect to this idea is that you would need to sit and watch a lot of races in order to really accurately tag each comment with the correct pace position. Now even bare foot in the garden such a task would guarantee a reversal of that Nike philosophy. However the rather obvious occurred to me while I wasn’t ‘just doing it’, the TPD tracking data gives me as accurate a track on race position as you can get. Marry this with race comments plug into the sentiment analysis and potentially thousands of race comments can be accurately machine trained. Once trained the system can then be used to predict future race pace. If TPD extend to all tracks then there would be no need for this and of course there is no guarantee that this will outperform my carefully hand crafted pace figure program but it sure as hell beats ‘just dont do it’.