Fingers Crossed

The Races
31 October 2018
Jockeys believe new colours to be highly unlucky, while upright horseshoes are thought to bring good luck.
 
Superstitions - we all have them! Many of us wouldn't dare break a mirror or walk under a ladder. However, in a game often determined by luck, racing folk take superstitions to a new level. We've gathered some common superstitions within the racing industry - and they go further than crossing fingers when the gates open!
 
1- NEVER wear new colours in a race. Pristine colours are considered extremely bad luck by jockeys. When handed new colours, many jockeys will in fact put them on the floor and jump on them in order to 'break them in' (hopefully out of the view of owners!). The idea is if colours have already 'hit the ground', they won't again during the race. According to jockeys this one is gospel! Few brave souls have attempted to defy this belief, and word is none have returned on horseback...
 
2- No peanuts allowed - and it's not due to allergies. Walk into a stable with a bag of peanuts and it won't be long before they're knocked out of your hand. Some say peanuts are easy to choke on, while others believe that if a horse is to stand on a peanut shell, its legs will become crippled. Like many superstitions, the reasoning behind this one is up for debate.
 
3- It's important to give much thought when naming a horse because once it's decided, there's no going back. It is considered hugely unlucky to rename a horse and is something no owner would dare to consider, not to mention it would just be plain confusing for the horse!
 
4- Many jockeys will reach for their right boot first before a race, with the belief 'right boot on first and you'll be right all day.' Former jockeys Bob Vance and Lance O'Sullivan swear by this belief, with both of them abiding to it throughout their lengthily careers. Speaking of shoes, upright horseshoes are considered good luck, while upside down horseshoes are considered unlucky.
 
5- No photos allowed. Many jockeys and trainers prefer that their horses are not photographed before racing, much to the dismay of excited owners. For some, any photo taking must wait until after the race has been run (and hopefully taken in the winners circle!)
 
6- No matter how confident, industry insiders will never put champagne in the fridge before a big race. Once they've won we're sure they won't be thrown by slightly warm champagne and if so, they have all the reason to go out and buy a bottle!
 
7- It's not all doom and gloom, there are many things considered lucky by those in the industry; One white sock, three white horses, and a little less appealing; being defecated on by a bird.
 
The origins of many of these superstitions are murky, but in a game dominated by luck, racing folk take no chances! As they say 'everything is bad luck, until you win'.

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