Speed Gene Test

Predict optimum race distance and precocity potential with over 90% accuracy.

Equinome scientists discovered the most powerful genetic indicator of best race distance aptitude and precocity potential in Thoroughbreds in a gene responsible for muscle mass development and muscle fibre type. The Equinome Speed Gene Test analyses a specific position within the myostatin (MSTN) gene, where the code contains either the DNA variant C or T. Each individual has two copies of the gene – one inherited from the dam and one from the sire, so there are three possible genetic combinations: C:C, C:T or T:T.

Genetic Type
(MSTN gene)
Best Race Distance Precocity Breeding Potential
C:C Fast, speedy sprint type
(1000 - 1600m; 5 – 8 furlongs)
Average age at first win:
32 months
Can only produce sprint (C:C) or middle-distance (C:T) type horses
C:T Middle-distance type
(1400 - 2400m; 7 – 12 furlongs)
Average age at first win:
35 months
Can produce sprint (C:C), middle-distance (C:T) or staying (T:T) type horses
T:T Enhanced stamina
(2000m and over; 10+ furlongs)
Average age at first win:
40 months
Can only produce middle-distance (C:T) or staying (T:T) type horses
Use of Information

Selection and Training: This information can be used to confidently identify at an early stage those horses that are most likely to be early-maturing types more suited to sprint distances, those that will train on to middle distances as three-year-olds and those that are later maturing and best suited to the Classic, middle to long distance races.

Breeding: This information can be used by breeders to ensure that the desired type of horse is being produced with more consistency. If the genetic types of the stallion and mare are known, the potential outcomes can be predicted as per the table below.

Genetic Type Cannot be Determined from Pedigree.

The stallion and mare each pass on one copy of their DNA variant (i.e. 'C' or 'T') to the foal. A C:T horse is equally likely to pass on a 'C' or 'T'. Therefore, a C:T mare bred to a C:T stallion can produce either a C:C, a C:T or a T:T foal (see table).

This explains why full siblings can be completely different types of horse, and why best race distance or precocity cannot be reliably determined from pedigree alone.

The potential outcomes from any breeding combination can be predicted if the genetic type of the stallion and mare are known, as shown in this table. This test can be used to complement other selection tools to shortlist stallions and mares most likely to produce the desired result.

Speed Gene Test €590 £495 AUS $800 US $780

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Plusvital is able to accept DNA samples from almost all bloodstock regions within the world. The process is simple and involves a 4-5ml uncoagulated blood sample from each horse in a purple cap K2-EDTA tube. If you require any assistance or advice, please contact us directly.

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