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Stuart Dalgleish 31st Mar 2011 - 15:06

From nags to riches? Bookies berry worried about gee-d up horses

A chance discovery at a racehorse training yard has revealed an unusual new feed supplement that could be giving the equine athletes a big edge over rival horses .... and the bookmakers.

Although better known for it's health-boosting properties in humans, the Goji berry could be set to be re-named the Go-GeeGee berry as an enterprising racehorse trainer has discovered adding the fruit to his horses feed has produced a massive improvement in their health and performance.

With the new Flat-racing season is due to kick-off with the William Hill Lincoln meeting at Doncaster this weekend, Malton-based trainer Richard Fahey disclosed his new secret weapon when the berries were spotted being fed to his horses by journalists attending a media morning at his yard.

While apples and carrots might be the more common five-a-day for Fahey's equine inmates, the trainer has started adding Goji berries, in a dried form, to their daily feeds and he has been astonished by the results.

Fahey said; "It's just been extraordinary. The horses look great - shiny coats, strong hooves, great muscle tone - and I've had virtually no illness or muscle stiffness in any of them. The science adds up, the berries are nutritionally rich, containing vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that are all proven beneficial, and I thought 'if it works for humans, why shouldn't it work for the horses?' My horses are all running like Usain Bolt now!."

The Goji berry and it's main constituent frapo oil has been used in Asia for health and vitality benefits for centuries, and there are even rumours that it enhances virility.

Although some of the science can be snorted at, perhaps the words of Fahey's top rider - the reigning Champion Jockey, Paul Hanagan - is proof that the bookies and rival trainers should be scared of the Fahey string this season. "At first I thought it was a load of mumbo jumbo, but Richard hasn't changed anything else about the training routine and yet the horses are all running quicker than I've ever known - even the ones that weren't very good! They all feel like Champion racehorses to sit on now! I've even started eating them myself now as well, in hope to get an edge over the other jocks to retain my Champion title."

The first big race of the new Flat season - the William Hill Lincoln - will be held tomorrow at Doncaster racecourse and Jennie Prest, the sponsor's representative, said the bookies would now be keeping a very close eye on the Fahey runners. "I'm glad this was spotted at the media morning, or we wouldn't have had a clue! With six runners in the William Hill Lincoln - Richard is a 9/4 chance to take the trophy - our only worry is if the power of Go-GeeGee has reached the ears of other trainers without our knowledge!"

A food supplement that does not contain prohibited substances can be used as part of the normal feed for horses.


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