Online and high street betting firm William Hill has seen a decline in the number of bets on horse racing it receives in recent times, with punters focusing on football and tennis instead. That's why it has decided to promote the benefits of a day at the nags using a custom-made virtual reality experience that you can try at home or in one of its shops.
The VR software, developed by Unit9, works with Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard or other smartphone-powered headsets and puts the wearer in the boots of a jockey during the 18.10 race originally run at Kempton Park on 18 February earlier this year.
It's not a game, but the user can look around as they ride on the back of one of the horses in a virtual recreation of the race. They will also be able to see information, such as the jockey's heart rate, stride length, race position and distance remaining.
The Get in the Race experience was created using actual data from the specific horse race and there is a possibility that the software will be used in future to play a race live in the headset as it happens on the track, using GPS trackers and other sensors placed on the horses.
There will also be the ability to bet in the VR app and then ride the horse you backed. The in-store experience will also feature a model horse on which you sit while riding.
The current build of Get in the Race is in prototype form and was demonstrated during the Digital Shoreditch Festival in London. We'll keep you informed as to when you will be able to try it out yourself.