If you’re just starting out at Newturf, our favourite horse racing game, you are probably already discovering that there is a lot to take in and it can seem quite daunting to the new player. One aspect that tends to cause considerable confusion is the different types of horses and how to recognise which is which.
If you have purchased a younger horse and it does not perform well, you need to know whether that is simply a lack of ability or whether it could be that the horse has not yet reached maturity. At Newturf, there are two main, distinctive types – early (or precocious) and late-developing. There are some slight variations on these types but the vast majority of horses you might encounter would fit into one or other of these two camps.
A precocious type is effective from the day it is born up until the age of 3 – 3.5 years. These horses are usually born with three (green) squares for each of speed, stamina and flexibility (3-3-3, see figure 1.) Some horses, born with only two stamina squares can be effective as sprinters (1000m races) but will not be ready to run until 10-14 days into their first season (3-2-3, see figure 2.) Sometimes, horses born with only two flexibility squares can also be raceable although these mostly tend to be slow (3-3-2, see figure 3.) Precocious horses usually peak (orange squares) at 8 or 9 for speed and/or stamina. If they are early types, only these 3 configurations of birth squares will be raceable.
Late developing types can be born with any configuration of squares, including those already discussed. However, while precocious types quickly progress(blue squares) to their fourth speed/stamina squares (typically 2 – 6 days following birth), late developers are slower to progress. These horses will not reach full maturity until they peak (orange squares) at 10 squares for speed and/or stamina. This means they are most likely to be effective from 3 or 4 years until their retirement from racing at 8 years.
Once you have gained more experience, you will come to be familiar with bloodlines and will be able to tell what type a horse is likely to be according to its pedigree.
If you are still unsure as to what type of horse you have, take a look at the race records of the sire and dam. Look at what stage the parents did most of their racing and at what age they were most effective. It is very likely that the offspring will be most effective at a similar stage to the parents.
Figure 4 is an example of a typical late developer and would not have been effective until it was at least 3 years of age.