FLEMINGTON racegoers did a double-take when they saw champion sprinter Hay List being paraded in a wetsuit after his Newmarket Handicap triumph on Saturday.
That is what the $900 garment looks like, although it is in fact made of a revolutionary moisture-management fabric.
It is the latest and most unusual piece of cutting-edge technology designed to assist the thoroughbred's recovery from races and strenuous training gallops.
Because Hay List has had his share of injury problems over the years, trainer John McNair thought it was worth a try.
"It is basically like a compression suit," McNair said.
"You see a lot of cyclists, footballers and other sports people use them. They are designed to aid recovery, help with muscle fatigue.
"We have been using them on Hay List for a couple of weeks now and it makes a huge difference."
The compression suits are made by Hidez, a firm in Windsor on Sydney's northwestern outskirts.
The Hidez Recovery Suit uses a "graduated compression method which helps circulation and supplies more oxygen to all the muscle groups". According to the inventors, the suit “enhances blood flow and oxygen availability to animal’s muscles and speeds up the removal of waste products — like lactic acids and carbon dioxide — for vital blood supplies.” They say that this helps to “recover injuries faster, help prevent injuries by maintaining muscle temperature and it reduces muscle fatigue and by flushing out bad blood it reduces delayed onset muscle soreness.”
So just how is the suit fitted to a racehorse?
"There are zippers everywhere and it takes about 90 seconds to put it on," McNair said. "There are designs in place to introduce a variation of the suit that enables a horse to wear it at trackwork so that you can monitor its heart rate, breathing - even its length of stride."
Tags: Jukamatuka, Animals Of The Subgenius, JR, BobDobbs, Horse, Bodysuit
Location: Flemington, Victoria, Australia (load item map)
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