The horse racing magazines for the training and development of the thoroughbred racehorse

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America - Nov 2014 - Jan 2015

Published Oct 23rd 2014

CONTENTS

Article Index
Craig Lewis

Craig Anthony Lewis is a racetrack lifer. And at 67, if genealogy and longevity mean anything, he still has a long way to go as a trainer. His father, Seymour, is 92. His mother, Norma, is 90. They still live together in Seal Beach, California.

A horse trainer without a high school diploma based his entire and considerable success on one aphorism, and relentlessly reminded his students and peers:  it’s what you learn after you know it all that really counts.

Tongue-ties

The use and efficacy of tongue-ties has spawned much debate, and in 2009, veterinarians at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, led by Safia Barakzai conducted extensive research, which was published in the Equine Veterinary Journal, to evaluate the use of tongue-ties on racing performance in Thoroughbred racehorses.

The effects of morning exercise on muscle response

Timing is everything. Nowhere is this more relevant than when preparing an elite equine athlete for a race. Thoroughbred trainers are critically aware of the importance of fine-tuning the feeding and exercise regimes of their charges in the months, weeks and days before a big event. Timing is also critical for the smooth functioning of a horses musculoskeletal system for optimal performance. 

Streptococcus

The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) in the UK has invested over $11 million to protect racing and ensure horse welfare by disease surveillance and research on prevention of equine infections over the last decade. Infection with bacteria is one of the important causes.

Cardiac rhythm

When a horse runs badly, lameness or respiratory disease tends to immediately spring to mind, and indeed these are the most common causesin that order. The heart comes in third, albeit quite a way behind these other body systems. If sudden death occurs in an equine athlete, a heart problem is usually the first thing thats suspected. A new study, published in The Equine Veterinary Journal, provides significant insights on the cardiac rhythm abnormalities that can develop during and after racing in Standardbreds.

Sean McCarthy

Sean McCarthy is a rarity among trainers. He speaks in complete sentences. Here’s what he said in a post-race interview after the biggest win of his career, Majestic Harbor’s 6 1/4-length upset at 14-1 in the Grade I Gold Cup at Santa Anita on June 28...

Racetrack incentives

The horseracing industry is battling for its life, and the key point of contention is medication—not just a push for uniform medication rules, but a movement to eliminate all race-day drugs. Two years after the Breeders' Cup banned anti-bleeding medication for its juvenile races, Gulfstream Park in Florida has announced its intention to offer Lasix-free races for 2015, and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is considering doing the same for its tracks. North America is the only region of the world that allows race-day medication. 

Horse welfare on the backstretch

If backstretch workers encounter conditions they can’t tolerate, they have an option of walking away. Horses don’t have that luxury. Whether a racetrack’s backstretch is horse-friendly or grossly indifferent, the horse remains. He relies on his trainer and his trainer’s staff to act in his best interest.

Do horses sense fear?

Racehorses are athletes performing at the peak of their physical capabilities, with their strength and fitness carefully monitored and researched. However less consideration is given to the psychological factors that may affect their performance, with fear being a major influence.

Plot: An ambitious two-pronged plan is hatched by some guys in Hong Kong, to take a local horse from Sha Tin Racecourse to the United States with the aim of winning the Breeders’ Cup Sprint on dirt in early November. First, though, they'll prep in a Grade 1 race on dirt at Santa Anita in California in early October as a practice run for the main event.

Europe - January - March 2015

Published December 17th 2014

CONTENTS

Article Index
COVER PROFILE - Andreas Wöhler

Top German trainer Andreas Wöhler first featured in these  columns ten years ago, but his career has reached such new heights with his victories in two of the world´s most iconic races—Ascot´s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in July 2013 with Novellist, and the Melbourne Cup in November 2014 with Protectionist—that he is certainly worth a second look now.

Alternative funding ideas for trainers

With Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) recently publishing figures for the first half of 2014, the number of active owners in Irish racing is a serious concern and reflects the general trend across Europe. 

In the genes - is racing success inherited?

There can be no doubt that the hopes of both buyers and vendors at yearling sales are underpinned by the principle that racing success is at least partially determined by genetics. The yearlings that attract the highest prices are often those that are closely related to the best performed horses of the previous generation. However, most racing enthusiasts would agree that while having great bloodlines may make success on the racecourse more achievable, it by no means guarantees success.

Hooves and ground surface - the impact of intentional shoeing interventions

The interaction of a horse’s foot and the ground surface is complex. Stance—that part of the stride when the foot is in contact with the ground—can be divided into three phases, which determine the loading environment of the limb: impact, mid stance and push off. Loading of the limb determines how it functions and also influences where injury may occur. Research funded by the Horserace Betting Levy Board at the Royal Veterinary College has focussed on the foot and is allowing a greater understanding of the effect of changes in surface or shoeing on stance, on remodelling of the tissues and ultimately on the risk of injury.

Let there be light - how daylight affects performance and safety

Recipient of multiple awards, including the Saratoga Trainer’s Title and the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer, Bill Mott is no stranger to travelling with his horses. For example, Mott was trainer and chaperone of Cigar, winner of the inaugural Dubai World Cup in 1996. How do Mott and other elite trainers consider the impact of jet lag, light-dark cycles, and other factors associated with shipping across times zones on their horses’ performance?

A sad indictment of racing is that many punters hold the belief that half the horses in a race are not trying’, and we have to wonder, what gave them that impression? 

Chairman's message - Criquette Head

As 2014 draws to a close, I hope that some trainers will have time to take a rest and reflect on some of the great performances of the season. I offer my congratulations to winners of all races, big and small, throughout the past year.

Trickle feeding - more in tune with nature

In evolutionary terms, we have been racing horses for a fraction of time compared with the millions of years that these wonderful animals have roamed the earth. The structure and physiology of their digestive system has evolved over this time to reflect their natural feeding patterns, which will have been greatly influenced by availability and quality of food. 

Do racetrack incentives lead to a drug-free future?

The horseracing industry is battling for its life, and the key point of contention is medication—not just a push for uniform medication rules, but a movement to eliminate all race-day drugs. Two years after the Breeders' Cup banned anti-bleeding medication for its juvenile races, Gulfstream Park in Florida has announced its intention to offer Lasix-free races for 2015, and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is considering doing the same for its tracks. North America is the only region of the world that allows race-day medication. 

Trainer on the Up - Super Swede, Jessica Long

Jessica Long has only been training for five or six years but her pedigree (she is the daughter of Swedish trainer Caroline Stromberg) speaks volumes, with recent victory at Jägerso, with home-bred Berling victorious in the Swedish Open Mile, followed by Volatile’s terrific 3rd place in the Dubai Cornwallis Stakes at Newmarket this October. Both horses were her first British runners, Berling being entered in the Darley Stakes the same day.

TRM Trainer 0f the Quarter - Francisco 'Paquito' Rodriguez

At the close of the autumn season, a packed Hipodromo de la Zarzuela, watched Rodriguez trained Arkaitz triumph in a closely fought Gran Premio Villamejor; a race which saw Ziga make things very difficult for the 3 year old and almost overtake him. However, Triple Crown (Poule, Derby and Villamejor) glory belonged to Arkaitz and Rodriguez.