In a response to the listing of horses by stride or power qualities, Tinky responded with dissent about a horse on each list.
Discussion is a good thing because his puzzlement over the placement of Clever Trick and Caro as power and stride horses is enlightening matter.
In the previous posts about stride and power of racehorses, I’ve been working from knowledge of the biomechanical profiles of horses and their phenotype designations. I’m privy to this information as a consultant and adviser to DataTrack International, one of the three principal businesses that analyze the mechanics of Thoroughbreds for owners and breeders.
But I’ve stayed away from the technical side of biomechanics in the previous posts, instead relying more on the intuitive element of mechanics in horses, their mass and speed or fluency of stride, as markers of those types.
But occasionally, horses give some differing indications that can be interpreted one way or the other.
Caro is one of those, even more than Clever Trick, whose finesse and quality made him and some of his offspring more versatile than their raw measurements might have indicated.
Caro was a really big, rangy, and fairly rugged horse. He stood 16.3 hands or a bit more, with corresponding length and scope. In terms of leg length and body length, he was a good prospect for stride because he could cover a lot of ground effectively, much like his dam Chambord.
But as Tinky points out, there are some seriously strong power components in Caro’s makeup. In addition to his racing aptitude, Caro had the sort of hind leg construction sometimes associated with power horses.
In mechanics, a power horse has a great length of hip (oh sweet 2yo pinhooks!) and a longer than average hind cannon. Now, to move those big bones fast, a power horse has to have a lot of muscle behind the saddle, and that is where the strength of a horse like Native Dancer is so important.
Caro shares a number of those traits, and interestingly, most of the time, he passed on the power traits of his sire line (Fortino, Grey Sovereign, Nasrullah, Nearco) in preference to the stride traits of his female family.
In current pedigrees, Caro is best represented by his champion Cozzene, who was a high-class miler possessing great power, and by Unbridled’s Song, who is much like his maternal grandsire Caro in size and breeds a power type of horse most of the time.