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Dosages and the horses behind the theory

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What is all about

Our other sites are about the theory of dosage.  This one is trying to tell some stories about the horses that shape the breed.  Dr Roman who was instrumental in developing the modern dosage index named his site,, so I hope it is fitting that we can continue some of his work.  As a scientist, Dr Roman was interested in numbers, and his view of dosage focused heavily on distance aptitude.  In many ways it was revolutionary, and the introduction of available computer programs, like the wonderful TesioPower, made this type of rapid calculation quick and easy.   It also lent itself to superficial analysis of the thoroughbred, and also opened up a lot of criticism when the dosage index did not match an obvious distance aptitude.

But dosage has its history in the works of Frenchman Vuillier originally, and then later the Italian Franco Varola.  Varola's most famous work, The Typology of the Racehorse focused heavily on developmental issues of the breed, and a relationship between speed and stamina in particular.  It was this blending of attributes that probably first appealed to me.  In Australia, it was the work of the brilliant and generous John Hutchinson of Scone Bloodstock who set about developing a list of local influences that were neglected by the likes of Dr Roman who was centred on US racing.  Where would we be without stallions like Star Kingdom, Vain and Sir Tristram to name but a few.  Stallions who shaped the Australian and New Zealand breed, but whose influence barely caused a ripple most of the time overseas.  Updating the list of chefs-de-race is a constant task, and one that probably doesn't get quite the attention it should.  I am sure that most, like Dr Roman, maintain their own additional lists when current influences don't seem to account for up and coming stallions in particular.

Dosage though is all about balance to me, but I am the first to admit that I fell into the trap of focusing too heavily on Dr Roman's work.  Without taking away from his contribution, Dr Roman was centred on distance.  He may well have erred by not classifying stallions whose contributions were fairly evident especially if they risked his rather definite ideas about the trends in distance aptitude in the modern breed.  John Hutchinson reminded me of the importance of type, and the development of the thoroughbred which is the basis of Varola's work.  I remember clearly a discussion we had regarding the possible classification of Zabeel, a remarkable influence in the ANZ thoroughbred.  As a racehorse his biggest win was the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas for 3yo's, and he was rather noted as something of a miler.  He was by Champion stallion, Sir Tristram, a stallion that had been classified as a Classic influence.  While not denying Zabeel's ability in siring stayers, there is no doubt that many of his like Octagonal had more than their share of speed.  I struggled with John suggesting the stallion as a Classic/Professional influence as I was convinced that sons like Octagonal who was on his way to stud, were not accurately reflective of the distances that he performed over.  John patiently explained that I needed to remember the writings of Varola.  While a horse like

Associated sites

If you are looking for further information on dosage, please have a look at our associated sites: