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the news

Genetics to identify elite racehorses Equinome announces new genetic test designed to discover those racehorses with Group-class potential

A

new genetic test has been developed to identify those racehorses with the potential to perform at an elite level. Equinome’s test, which is closely allied to the Speed Gene Test launched last year by the company as a way to determine optimum racing distance for horses according to their

genetic variation, is based on the understanding that horses have different physical attributes according to their distance preference. It revolves around examination of a “panel” of genes for each distance type and those horses with the best genetic make -up for each distance is deemed to have the potential to become an elite-performing athlete i.e. to be a Group race winner.

The premise

It is well established that sprint horses as compared to animals who require longer distances have different metabolic and physiological requirements. For instance, each type of exercise has differing requirement for oxygendependent respiration and metabolism. Therefore, different sets of genes will contribute to elite performance in C:C (sprint), C:T (middle-distance) and T:T (long distance) horses.

The research

Multiple influences are associated with performance ability, indicating that many

genes contribute to performance. Different genomic regions are highlighted in the different groups of horses when defined by the Speed Gene Test as C:C, C:T and T:T and different sets of genes contribute to elite racing performance in the different race distance types. The test was developed by evaluating the occurrence of these DNA variants in 1,051 horses that had been trained for Flat racing in Ireland, UK, France, Australia, New Zealand and US. All horses were older than three. The test sample included 211 Group and Listed race winners (i.e. this represents an approximately 10 ×

Distribution of racing performance within each genetic Class in a sample of 1,051 Flat racehorses

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International Thoroughbred  

The horseracing and bloodstock magazine for the global audience

International Thoroughbred  

The horseracing and bloodstock magazine for the global audience