Dr. Geoffrey Hutson's breakthrough book Watching Racehorses is out now! Learn about behavioural handicapping: how head tossing, pawing, salivating and other behaviours provide telltale clues about a horse's readiness to run.
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Watching Racehorses

July 13th, 2022 0 comments


Dr Geoffrey Hutson’s breakthrough book Watching Racehorses, detailing his discovery, first reported in New Scientist magazine, that pre-race horse behaviour is a significant predictor of performance.



Dr Geoffrey Hutson’s breakthrough book Watching Racehorses expands upon his original discovery, first reported in New Scientist magazine, that pre-race horse behaviour is a significant predictor of performance.

It introduces the new and unique concept of behavioural handicapping: scoring horses according to how they act before a race. By avoiding or laying those with poor behaviour, punters and horseplayers can gain a deeper understanding of why horses run as they do and improve their strike rate.

Watching Racehorses explains:

  • how to assess fatness and fitness – the body condition of horses
  • what to look for in the birdcage stalls, including pawing, weaving and restless behaviour
  • the impact of horse tack and equipment, including the bridle and bit, tongue tie, nose roll, pacifiers, boots and bandages
  • the meaning of sexual behaviour
  • what to watch for in the parade ring and mounting yard, including strapper control, horse posture and gait
  • behaviour on the track, including sweating and control by the clerk of the course

The book describes over 60 behaviour patterns in detail, including a statistical analysis of the effect each has on a horse’s winning chance. This data, based on careful observation of more than 10,000 horses, is unprecedented in the history of horse racing.

Most racegoers say that they would like to look at the horses, but don’t know where to look. This book shows where and how. There are 250 pages, with over 50 photographs, 30 figures and tables, and a comprehensive index and further reading list.

Written in Dr. Geoffrey Hutson’s inimitable style, Watching Racehorses is a clear, precise and highly entertaining guide to why good horses sometimes run bad.

Additional information

Weight 0.345 kg
Dimensions 21 × 15 × 2 cm


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