Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thoroughbred interval training programs

Boy, oh boy - of everyone who finds their way to this blog via search engine, 90% are looking for info on specific interval training regimens. So here you go:


Great stuff from an old school trainer in Europe. Nothing like the Tom Ivers programs, which may be a little too much for today's thoroughbreds, in the USA anyway.

This is a nice intro to the IT concept - but I would certainly recommend a heart rate/GPS monitor to keep things safe. Of course, you can get those from me, just let me know if you are interested-


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Zenyatta's secret?

Trainer John Shirreff's was quoted mentioning that he feeds his horses in training SEVEN separate times a day, including superstar Zenyatta of course.

From a metabolic standpoint, all humans realize the key to athletic performance as far as nutrition is concerned is the consumption of several, small, well-balanced meals per day.

Nice to see a trainer doing the same for his equine athletes and realizing enormous success.

More on Mr. Shirreff's here:


Not to say that simply feeding twice as often as other trainers is the sole reason for his big Breeder's Cup winning double last weekend, but it sure helped.

That is the mission of ThoroEdge - help horsemen figure out several 'edges' that accumulate to a few extra lengths on raceday. Here's one for free-

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dr. Rick Arthur on Synthetics

From the New York Times:
"When racehorses are at their best, I am absolutely convinced they are safer on the synthetics than they are on dirt."

Let's say you agree with that statement, I probably do.
But there is a qualifier - 'when racehorses are at their best' how exactly can we figure this out?

Collect reams of data, that's how. Chart heart rate response, body weight, gallop speed, blood chemistry, etc. like a madman; organize the data, and draw your own conclusions.

The racing industry has the subjective data from trainers, owners, grooms, exercise riders, to name a few - down pat. Too much info in many cases, probably.

But they typically ignore a huge part of the puzzle, what is going on inside the horse?
How much oxygen/fuel does it take for him to breeze a half in :49 this week? Next week?

Charted over time, is he reaching an all time peak, or is he flattened out?
Don't wait for several race results to tell you, learn from the training stimulus.

What can you add prior to his gallops to make them easier (i.e. faster speeds with less oxygen necessary)? A food supplement, a different warm up routine, equipment change, rider change, Equissage treatment, acupuncture, HBOT?

Each stable should be treated like its own exercise physiology laboratory - constantly changing variables in order to find the optimal conditioning protocol for each individual, all backed up by quantitative and objective data.

Just my two cents, please call me if you are at the Keeneland sales this month and would like to meet face to face.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Shocking wins Melbourne Cup

The name certainly fits as that was his SECOND WIN IN 4 DAYS!!

You read that correctly, Shocking captured the $5 million Cup on Tuesday - after winning his 'tune-up' race over weekend just prior.

Says his trainer Mark Kavanagh: "He was so good on Saturday and he improved since that run, his preparation was timed to perfection."

Boy, do I agree.

Good to see that some places still train/race like the olden days. I have another post in here somewhere that indicates ancedotally that Australia also has the lowest occurrence of fatal breakdowns.