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Friday, January 26, 2007

Stride Characteristics vs. Conformation: The "Deep Impact" Impact

Interesting report today from the Japan Racing Association, as presented this week at the Asian Racing Conference in Dubai:

(As posted on http://www.thoroughbrednews.co.nz)

"The success of Deep Impact, an unremarkable-looking racehorse, is down to his incredible stride, extensive scientific data revealed.

"Dr Hiroko Aida, from the Japan Racing Association, displayed the running form of Deep Impact in the veterinary science workshop at the 31st Asian Racing Conference in Dubai.

"A host of measurements were taken from high-speed video data of the Kikuka Syo (Japanese St Leger) at a rate of 250 frames per second.

"Sophisticated analysis has revealed that the champion racehorse’s ratio of overlap time to stride duration was 8.5 per cent, compared to that of an average horse, which is 17.1 per cent.

"It was postulated that this characteristic, which is also common to the great American horse Secretariat, may be an essential feature of superior horses.

"Aida said that such video analysis could in the future identify the “next Deep Impact” before he hits the sale ring."

Editor's Note: Deep Impact was Japan's superhorse. He retired this fall with earnings of 1.5 billion yen (about $13 million US). When Deep Impact traveled to France this fall for his gallant third-place finish in L'arc de Triomphe, chartered jumbo jets full of his fans accompanied him. Deep Impact is one of many stakes-winning offspring of American champion Sunday Silence, who stood at stud in Japan before his death caused by laminitis.

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