Racing plates are traditionally made from aluminium and weigh around 1kg, but researchers at the country’s national science agency, CSIRO, say the titanium shoes weigh just half that.
“This means a horse could travel at new speeds,” said Melbourne trainer John Moloney, one of whose horses was the first to be fitted with a set of customised shoes.
“We’re very excited at the prospect of improved performance.”
But unless you have very wealthy owners, the cost is likely to be prohibitive — the prototype came in at an eye-watering 600 Australian dollars (£355) a set.
This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (7 November 2013)