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BUSINESS MATTERS: Veterinary team aims to crack the winning secret.

ALAN WILSON's team at the Royal Veterinary College pulled off a coup for racehorse research last week when they were selected for a place at the prestigious Royal Society summer exhibition in London.

Partly funded by the Levy Board, Wilson has been examining the factors that limit the maximum galloping speed of the thoroughbred. Some of the data has been collected from John Best's string, using global positioning systems (GPS) and radio-linked sensors strapped to the horses' withers.

Combining this with computer simulation of equine locomotion, the team have set themselves the task of unearthing evidence about which horse has the best potential to be a winner.

After last week's successful exhibition, Wilson is on the brink of publishing the evidence. Owners, trainers and punters could soon be beating a path to the RVC door at the University of London.

OATRIDGE College, home of the new Scottish Racing Academy, is on the lookout for pensioners - of the equine variety.

The college, which opened two months ago under the auspices of Oatridge, the Northern Racing College and East Lothian Council, will take 12 new students on the course in September and needs at least eight ex-racehorses to join them.

Course tutor Richard Negus said: "We don't care if the horses have never won, but they must have a kind temperament and know what's expected on the gallops."

Oatridge is home to five horses, including two loaned by Geoff Wragg. They are teaching the college's first intake of students, who are moving on for more practical experience with Tony Dicken at his Dunbar yard.

Negus, who pointed out that none of the horses came from Scotland, is hoping local owners and trainers will rally round. He can be contacted on 01506 864800.

HELP arrived in all sizes and from all directions when the British Racing School put together the plan that resulted in a new pounds 1.64 million accommodation block, which was officially opened last week.

The money included a grant from the Levy Board, but came from a variety of other sources, notably the Jacobs Foundation, which Newsells Park Stud owner Walter Jacobs established to help underprivileged youngsters.

The ideas for the spacious buildings, which are home to youngsters working their way through NVQ qualifications, came in part from trainees, whom chief executive Rory MacDonald canvassed for opinions.

Better positioning of pipes in the bathrooms and provision of pinboards in a facility including 22 double bedrooms and a gym were among several suggestions that were adopted.

The response has been an overwhelming thumbs-up - with a couple of exceptions, according to trustees chairman Nigel Elwes, who said: "On seeing the building and the anti-passage-creeping measures, one former trainee complained that we had taken all the fun out of the place."

NVQ ACHIEVERS IN JUNE

LEVEL 3: British Racing School: Deborah Attrill (R Baker), Stephanie Cassidy (J Long), Ernest Jamieson, Nicole Macaskill (C Dunnett), Alexandra Mulligan (A Balding), Ernst Oertel (G Kelleway), Jo Pichur (W Haggas), John Ryan (Julian Poulton), Lesley Sheil, Walter Swinburn (P Harris). National Stud: Tracey Symons, Jacqui Bolt.

Northern Racing College: George Charlton (J Charlton), Harriet Graham, Liam Kelly (P Cole), Kelly Martin (B Hills).

LEVEL 2: British Racing School: Thomas Burrows (S Wilton), Mark Fish (L Stubbs), Natasha Eaton (B Baugh), Sonia Eaton (B Baugh), Jason Favell (L Cumani), Frances Harper (G Balding), David Lowther (J Fanshawe), Craig Messenger (L Jewell), Hannah Roche (J Galpin), Katia Scallan (M Tregoning), Daniel Wilkinson (J Hetherton).

Northern Racing College: Michael Bellamy (J Balding), Liam Berridge (L Lungo), Stephen Freeman (L Normile), Christopher Rourke (D Evans), Emma Swift (J Wainwright), Dale Swift (R Fahey), Helen Tudball (D Barron). Haddon Training: Elizabeth Jones (Whorridge Stud), Jacqueline Blair (Whorridge Stud).

LEVEL 1: British Racing School: Anna Hirji, Charlotte Sizeland. Northern Racing College: Nicola Ashall (M Brittain), Bethany Brougham (J O'Neill), Clare Canham (R Johnson), Tim Dennis (P Hobbs), Kerry Galvin (S Kirk), Daniel Gildea (D Carroll), Philip Hornsby (P Webber), James Medhurst, Abigail Roberts (D H Jones), Laura Tomkins (J Avery), Michael Weaver (A Duffield).

Employer at time of achievement in brackets.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jul 11, 2004
Words:679
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