Racing takes a closer look at Hawk-Eye

After being extensively used in the AFL and successfully adopted in world class cricket, the much talked about Hawk-Eye vision arrived at Flemington racecourse on Saturday.

With the AFL using Hawk-Eye to assist in close shots at goal and Twenty20 cricket making it part of its umpiring armour, racing trialled the state-of-the-art technology.

Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey said the innovation would spread throughout the state, but was largely on trial at Flemington on Saturday.

Racing has indeed come a long way. Just 40 years ago, black-and-white vision was used to sort out the most vexing protests and challenging mid-race interference.

But now with Hawk-Eye, Bailey is maintaining the new and amazing vision will be a "major asset" to stewards at race meetings in Victoria.

Bailey explained that two large screens can carry up to eight separate frames highlighting particular incidents during a race.

The steward also said that when head-on, side-on and rear vision was married together, it gave a remarkable insight into a racing incident, a luxury never afforded to racing stewards.

"The precision is quite amazing," he said. "The Hawk-Eye can zoom into a number of frames and then we can marry up - let's say rear, side-on and front-on - and we can then determine the movement of a jockey or indeed any problem that has been caused in the running of a race so clearly.

"It's not only going to be beneficial in protests, but determining interference at any point of the track will be made crystal clear and is such a quantum leap from the old days of dealing with one film on one screen," Bailey said.

Hawk-Eye has been brought to Australia by European company, Hawk-Eye Innovations, with the firm now establishing an arm of the business in Australia.

Hawk-Eye will be used in the coming weeks, both at city and country meetings, but Bailey is confident at this early stage that the technology could be adopted across the board in years to come.

"These cameras are able to zoom in and give such a clear vision of an incident like never before. And it's just a great asset to have, especially when you're determining the outcome of a protest hearing or just working out exactly what happened in a case of interference.

"It's important because you're suspending people from their livelihood and with this on our side, accuracy in so many parts of a steward's job will be complimented," Bailey said.

Hawk-Eye will again be used at Mornington in the coming weeks and its future will be reviewed by the board of Racing Victoria.

This story Racing takes a closer look at Hawk-Eye first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.