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Horse Racing/pace work and blow out difference


QUESTION: hello sir. may i know the difference between PACE WORK and BLOW OUT in horse racing terms?

ANSWER: Hi Caine,
         A horse doing pace work is required to run certain distances at 'pace'rather than just cantering along.
A horse having a 'blow out'is usually run at a fast pace to see how their level of fitness is. If they blow out they will need more training and pace work before being ready to race. A fit horse will complete its work or race and its heart rate will return to normal quite quickly. An unfit horse will blow out after heavy work.

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QUESTION: hi sir. did you mean PACE WORK means improving the position for every furlong?

ANSWER: Hi Caine,
        No, pace work is training gallops at full pace or close to it. Its a training term not a racing term.

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QUESTION: thanks for the answer. in a nutshell, a gelding racing at 1200m, need a pace work from 1200m but a blow out/spurt from 800m/600m. am i right? i believe that spurt and blow out are same.

Hi Caine,
       No that is not quite right. To explain Pace Work: A trainer might say to the rider before going out on the track for a training session; do 1 round at a slow canter then step up the pace to about moderate gallop but do the last 600m at 3/4 pace. This means the hores will do 2 rounds of the track slowly speeding up to finish with 600m of moderately fast gallop. This is not full pace but a traing standard pace work gallop, such as would be experienced in a longer race, but not yet at full pace.
I hope this explains the meaning.

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Don Boddie


All aspects of the thoroughbred breeding and racing industry in New Zealand. I race thoroughbreds and have been the Marketing Manager for three NZ racing clubs. If I don`t know the answer to your question I know someone who does!


20 years in the racing industry. Currently focusing on breeding but involved in all aspects of the industry. Ive raced several thoroughbreds with modest success and have had great fun out of it.

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