Five of the top attributes of champion racehorses:
To win a major racing event a horse needs to have a number of special characteristics. All trainers and owners have to try and capture those raw elements and refine them to produce elite champions of the track.
It’s easier said than done to spot those attributes and then channel them into victory at the top events such as the Cheltenham Festival and Royal Ascot, but time and again the best trainers and owners in the sport have risen to the occasion.
Here are some of the top attributes that the best racehorses in the history of horse racing have possessed to win major races.
It’s a simple fact that a champion racehorse has to be fast. The faster the better. But, there are all kinds of speeds. One horse might have great speed adjusting to the contours of a track around the bend, while another might simply have straight-line pace. Depending on the race in question a horse will need different elements of speed and control to win.
It’s all very well having speed at the start of the race, but if they run out of steam halfway around the track after an uncontrolled start where the horse is fighting for his head, there’s only going to be one outcome, and it’s not a winning result.
2. Soundness Champion racehorses are sound, meaning they are free from injuries or physical defects that would prevent them from racing. Soundness is essential for a racehorse to be able to train and race at a high level.
3. Training Champion racehorses receive the best possible training from experienced trainers. This training helps them to develop their natural ability and to learn how to race effectively.
The right trainer can also get the best out of their charge. Greats of the sport such as Aidan O'Brien, Willie Mullins and Andrew Balding have proven pedigree at world-famous races. So, for owners searching for their next horse or those people looking to buy shares in a racehorse, picking out the right trainer can get you on good ground for finding a horse such as Red Mirage, Treasure Time or Scampi that could one day have the elite speed of those outstanding competitors Secretariat and Frankel.
4. Thoroughbred breeding Champion racehorses are typically thoroughbreds, meaning they are descended from three specific breeds of horses: the Arabian, the Barb, and the English Thoroughbred. Thoroughbreds are known for their speed, stamina, and athleticism.
Racing is a tough business for all concerned. It’s why owners look to hire the best trainers to prepare their charges for the rigours of the season. Races can come thick and fast around countries and the rest of the world, so the horses need to be in the best possible shape before they even take to the track.
The elite races for both flat and jumps racing are spread out across the season, so the horse needs to be prepared to compete for the long haul and not just on the day of a one-off race.
5. Drive Champion racehorses have a natural drive to win. They are willing to put in the hard work and dedication necessary to succeed.
In addition to these five attributes, champion racehorses also need to have a good temperament and be able to handle the stress of racing. They also need to be well-cared for by their owners and trainers.
Endurance is a trait that distance horses on the flat and jumps horses need to have in abundance. The greats of jumps racing including three-time Grand National winner Red Rum and two-time winner Tiger Roll have had the stamina, skill, and speed to etch their place in history.
It takes a special competitor to master the difficulty of winning one race, never mind over a long period of time. Horses of this calibre are rare and they are held in reverence.
There is also an element of luck involved in all horse races. A horse can be cantering towards the line only to fall at the last second. On the other hand, an owner and trainer might have an excellent competitor on their hands only to run into a generational talent like Red Rum or Frankel.
Racing can be just as much about luck, and if you have a horse that has speed, endurance, and that little bit of luck, then it should win more than its fair share of races.