New to Racing?
What to look for in a superstar racehorse according to Hayley Turner
Do you ever go to the paddock to look at the runners before a race, and wonder what on earth you are supposed to be looking at?
Now help is at hand with Britain's most successful female jockey Hayley Turner, who has given us some useful tips on what to look out for when checking out the horses in the paddock.
1. The body
"I like to see a good broad chest, and with a horse’s back end you want to see the muscle. If you are looking at two-year-olds that haven’t fully matured, their hind quarters are always higher than at the front end. That is a sign of weakness. They will level out in time.”
2. A Gleaming Coat
"This is an important one. If they’ve got the shine – a good skin, a good coat – that’s the health inside them coming out. You wouldn’t want them to be too woolly at this time of the year.”
"It’s not unusual if a horse is sweating on its neck, especially on a warm day. But if they’ve got sweat dripping off them, you wouldn’t want that – boiling over before a race. That’s a sign the horse is overwhelmed by the whole atmosphere."
4. The Head
"The size of a head is only relevant if they’rein a photo-finish! The eyes want to be alert.Big ears are a sign of a genuine horse, and big nostrils are always a good thing (to get lots of air into the lungs).”
“Check a horse’s character. If a horse in the paddock
is looking at stuff and walking on, that’s good. But if
it’s looking at stuff and backing off, that’s not so good.
You wouldn’t want one walking round with its head
down, either, not taking anything in – it’s like ‘Wake-up!’
Some two-year-old colts walk around with their fifth
leg out, and that’s a sign their minds are elsewhere!”
“You wouldn’t want them looking like Kate Moss. If they
look ‘light’, you can see. When they’re at the end of their
tether, they’re worn out and have had a long season, it
shows. At the start of a season, a lot of horses haven’t
run for a long time. Some are genuinely big and stuffy and
there’s nothing you can do apart from run them to get
them fit. Some horses don’t exert themselves at home.”
Going to post
“You want them jumping off relaxed, and going
down to the start in a comfortable rhythm.
They want to be moving well. Sprinters in the
paddock can look like they’re lame, almost, but
not when they’re cantering. So if you’re not sure
about one in the paddock, go and check it out
cantering down to the start.”
Hayley was speaking to Sport Magazine. Follow them on Twitter @sportmaguk
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