Thoroughbred Pedigree

Last Updated 18 Aug 2021 | Commercial content | 18+

There are multiple ways to dissect a horse race in order to find a strong-enough angle to either tip or back one runner and ignore the rest of the field. Horse pedigree, more simply racehorse breeds, can be a big indicator of future success.

Why is horse pedigree important?

Normally, the first port of call would be to analyse recent or past form. But then what happens in a maiden or novice event when several, if not all the runners have never seen a racetrack before?

Well, then it comes down to a mixture of factors: the draw, distance of the race, jockey and trainer combination and, most importantly, each individual horse’s pedigree. All of the factors are pretty self-explanatory, but pedigree can often stump punters.

What are the main types of racehorse breeds?

All thoroughbred racehorses in Britain can be traced back to three horses of the distant past – the Byerley Turk (1680), Darley Arabian (1704) and Godolphin Arabian (1729). You can also get Arabian-bred horses.

A thoroughbred racehorse is bred to be a superstar on the racetrack. If a breeder has a mare, they can pay a stallion fee to get one of the best-retired racehorses to cover their mare, thus potentially leading to pregnancy.

What is horse pedigree?

Their pedigree is then made up of the horse’s parents. The sire (father) and dam (mother) will tend to pass on certain traits and characteristics to their progeny, thus enabling onlookers, breeders and owners a clue into how that horse will be able to perform, in numerous different ways, on the track.

Horse Pedigree

How important is a pedigree when selecting a horse?

Of course, this is never truly 100% accurate. Breeders have put together the best sires and dams for a number of years and nowhere near every horse has turned out to be a superstar. In fact, most aren’t. But what is more predictable is the amount of stamina, speed and willingness to race and win.

Take Galileo, for example. A fantastic racehorse turned sire for Coolmore – the biggest breeding operation in the world – Galileo has produced numerous champions and his strike rate is absolutely second to none. The rule is if you see Galileo in a horse’s pedigree, that horse is probably pretty expensive and talented.

However, some of his offspring have unsurprisingly failed to produce on the track in the past and although they may not have the same raw ability as most of their full and half-siblings, one thing you can guarantee is that they will be at their best over middle distances.

Furthermore, a sire like Kodiac, whose progenies are far cheaper than the aforementioned Galileo, will nine times out of ten produce a speedy sprinter who is at their best on quick ground.

How does pedigree influence betting?

Pedigrees consequently have a significant impact on the price paid for horses, given their expected talent, and also on the betting markets for two-year-old contests especially. A Kodiac colt would likely be a significantly shorter price for a 5f sprint at Chepstow than a Galileo colt, while if the race was run over 1m 2f at Newmarket, the odds would be turned on their head.

How do I look up a horse’s pedigree?

Whether a horse is bred in the purple or not is important and knowing the answer to that question can significantly help your punting in races where the recent form isn’t available. It is easy to access the pedigree of any individual horse on a racecard or bookmaker’s website, and it is completely recommended that you at least bear in mind what that could mean.

Of course, a horse doesn’t have to be sired by Galileo to be unstoppable, they just have more chance of hitting the heights based on trends and siblings. If Usain Bolt had a son, I’m sure you’d fancy him to beat Dave from the pub’s son in a sprint, wouldn’t you???

Thoroughbred Pedigree – FAQ

What is a tail female line?

This is the family tree from the dam’s (mother) side. If the dam of the horse was a champion on the track, and her dam was also a superstar, then this horse will probably be a superstar too.

What is a double bred horse?

A horse whose ancestors appear twice in their pedigree, which is a complicated but sometimes advantageous process. It is used to attempt to create a horse closer to their relations.

What is a sire and a dam horse?

A sire is the father of a horse. A dam is the mother.

What is a black type horse?

A horse that has won or placed in a Listed or Group/Graded race, therefore showing they had quality on the racetrack.

What does ROM stand for in horses?

ROM stands for Register Of Merit. A horse that achieved a speed figure of 80 or higher, which tends to be more important when analysing US racing.

How to find your horse’s bloodlines?

You can find bloodlines on racecards and bookmaker websites.

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