‘Averageness’ key to greatness – official.

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The 18th Century horse Eclipse was a legendary figure in horse racing, contributing to the bloodlines of 80 percent of modern thoroughbreds. Yet, despite his unbeaten record, Eclipse, the “father of modern racehorses” was perfectly average in the leg department.

That is the verdict of scientists at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), who have reconstructed one of the horse’s legs to look at what made him a winner. It appears that Eclipse’s body shape and movement were in the middle of the normal range, giving him the perfect combination for running.

“To be average is good from the point of view of a racehorse,” Dr Alan Wilson of the RVC told the BBC News website. “From the point of view of his bones, he’s right in the middle of what would prove typical for a racehorse.”

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