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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 2 April, 2003, 12:30 GMT 13:30 UK
National goes interactive

Angus Loughran will have all the stats to hand
Angus will use a new forecaster

The BBC's coverage of the Martell Cognac Grand National is going interactive for the first time.

Digital viewers will be able to access a unique split-screen view of the big race through BBCi.

And the Aintree meeting will also see the debut of the BBC Forecaster - a new computer database which aims to help predict the outcome of races by analysing key historical statistics.

By pressing the red button on their remote controls, digital viewers* will be able to access an interactive menu where they can choose between two extra interactive streams.

  • 1. Angus Loughran and Matt Chapman's guide to the racing from Aintree, including predictions from the new BBC Forecaster.

    For the race itself, viewers will have the chance to watch the Grand National from a unique split-screen perspective.

    One side of the screen will follow the race from the ground, with the other side displaying an aerial view from one of the BBC's helicopter-based cameras.

  • 2. A chance to see packages of the top ten Grand Nationals as chosen by users of the BBC Sport website.

    There's a whole host of features to complement our existing coverage
    Patrick Dalzell, BBC Sport

    BBC Interactive senior producer Patrick Dalzell said: "It's great to be able to provide a new and exciting perspective to such a momentous sporting occasion."

    Fronted by Angus Loughran, the BBC Forecaster lists the runners in a particular race and contains data on up to five influencing factors.

    These include form of the jockey; form of the trainer; the preferred going of the horse, the distance favoured by the horse; and the form on that particular course.

    The calculated predictions are based on pure mathematical analysis of historic racing data, without human intervention or subjectivity.

    The data and computer 'brain' has been developed for the BBC by iKnowledge Ltd.

    * The digital services are available on digital satellite and Freeview services. Digital cable viewers will be able to access a text-based service.





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