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Thursday, 23 January, 2003, 15:13 GMT
Ask the racing team
Send your questions and comments to Clare Balding and the racing team - they will answer them Ascot on Saturday 15 February.

Clare will be joined by Jim McGrath, Richard Pitman, Peter Scudamore and Angus Loughran to deal with your queries.

You can also text us on 07940 924 924


Clare replied to a selection of your e-mails at Uttoxeter:


Q: We often hear of horses being specially trained for certain races, or 'laid out for a race'. What special steps or methods are taken in training to prepare a horse with a certain race in mind.

Jim McKinley, Netherland

A: Training a horse is like preparing an athlete for a big meeting, and their fitness programme is tailored accordingly. It is all a question of ensuring the horse is at its peak when it arrives at an event.


Q: When I watch cowboy films the ponies seem to be going a lot faster than a racehorse. Is this a cinematic trick, or could a cowboy pony win the Derby?

David Eldridge, UK

A: Quarter horses used by cowboys are very fast over short distances, but beyond two to three furlongs they would be caught by a thoroughbred.


Q: What has happened to the new type of hurdle which was being experimented with last season?

Mrs Elsie Holmes, England

A: These hurdles are being used at Southwell at the moment, but the opinion among the trainers is mixed.


Q: Would it be better for the racing public if trainers were only permitted to enter one horse in each race?

The reason being that often when trainers have two or more runners in a race the outsider of these sometimes wins.

Jim, UK

A: A trainer's responsibility is to his horses and his owners. When he has multiple runners they are usually owned by different people.

If the race suits more than one horse in his yard, he has a duty to run them all.

Whatever you want to say, send it to us today


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Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.


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