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Re: Horses for courses

Posted by Masakim on March 09, 2002

In Reply to: Re: Horses for courses posted by ESC on March 09, 2002

: : can anyone explain that one to me please?

: It's a racing term. Certain horses run better on certain courses. HORSES FOR COURSES - "A mostly British expression urging someone to stick to the thing he knows best, 'horses for courses' comes from the horse racing world, where it is widely assumed that some horses race better on certain courses than on others. In 1898 a British writer noted in the first recorded use of the expression: 'A familiar phrase on the turf is 'horses for courses.'" From the "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997, Page 339).

Horses for courses. A course of action or policy that has been modified slightly from the original to allow for altered circumstances. A horse that runs well on a dry course will run less well on a damp course and vice versa.
From _Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, Sixteenth Edition_

A familiar phrase on the turf is "horses for courses".... The Brighton Course is very like Epson, and horses that win at one meating often win at the other. (A.E.T. Watson, _Turf_, 1891)

He must concentrate on the doctrine of horses for courses ... in using the special knowledge of individual ministers. (H. Wilson, _Governance of Britain_, 1976)

In the thoroughbred racing, it's called "horses for courses." In Hollywood, it's known as smart casting. (_Wasington Post_, July 7, 1996)