There was a clear strategic reason why Bart Cummings was a part-owner in the animal nutrition company Ranvet, which was founded in 1964 by his friend and esteemed veterinarian Percy Sykes.

Cummings knew nutrition was a critical part of successfully training racehorses and, a bit like ‘no foot, no horse’, without good and effective feed, his equine stars would not have enjoyed the success they did.

Some trainers will say that feeding is the most important part of the training process. While injury, luck in running and other variables can’t be controlled during the training life of a racehorse, feed is one element of the lifecycle that can be strictly controlled.

By nature, horses are designed to be grazing for up to 17 hours a day, but that’s assuming they have constant access to turnout/pasture. In Australia’s urban training stables, that’s not possible, and the problems associated with horses standing still for unnatural periods was something that Sykes identified in the 1960s.

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