What do racehorses eat?

Typically, horses should consume about 2.5% of their body weight daily, but intense training programmes often mean that racehorses often only have limited access to high-quality grass and hay, from well-maintained pastures, and may struggle to consume enough calories to maintain their optimal weight. Consequently, racehorses are typically fed large amounts of cereal-based feedstuffs, such as grain mixtures and oats, to provide the calories they need to perform as elite athletes.

Indeed, oats were once the staple diet of working horses but, because they are low in calcium and macronutrients, such as copper and zinc, and high in phosphorus, are rarely fed in isolation nowadays. Instead, they are fed alongside high-quality hay and grass, vitamin supplements and additional feedstuffs, such as sugar beet pulp, which is a good source of dietary fibre, or roughage, and helps to balance the diet of a typical racehorse. An average racehorse must also drink between five and ten gallons of clean water every day to maintain its health and performance.

Wales is home to how many racecourses?

Nowadays, Wales is home to three racecourses, namely Bangor-on-Dee, Chepstow and Ffos Las. Historically, Wales was home to various other racecourses, including those at Cardiff, or Ely, Newport and Oswestry and Llanymynech, but by the middle of the twentieth century they had all closed their doors.

Not to be confused with the seaside resort of Bangor, in Gwynedd, northwest Wales, Bangor-on-Dee is a National Hunt venue in Clwyd, northeast Wales. The racecourse, which is situated approximately 6 miles south-east of Wrexham, on the banks of the River Dee, has the distinction of being the only one in Britain without a grandstand.

Chepstow, situated on the northern outskirts of the town of Chepstow, in Monmouthshire, southeast Wales, near the English border, is a dual-purpose racecourse. Billed as Wales’ premier racecourse, Chepstow is home to the most prestigious race of the year in Wales, the Welsh Grand National, which is staged annually on December 27.

Ffos Las, situated just north of the former mining village of Trimsaran and approximately 4 miles east of Kidwelly, in Carmarthenshire, southwest Wales, is another dual-purpose racecourse. Built on the site of a former open cast coal mine, Ffos Las opened in 2009, making it the first new turf racecourse in Britain for 80 years.

What does it mean if a horse is ‘supplemented’ for a race?

If a horse is ‘supplemented’ for a race, it is entered into the race at a late stage, known as the ‘supplementary stage’, after the original entry stage. Supplementary entries typically involve a substantial fee, which must be paid by connections before their horse can run in the race in question.

The initial entry stage for the Derby, for example, takes place eighteen months before the race, when the horses that will participate are still yearlings and have yet to set foot on a racecourse. Yearling entry is, understandably, the most economic way to enter the Derby but, even by the second entry stage, in early April in the year of the race itself – by which time the horses are three years old – a trainer may not know he has a Classic prospect on his hands. However, he or she has one last chance to enter a horse in the Derby; five days before the race, when the remaining horses have their entries confirmed, a horse can be supplemented for £85,000, or just under £5,000 more than the prize money for fourth place.

What is the record for the most winners by a trainer in a single day?

As listed in the Guiness Book of World Records, the record number of winners trained in a single day is twelve. That was the number sent out by Michael W. Dickinson, at six different meetings across Britain, during the Bank Holiday programme on Boxing Day, 1982, and included Wayward Lad, winner of the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park. Apparently, while having dinner with his parents, Tony and Monica, in early November, Dickinson Jnr. announced, to the exasperation of his father, that he was going to break the world record for the number of winners in a day. He eventually ran twenty horses on Boxing Day, of which twelve won and just one finished outside the first three. The record is unlikely ever to be broken.

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