It seems that some people in the equine world have a tendency to lean towards natural horse surfaces. Many long-time players in the sport have maintained this as an important part of their horse racing strategy for years. However, there are other horse players who feel that a synthetic surface is a better choice for a racehorse. So what’s the reasoning behind this debate?
Most surface types deliver favorable results. The problem comes when the desired result is not reached due to one or more factors. For example, on natural surfaces horses will tend to gain and lose weight, run slow, nosed, and generally develop poor running habits. With all these traits combined, a horse may end up being a subpar runner when it races on a synthetic surface.
If you were to compare and contrast a natural racetrack with a synthetic one, you would quickly see which one would be the better choice. On a natural track, you would find that the horse would run fast and make the turns easily. On synthetic surfaces, the horse will usually run slow, nosed, and develop bad habits. This will affect the horse’s ability to turn correctly. The horse may also become spooked when racing on synthetic tracks, causing it to run with much more speed than is healthy.
In terms of physical condition, horses that race on synthetic tracks often outlast those that race on a natural one. This is because they are more acclimated to the surface and do not get so accustomed to being handled as with a horse that has been trained on a natural track. Additionally, the tack used on a synthetic surface is less harsh, causing the horse to shed weight faster than a horse that is used to being handled. Thus, the horse can be expected to race faster on a synthetic surface. However, all of this comes at the sacrifice of a lower chance of winning.
There are some things both types of surface can offer a bettor. For example, if you are looking for a bargain, a synthetic surface is not a bad bet. The horse may not be as quick or as dominant as it would be on a natural track, but it will likely be less expensive. It is easy to teach a horse to respond to the trainer, and this means the horse will likely be less susceptible to injuries. However, a synthetic horse can still only perform at its best if it is prepared to work hard.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider when choosing between synthetic and natural racing surfaces. All factors must be taken into account, including the horse’s temperament and ability. It is important to remember that while you may be able to tell the difference between a synthetic vs natural horse by looking at the length of a race, there really is no way to predict a horse’s performance on a particular surface. Therefore, no matter what surface a horse is racing on, one surface or the other is most definitely the wrong choice. In horse racing, the best choice is racing on a variety of surfaces so the horse’s personality can be molded to the conditions.