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"Speed Gene" key to future of horse racing

"Speed Gene" key to future of horse racingThe effects of the gene were tested by matching it to the race records of more than 1,700 thoroughbred horses in Britain and Ireland. Lead author of the study Professor Emmeline Hill, associate professor of Equine Science at UCD, said the research established a clear relationship between the speed gene and a horse’s career earnings by distance.
The gene test enables an accurate prediction of a horse's optimal race distance by examining its DNA. Of the three possible test results, C:C horses are more suited to shorter races, C:T horses to middle distance races and T:T horses to longer distance races.
"This research shows that racehorses overperformed in their optimum distance ranges and underperformed in races for which they were not genetically suited,” she said. “Furthermore, the performance among all Speed Gene types consistently deteriorated as the race distance diverged from the predicted optimal distance."
Professor Hill said a random sampling of horses at each distance would be expected to win the equivalent percentage of available prize-money.
“But the reality is C:C horses disproportionately outperformed in terms of prize-money in races under one mile, C:T horses outperformed in 9 to 15 furlong races, while T:T horses excelled in longer distance races,” she said.


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