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Sprint to oblivion? Breeding selections pose threat to hardy Thoroughbred stayers

Sprint to oblivion?

Breeding selections pose threat to hardy Thoroughbred stayers

Nature-Strip-winning-Creswick-AAP
SPEED MERCHANT, NATURE STRIP

In Australia, where there is an emphasis on early two-year old speed, there were almost twice as many C:C horses among elite race winners in the population compared to Europe and North America (46% compared to 26% and 28%) and there were almost seven times as many C:Cs as T:Ts within the Australian population.

 

(LITTLE WONDER WE CAN PRODUCE SOME OF THE GREAT SPRINTERS OF THE MODERN ERA, WITH SO MANY C:C HORSES BRED IN AUSTRALIA, BUT THIS ALSO CLEARLY EXPLAINS WHY WE CANNOT PRODUCE HIGH QUALITY STAYING HORSES IN THIS COUNTRY. WINX ISN’T A STAYER EITHER BEFORE YOU GO FOR THAT ARGUMENT, SHE’S A MILER / MILE & A 1/4 HORSE. YES SHE WON A 2200M GROUP 1 QLD OAKS, BUT THAT WAS ON SHEER CLASS, AGAINST A WEAK FIELD, NOT ON STAYING ABILITY. TRUE STAYERS HAVE TO BE ABLE TO RUN 2400M-3200M+ IN A STRONG FASHION. OUR RACES DON’T CATER FOR STAYERS EVEN IF THEY DID – THE RACES WOULD BE FULL OF HACKS WHO CAN’T WIN ANY QUALITY OF RACES, SIMILAR TO WHAT BECOMES OF FLAT HORSES WHO FAIL THEN TURN TO JUMPING IN AUSTRALIA, OUR LOCAL BREEDING INDUSTRY DOESN’T BREED STAYERS, THEY BREED THE “C:C HORSES” AS MENTIONED IN THIS ARTICLE)

 

The hardy Thoroughbred stayer could become a thing of the past according to researchers, after findings published this week point to the importance of the so-called “speed gene” in determining race distance.

The findings are said to end any dispute over the central role of the “speed gene”.

However, the research has relevance for the wider Thoroughbred population, given the major influence of the gene.

“Since there is just one gene that is a major player in the sprinting versus staying stakes, it is extremely vulnerable to selection pressures,” says Associate Professor of Equine Science, Emmeline Hill, who is with University College Dublin.

“This has been recognised by the concern in the industry over the potential reduction in genetic diversity by favouring precocious, commercially attractive horses.

“This concern is well justified; the staying type is at serious threat of extinction in the global population.”

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WAS SHOCKING’S MELBOURNE CUP WIN IN 2009 THE LAST TIME WE’LL SEE AN AUSTRALIAN BRED HORSE WIN THE WORLD’S / AUSTRALIA’S GREATEST STAYING RACE – THE MELBOURNE CUP???

Staying types have been found to make up less than 17% of elite race winners in Britain and Ireland and less than 7% of the Australian elite winning population.

“This is a complete reversal from the picture of genetics of the Thoroughbred 150 years ago.”

Hill says it is important that the industry incentivises the breeding and racing of stayers to ensure their ongoing viability in the industry.

Hill led the latest research into the gene, published this week in the Equine Veterinary Journal.

For the study, the genetic and race records of more than 3000 Thoroughbred racehorses who raced in Europe, Australia, South Africa and the USA were analysed. It was found that the myostatin gene, or speed gene, is the almost singular genetic determinant of a horse’s optimum race distance.

The notion of a single gene being responsible for a performance trait in Thoroughbreds has previously been challenged. However, Hill said the new study ended any dispute over the central role of the speed gene.

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FIGURE #1

“We have replicated and validated our original research findings on a massively larger scale. The power in the numbers has shown that the association of the ‘speed gene’ with race distance is as statistically strong as the most highly genetically influenced traits in humans, including eye colour and the probability of an individual going bald,” she says.

The study found that, in Europe, more than 83% of ‘speed gene’ type C:C (sprint) horses had an optimum race distance of a mile or shorter and more than 89% of T:T (staying) horses ran best over distances greater than a mile. (Full details for all regions are in Figure #1)

The trend was consistent across all race regions but the race pattern influenced the distribution of the speed gene types.

In Australia, where there is an emphasis on early two-year old speed, there were almost twice as many C:C horses among elite race winners in the population compared to Europe and North America (46% compared to 26% and 28%) and there were almost seven times as many C:Cs as T:Ts within the Australian population.

The main differences between sprinters and staying type horses has been shown to be caused by a mutation in the speed gene that alters the rate of muscle growth and fibre type differences in the muscle.

Although myostatin is the most important gene, the latest research has also identified additional genes which have moderate effects on the staying ability of a horse.

Hill says the application of genetics to decision-making about how horses were trained and raced is transforming the industry.

“Our results clearly show that using evidence-based science will lead to more accurate placing of horses in races that are best suited to their genetic potential. Horses are a product of their inherited genetic characteristics as well as the environment.

“The management of the horse is inarguably key in any horse’s success, but DNA differences are the undisputed differences that make them individuals. This genetic information is leading to horses being trained and raced for their genetic potential and is providing a clear economic advantage to owners and trainers,” she says.

Hill, who is also chief science officer at Irish equine science company Plusvital, which provides genetic testing for horses, says the company does not operate its testing services in the sales environment which could further accelerate this trend toward sprint types at the expense of stayers.

“However, it is essential that the industry incentivises the breeding and racing of stayers to reduce the pressure to breed for the sales ring.”

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THE WORLD’S GREATEST EVER SPRINTER BLACK CAVIAR

DUBAI WORLD CUP CARNIVAL: DAY 2 TIPS + BEST BETS

DUBAI WORLD CUP CARNIVAL

DAY 2 TIPS + BEST BETS

10/01/17

meydan grandstand

RACE 1: 2.AF MAHSOUM

RACE 2: 8.GOOD FORTUNE

RACE 3: 2.ROYAL MARINE*****

RACE 4: 4.MAJOR PARTNERSHIP

RACE 5: 8.GOLD TOWN

RACE 6: 6.GLASSY WATERS

RACE 7: 11.ESHTIRAAK

 

BEST BET: R3-2 ROYAL MARINE

 

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MOONEE VALLEY TIPS – MOIR STAKES NIGHT – FRIDAY 28/09/18

MOONEE VALLEY TIPS 

~~MOIR STAKES NIGHT~~

FRIDAY 28/09/18

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Moonee Valley

Race 1 – Ringerdingding

Race 2 – I Am a Star*

Race 3 – Trap for Fools*

Race 4 – Goldfinch

Race 5 – Leonardo da Hinchi*

Race 6 – 11 Golden Halo

Race 7 GR1 MOIR STAKES – Nature Strip***

Race 8 – 8 Choisborder

 

GOOD THING:

RACE 7 – 6 NATURE STRIP $1.95

 

BEST BET:

RACE 4 – 4 GOLDFINCH $3.10

THE KING TIP: TUESDAY 25 SEPTEMBER 2018

THE KING TIP

TUESDAY 25 SEPTEMBER 2018

LADBROKES 50:200

MILDURA

RACE 3

#9

OCEAN ESSENCE

$2.50

J: DEAN YENDALL

T: DARREN WEIR

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LADBROKES 50:200

THE KING TIP: SUNDAY, 26 AUGUST 2018

THE KING TIP: SUNDAY, 26 AUGUST 2018

BETEASY- WATCH SKY 728x210

CRANBOURNE

RACE 10

#10

LA TIGERESA

$7.50

(UBET)

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J: BEN MELHAM

T: JASON WARRENBETEASY- WATCH SKY 728x210

THE KING TIP: WEDNESDAY, 22 AUGUST 2018

THE KING TIP:

WEDNESDAY, 22 AUGUST 2018

Beteasy 728x210

WARWICK FARM

RACE 7

#4

CORUSCATE

$3.40 

(BETEASY UNBOOSTED)

Godolphin Silks

J: JAMES MCDONALD

T: JAMES CUMMINGS

BOASTS A GR2 2ND IN THE SKYLINE STAKES & A GR3 3RD IN THE PAGO PAGO STAKES IN CONSECUTIVE RUNS AS A 2YO. ONLY HAD 4 STARTS AS A 3 YEAR OLD BUT WAS UNABLE TO CAPTURE ANY OF HIS BEST FORM FROM HIS 2YO SEASON.

HIS TWO TRIALS BACK THIS CAMPAIGN HAVE BOTH BEEN TERRIFIC! ESPECIALLY THE LATEST WHERE HE RAN ON BRILLIANT UNDER ALL HIS OWN STEAM TO FINISH A VERY CLOSE UP 3RD IN A 900M TRIAL AT ROSEHILL. 

DRAWN POORLY IN THIS RACE AND THAT’S WHY HE’S $3.40 & NOT $2.40 – BUT I THINK WITH JAMES MCDONALD ABOARD HE’LL BE ABLE TO OVERCOME THE GATE AS THE ‘GET BACK & RUN ON’ STYLE SEEMS TO SUIT HIM THE BEST JUDGING BY HIS TRIALS & RACES TO DATE.

WEAK BM70, AND I’M VERY CONFIDENT HE’LL RUN WELL & GO VERY CLOSE TO GETTING THE CASH 1ST UP FROM A SPELL.

Beteasy 728x210

WINX FINALLY ON TOP OF THE WORLD!!!

WINX FINALLY ON TOP OF THE WORLD!!!

With her dominating victory in the LONGINES Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1)WINX (AUS) [130] is now alone at the top of the third edition of the LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings for 2018.

Two other Aussie horses HAPPY CLAPPER (123) & TRAPEZE ARTIST (123) are also in the World’s Top 10, coming in at =6th!

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LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings
Rank Horse Rating Trained
1 WINX (AUS) 130 AUS
2 GUN RUNNER (USA) 129 USA
3 CRACKSMAN (GB) 125 GB
4 JUSTIFY (USA) 124 USA
4 WEST COAST (USA) 124 USA
6 BENBATL (GB) 123 UAE
6 HAPPY CLAPPER (AUS) 123 AUS
6 THUNDER SNOW (IRE) 123 UAE
6 TRAPEZE ARTIST (AUS) 123 AUS
CRACKSMAN (GB) [125] and JUSTIFY (USA) [124] are also responsible for notable changes near the top of the latest rankings.

Cracksman, who was the co-third highest rated horse of 2017, made his seasonal debut a winning one at the recently reopened ParisLongchamp. The 4-year-old Frankel colt posted an easy four length victory in the Prix Ganay – Prix de l’Inauguration de ParisLongchamp (G1).

Justify, meanwhile, improved his rating to 124 from 120 after winning the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1)by 2 ½ lengths over GOOD MAGIC (USA) [120]AUDIBLE (USA) [120] was a head back in third. Justify, who is a perfect four-for-four, had previously won the Santa Anita Derby (G1) in his first attempt at stakes company.

On the same day Justify took the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, SAXON WARRIOR (JPN) [121] won the QIPCO 2000 Guineas Stakes (G1) by 1 ½ lengths at Newmarket in his first start of the year. The Deep Impact colt has also won all four of his career starts.

Elsewhere, during Champions Day at Sha Tin, PAKISTAN STAR (GER) [120] won the AP QEII Cup (G1) by three lengths, while IVICTORY (AUS) [120] defeated MR STUNNING (AUS) [120] by a half-length in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize (G1).

*  *  *  *  *  *

The LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings are compiled by the LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Committee and published by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA).

For further details on the LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings, please contact:

Nigel Gray, co-chairman, LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Committee
Head of Handicapping and Race Planning, Hong Kong Jockey Club
Telephone +852 2966 8337
Email nigel.c.gray@hkjc.org.hk

Phillip Smith, co-chairman, LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Committee
Head of Handicapping, British Horseracing Authority
Telephone +44 1386 834004
mail psmith@britishhorseracing.com

Tom Robbins, chairman, North American Ratings Committee
Executive Vice President, Racing & Industry Relations, Racing Secretary, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
Telephone +1 858 792 4230
Email tomr@dmtc.com

*  *  *  *  *  *

The full list and further information on the LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings are available on the IFHA website http://www.ifhaonline.org.

The next edition of the LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings will be published on Thursday 14th June 2018.  

E-Mail : achesser@jockeyclub.com

THE KING TIP: WEDNESDAY 17/01/18

THE KING TIP: WEDNESDAY 17/01/18

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CAULFIELD

RACE 1

#8

MASUTA

$5.50 (EACH WAY)

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THE KING TIP: THURSDAY 31/08/17

        THE KING TIP: THURSDAY 31/08/17


WAGGA

RACE 2

#5

COOLOTTA

$3.20


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