The Main Things to Look for in a Good Racehorse


The whole equine sector has been affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, this has impacted on equestrian competitions with the USEF now expected to plan for a June 1st restart. Horse racing has also been affected, with major races such as the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes being postponed or rescheduled until later in 2020. If you follow horse racing and like to back horses to win, this means that Preakness Stakes betting is something you will have to wait to do for now.

The good news for horse racing followers in the US though, is that most events should still go ahead in 2020. That is undoubtedly true for top events like the Belmont Cup, which should again take place, once COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed. Of course, the star attractions when it comes to horse racing are the horses themselves. If you plan to buy a racehorse to invest in as an owner, you need to pick one that has all the right attributes to win. Doing so will help your horse taste success more often and give you a decent return on your investment.

But what should you look for in a good racehorse?


Perhaps the most significant factor when determining how good any horse is likely to be is its pedigree. It applies when buying a horse for any sort of eventing or racing purposes. If the sire has produced many winners, that is a good sign, but the offspring will be more costly. The pedigree of the sire will also determine the sort of offspring they produce. Some sires will produce speedy horses, while others might produce stayers. It is also vital to look into the pedigree on the Dam’s side before you spend any money. If the Dam has produced lots of winners, that is a real plus.

Bone structure

When looking at a racehorse, the bone structure it has is a vital element. You should view the horse from various angles to check that the bone structure is in proportion to the body. As well as looking at the general bone structure to determine a good racehorse, you should also feel their legs for any heat or splints. If you notice any, this could be a red flag, as it may make them more prone to injury in the future. Lastly, it is always wise to look at the foot structure when walking to make sure the horse carries its weight correctly.

Muscle tone

Racehorses need plenty of power to be successful and win races. This power comes from the back legs and hindquarters – it is, therefore, crucial to focus some attention there when looking for a decent horse. This can be done by looking at the muscle tone and strength in that area. It is also sensible to look at the muscle definition around the shoulder – this is a good indication of how strong the horse is.

How well balanced is the horse?

Another thing to look at when choosing any good racehorse is its balance. As it will be running in races at fast speeds among other horses, this is critical. The best check is to make sure the back, hip, and neck are equal in length. This indicates a horse that is in proportion and should be well balanced. It is wise to bear in mind the horse’s age as younger horses under five years old will still have some growing to do—older horses which are not in proportion and may not be that well-balanced need careful consideration.


Racing can be a lot to take on for horses due to the number of distractions and noise at a track. That means that a calm temperament is essential for a good racehorse. A horse that is too frisky or cannot focus when race time comes is not a good one to choose. Instead, you should look for a horse with a calm nature, and that you feel could be relaxed enough to perform to its best when racing. Calmer horses also burn off less energy pre-race by not engaging in nervous activities like neighing or pulling their grooms around! Of course, you need a horse that switches on when it is the right time, but the calmer they are, the better.

Recognizing a good racehorse

Just like every human is not an elite level athlete, not every horse will be able to make it in competitive racing. So it is essential to take your time when buying a horse to race professionally or to invest in as an owner. The above tips are worth bearing in mind so that you choose a horse that stands the best chance of succeeding.

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