What Makes A Good Racehorse?

Many punters and horse race watchers take pride in their ability to pick out a winning racehorse just by looking at how it behaves during the prerace parade. For the unaware, this predictive act might appear like magic and is sure to impress, but the truth is, if you know what you’re looking for, it’s not too difficult to pick out a winning horse.

Here’s a look at the many features of horses that punters, horse owners, and race viewers alike should keep an eye on, as it’s these features that are indicative of a winning horse.

The Horse’s Build

The build and physique of a horse can go a long way in helping people determine if it’ll be good at racing. A decent runner is often a horse that’s well proportionately built, so check that its legs aren’t too thin for its body, as that could suggest it might not have the power to sustain its weight. Look for a horse with a high build-up of muscles on its back legs and quarters, as this is where the athleticism comes from.

The general size of the horse is also an important aspect to consider. Larger horses have more weight to carry, which could tire them out quicker than a slimmer horse, but sacrificed in stamina comes sheer speed and power, which could help it pull through. It all depends on the ground underfoot and the type of race it’s running.

In terms of build, you should also keep an eye on the proportions of the horse and whether it is balanced. A good racehorse is one that’s going to have a neck, back, and hip that is of equal or similar length.

The Pedigree

This is one of the first things people should look up when trying to determine a good racehorse. The pedigree refers to not only the breed of the horse but also the family lineage. If its father and mother come from a line of good horses with substantial competitive success, then its offspring is likely to continue to have those genetics and be a good horse.

You should also consider the pedigree of the training that the horse has had and how well that particular owner has done with their fleet of horses, as the horse training goes a long way into instilling a winning mentality into a horse.

The Horse’s Coat

A horse’s coat can indicate how well it might run. If it’s gleaming and shiny, this suggests it has been well looked after and is in a good state of wellbeing. When betting on horse racing, you want to ensure that you’re backing a healthy horse because one that might not be feeling well will obviously struggle to perform.

When using this metric to determine the quality of a horse, do be mindful that owners and riders are going to want to make their horse look as attractive as possible, so some of that shine may be horse grooming products, which can deceive you.