In a post about a week and a half ago, I mentioned that the three trending topics in the bloodstock world were the January sale stats, controversy over populations and statistical interpretations, and the potential for genetics testing through the new Irish-based company Equinome. led by Emmeline Hill, PhD, and partners.
As expected, the first two stories led the internet discussions last week, and today, Hill, et al., announced their new product, a “breakthrough genetic test that can identify the optimum racing distance for individual Thoroughbred horses.”
Among the claims being made for the product in a press release are that by
Using the Equinome Speed Gene test racehorse owners and trainers around the world will be able to identify if a horse is ideally suited to racing over short, middle or middle-to-long distances. With this information, they can then optimise their purchasing and training decisions and better target suitable races for their horses. Breeders, stallion managers and bloodstock agents will also be able to use the test to make more precise selection and breeding decisions to maximise the genetic potential and commercial value of their horses.
So, does this mean that pedigree patterns, matings analysis, conformation, management, feeding, training, and mechanical structure are all for naught? Well, I doubt it. On the surface, there are far too many variables for a single test to offer the “answer.” But it’s worth a look, and then we’ll evaluate.