Rob Heathcote’s special little filly Startantes...
Horse breeding is serious business, especially when it comes to thoroughbred horses. The thoroughbred, as the name suggests, is not the product of natural selection but rather of careful interbreeding of only the finest runners in order to create faster, stronger and generally better thoroughbred racehorses. Professional horse breeders are an integral part of the horse racing community and can pay exorbitant prices in order to achieve a fruitful union between two champion horses.
If you have ever wondered what happens to successful race horses once they retire from the professional racing circuit, wonder no more. A great number of champion thoroughbreds go on to a ‘second career’ as a breeding thoroughbred. Male champions are especially sought after to act as breeding studs in order to pass on their legacy of racing greatness.
The tradition of selective horse breeding dates back thousands of years, originating in the Middle East and very slowly spreading around the world. The thoroughbred horse as we know it today originated in the United Kingdom in the 17th and 18th century and quickly became the breed of race horse everyone sought to replicate and improve on. Thoroughbreds are ideal for racing and as the racing industry evolved over the years, so did the techniques and indeed the science involved in the horse breeding process.
Some thoroughbred racehorses become more famous for their achievements as race horse studs than for their performances on the track. Doncaster, for example, was a fairly remarkable race horse active in the late 1800s in Australia and England. However, this stallion received more recognition for siring Australian track legend Bend Or than for his victories in several high-profile races in Australia and overseas. Doncaster’s final achievement, many decades after his passing, was Phar Lap, perhaps the most infamous Australian racer of all time, who was Doncaster’s great-great-grandson by way of Bend Or, Radium and Night Raid.
The pedigree of a racing thoroughbred can provide useful information for experienced punters. Knowing a runners lineage makes it easier to predict what his strengths and weaknesses might be in a racing situation. A thoroughbred with impressive ancestors is more likely to give a great performance and win you that much sought after payout; so learning about breeding and pedigree is a great idea if you plan to take your betting skill to the next level.