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Horse gear


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Very amusing - given there was no insight into what impact they would have on a horse in an upcoming race. So I don't see much advice there for punters. 

And the best part for me was this line.

Adjustments to gear are sometimes dismissed as peripheral information to form, barrier number, or jockey

I don't consider form as such, barrier or jockey. I'm hardly likely to apply a guess in relation to what a gear change would do - before the race. Although I do love reading about horses that have supposedly won - because of the gear change. Does that also mean they lost because of the gear change when they don't win?

One thing is for sure - in places like the UK where they are generally a lot more patient with their horses and their racing programs for a horse, the amount of gear applied compared to NZ and Australia is miniscule. Must be just useless trainers over there.

Gear changes explained: Advice for punters from three G1-winning stables

Representatives from three Group One-winning stables offered us some professional insights into gear changes, and how to approach them from a punting perspective.

Adjustments to gear are sometimes dismissed as peripheral information to form, barrier number, or jockey but the reality is that they can be crucial in gaining that extra length or two.

We spoke with 2014 Queensland Derby-winning trainer Henry Dwyer, leading Queensland trainer Tony Gollan, and Chris Waller's racing manager Liam Prior.

Gollan is leading the Queensland Metro Trainer Premiership by some 21 wins, while the Waller stable are 42 clear of their nearest rival in the New South Wales Premiership.

Q1: Which gear change/s have you found to be most effective in getting the best out of a horse?


LP: I don't think you can generalise when it comes to gear adjustments. For instance, a tongue tie on a horse that chokes down or even has a slight wind issue can be very effective. Blinkers are an obvious one but they need to be applied carefully so not to backfire and cause a horse to over-race. Generally, I find removing a piece of gear can be a good indicator, especially gear such as ear muffs or pacifiers. These are used to relax a horse and generally when these come off it means a horse is relaxing in its races and doing the right thing. It is only subtle and doesn't have the same "fire up" traits that blinkers can give a horse.

HD: Traditionally blinkers have the biggest impact on a horse's performance. A typically lazy, laid back horse can improve many lengths with their addition - they seem to stimulate a horse's natural flight response by blocking their peripheral vision and making them guess what's coming behind them rather than see it for themselves. Winkers are also handy for the same reason but allow slightly more vision to the sides, and are better for horses that may overdo it a bit in blinkers but still need switching on a bit. Visors can be okay at times too, which are slightly different to blinkers in there's a slit cut out of each cup allowing the horse a small bit of rearward vision. Not sure on the theory but they can be okay on horses that can tend to miss the start in blinkers.

TG: Blinkers are the obvious one. Going from a horse with no gear that is not quite concentrating to applying a set of blinkers can really sharpen them up and result in significant improvement. For example, he's not one of mine, but the addition of blinkers (first time) to Kuro last time really brought out the best in the horse after a lacklustre run in Sydney at the start prior.


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