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Horse Racing

Sir Alex Ferguson in Saudi Arabia for £1.6million horse race

Sir Alex Ferguson's Racing Pursuit

Sir Alex Ferguson has landed in Saudi Arabia with hopes of winning the £1.6million Howden Turf Neom Cup with his horse, Spirit Dancer.

Previous Success and Future Goals

Spirit Dancer previously won £500,000 in the Bahrain International Trophy and is now being aimed at the big Group 2 race on Saudi Cup night.

Trainer's Insight

Trainer Richard Fahey believes the Neom Cup presents Spirit Dancer's best chance of victory, despite the lower prize money compared to the world's richest race.

Sir Alex's Involvement in Racing

Sir Alex bred Spirit Dancer and co-owns the horse with businessmen Ged Mason and Fred Done, showing his commitment to the sport.

Trainer's Amazement

Richard Fahey expressed his admiration for Sir Alex's insights into the horse racing world, noting the football icon's intelligence and understanding of the ups and downs in the industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often is it recommended that racehorses are trained?

Training frequency for racehorses is usually tailored to the individual horse’s needs, level of fitness, and racing schedule. The typical routine for racehorses would include walking, cantering and trotting daily, as well as more strenuous work, such as galloping several times a weeks to increase speed and endurance. Rest days will allow your horse to recover, and help prevent overtraining.

What are the necessary health precautions when training a racing horse?

To prevent injury or illness, racehorses need to be given the attention they deserve. Regular veterinary examinations, vaccinations dental care and hoof management is essential. It is also important to monitor the horse for any signs of strain or fatigue. The risk of musculoskeletal damage can be minimized by implementing a progressive training regimen.

When should a horse begin training for racing?

Although horses can begin basic training at a young age, they usually start more intensive race training and conditioning around the age of two. It is at this age that their bodies are ready to take on the demands of the racetrack, yet still young and flexible enough to adapt. The exact timing depends on the horse’s maturity and temperament.

What is the first step in training a racehorse?

The initial phase of training a racehorse involves a critical stage known as “breaking,” where the horse becomes accustomed to carrying a saddle, bridle, and the weight of a rider. During these early sessions, patience and gentle handling are paramount to ensure the horse learns to be comfortable with human interaction and the equipment it will wear throughout its racing career.

Are there different race training methods for different horse breeds?

Different horse breeds have different characteristics, and the racing distances can also vary. Thoroughbreds that are usually associated with long-distance racing on flat surfaces receive different training from Quarter Horses. Each breed requires a tailored approach to meet their physical and behavioral traits.

Can you race a horse on any track?

Although the horse can train on various tracks initially, specific racing training requires facilities which simulate the conditions that the horse is likely to face in competition. This can include tracks of the right size with the exact same type and surface that the horse will race upon. By using the right track, you can condition your horse properly and help them get used to the racing environment.


  • Approximately 70% of a racehorse’s diet consists of forage, with the remainder made up of grains and supplements to meet their high-calorie needs.
  • Studies suggest that proper early training can reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries in racehorses by up to 50%.
  • The majority of racehorses in training are subject to an exercise regimen that includes being ridden six days a week.
  • Gastrointestinal issues affect up to 90% of racehorses during their training, emphasizing the need for careful dietary management.
  • An extensive survey indicated that over 90% of racehorse trainers utilize swimming as a low-impact exercise in their conditioning routines.
  • The average cost to train a thoroughbred racehorse for one year can exceed $50,000, accounting for expenses related to training, boarding, and veterinary care.

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How To

How To Monitor and Maintain Racehorse Health Throughout Training

A racehorse must be checked regularly for health. You should perform daily visual checks, paying attention to the horse’s gait, behaviour, and appetite. Schedule regular veterinary exams, including dental care and hoof maintenance. Track workout data and heart rate post-exercise to detect any deviations that may indicate health issues. Promptly address minor health concerns to prevent them from escalating into more serious problems.

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