A guide to paddock watching in horse racing - Part 2


In reality most races that are run involve experienced horses and we can generally tell from the form book how good they are. In this case paddock inspection is all about gaining an insight as to how fit they are today, and are there any negatives.

There are two main things that I look for in terms of how fit a horse is. First of all the muscle tone in the buttocks, can you clearly see the tone, and the muscle fibres. Secondly how "loose" is the horse. A horse that was termed as "loose" would be flabbier, with a hint of a belly and generally the skin not as tight as a fit horse.

The picture below is of a race fit horse.

Whereas the horse below is what you would call loose with very little muscle definition and is not ready to run.

These are extreme examples but hopefully you now understand the point.