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Vet J. 2009 Jul;181(1):43-7. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2009.03.008. Epub 2009 Apr 17.

Exercise during training is associated with racing performance in Thoroughbreds.

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Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Royal Veterinary College, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA, UK.


This study aimed to determine the effects of exercise on racecourse performance in horses racing on the flat. Daily exercise and race records were obtained over a 2-year period for a cohort of racehorses in training for which injury data were also available. Multivariable regression techniques were used to investigate associations between canter, training gallop and race distances accumulated in the 30 days prior to each race and the odds of winning the race, earning prize money and the amount of prize money won. Higher cumulative high-speed (gallop+race) distances were associated with increased likelihood of winning a race and earning prize money. Having raced in the previous 30 days increased the odds of winning. There was an interactive effect of distance cantered and galloped during training on amount of prize money won, which was also associated with distance raced in the previous 30 days. Taken together with findings from previous injury studies in the same study population, these results indicate that training regimens designed to reduce skeletal injuries are unlikely to adversely affect race performance.

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