"Exceptional horses such as Secretariat or Mill Reef occasionally record exceptional times; but it is unclear at present how this is achieved.
"It is possible that these horses had an exceptional metabolism that enabled them to produce such performances.
"Thus the intramuscular accumulation of lactate (through anaerobic metabolism) ultimately limits muscle performance and appropriate training can delay its onset.
"Do racehorse trainers regularly sample blood lactate during and after workouts and prepare individualised workouts as occurs in human training programs?
"In one study, blood lactate taken 2 and 5 min after exercise correlated well with the Timeform rating given to that racehorse.
"Implementation of such training tools in the elite thoroughbred horse may, in addition to improving results and winning times, reduce injury rate and occurrences of poor performance."
David S Gardner, University of Nottingham, 2006