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Did You Know – Horse Racing Trivia and Cool Facts

Horse racing has always been an immensely popular sport in Australia and many other parts of the world. It’s a sport that’s steeped in history, so over the years, it has produced many interesting bits of trivia and some really cool facts.

Let’s check some out and see if we can learn something new.

An Aussie Jockey Can’t Ride Their Own Horse

If a jockey owns a racehorse, has shares in a racehorse or is part of a syndicate that owns a racehorse, that jockey cannot ride that horse in a race. It’s considered to be a conflict of interest, and the main reason this rule is in place is to help reduce the instances of race-fixing. Breaking this rule can potentially lead to a stint in jail.

Have You Heard the Name “Winning Brew”?

Winning Brew is an American racehorse that has the claim to fame of being the fastest racehorse ever recorded. This Guinness Book of Records holder set the fastest speed in May of 2008 in Pennsylvania. At just 2 years of age, this flying filly clocked an impressive 43.94mph or just a tick over 70kmh. That’s one fast horse!

The Everest Is the World’s Richest Race On Turf

The Everest is a new horse race which was run for the very first time in Sydney in October of 2017. It’s now become an annual event, being run at Randwick. What makes this particular race so unique is not just the massive prize purse on offer, but the fact that entrants must pay $600,000 to put a horse in the race. It sounds like a major gamble, but well worth it if your horse comes home first.

Barrier 18 and the Melbourne Cup

For almost 100 years, no horse starting from Barrier 18 in the Melbourne Cup has gone on to win the race, so if you’re looking for some solid Melbourne Cup pick any other horse except the unlucky one in barrier 18.

As far as successful barriers go, give barriers 5, 10, 11 and 14 a try, as collectively they’ve produced the most winners in the Cup.

Are All Horse Races Run In the Same Direction?

When you think of events like athletics at the Olympics, athletes always run around the track in an anti-clockwise direction, but can the same be said universally for horse races?

The answer is no.

In Australia, some race tracks have their horses running anti-clockwise, while horses are run in a clockwise direction on other courses.

Counter-clockwise is the most common, but in Australia, both Queensland and New South Wales run their races clockwise.

What Does the Term “Big Hearted” Mean In Horse Racing Circles?

People refer to other generous and kind people as being big-hearted, so when someone says a horse has a big heart, does that mean it must be a very kind and generous horse?

Not really.

For certain there are many pleasant racehorses in the world, but the term has a meaning that is far more literal.

A horse that physically has a larger heart can pump more blood through its body more quickly, feeding energy and oxygen to the cells and muscles. Big-hearted horses definitely have an advantage over the competition because of their genetics

Which Surface Is Better – Turf Or Dirt?

Both can have their advantages and disadvantages. In Australia, most major race meets are run on turf, but in more rural parts of the country and overseas, many races take place on dirt tracks.

Turf tends to produce faster races than dirt tracks do, as a horse’s hooves slip and sink into the soft dirt. A nice carpet of grass provides more grip and cushioning for the horses as well, but dirt tracks can make for some very exciting races due to less predictability about the surface.

What Is “Holy Roller” Most Famous For?

Holy Roller holds the record for being the biggest racehorse to ever grace a track. Weighing in at over 800kg, he was twice the weight of your average modern-day racehorse and stood at a massive height of 18.1 hands. Phar Lap was a very big horse at 17 hands, but not the biggest in history.

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