Naming them is one of the fun parts of buying racehorses. I’m not saying that this is the only fun to be had, but at the very least, it’s something that the entire family can get behind.
Normandy Stud’s Oscar Foulkes writes that for this reason they stopped naming their yearlings prior to sales.
However, Ready to Run introduces a new angle – in order for a horse to truly be ‘ready to run’ it has to have a passport.
Of course, we don’t just take our own produce to RTR, there are also the yearlings we’ve picked up at a variety of auctions.
Leading this group are four that we bought from Maine Chance, where a specific naming policy is in place. All their horses are named before sale (even weanlings), and the first letter has to match the dam’s name.
Thanks to this, we have Nicaragua (from a very strong ‘N’ family), Peaceable, Al Diablo and Marcchinetta. The latter had me confused when we bought him as a weanling, until I discovered that the ‘r’ had crept in somewhere in the naming process. He is supposed to be Macchinetta, continuing the coffee theme of his dam Mocha Java (with the ‘chi’ spelling in Italian pronounced as a ‘k’).
Having purchased a smashing Master of My Fate colt at the National Sale, I got a second dose of excitement when I noticed that he was named Tarantino. I immediately put this onto my family WhatsApp group, to which I got all the right emojis in reponse, including a plea that we keep him. Well, kids, paying your university fees involves hopefully turning a profit on selling this chap on RTR, so I’m sorry, but no.
From Moutonshoek, we bought Blingking (out of Blingsta) and Mit Eish (out of Ice Link, geddit?), in trademark humour from these great people.
I hope the breeders of the unnamed horses we bought will think we’ve done justice with the names that have been dreamt up.
Shadwell give their horses Arabic names, so I trust they’ll forgive Cold Snap for the smashing What A Winter colt we bought from them.
A scopey Querari colt out of Fairy Tern was anointed Tara Iti, which is the Maori name for a fairy tern.
I’ve had a lot of fun naming Twice Overs, and I’m rather pleased with Stereotype for the colt out of Typical.
Naming our own produce means exploring similar themes on a regular basis. Top of this list – and winning no prizes for originality – are the foals of the three full-sisters Arctic Breeze, Nordic Wind and Nordic Breeze (all by Windrush out of Nordic Vine). Please don’t judge, three different people were involved in the naming of these mares. On an individual basis, it’s not that bad, but when you put them all together, oi vey!
We had to withdraw the Arctic Breeze filly (Icy Gust) as a result of a fractured pedal bone. For the Judpot filly out of Nordic Wind, I found Tuuletar, which is a Finnish goddess of the wind. I assume that is pronounced ‘tool-e-tar’. I suspect we have now exhausted all avenues with any reference remotely connected to wind in Nordic territories. Stand by for Horse One and Horse Two (with apologies to Dr Seuss).
Our mare, Janis, was also withdrawn from RTR several years ago, after she had an injury during preparation, and was then covered as a two-year-old rather than wait for her to recover sufficiently to be put back into training. She was named after Janis Joplin (her dam is Diva), so her Querari colt is named Full Tilt Boogie, which was the name of Janis’ band.
Ocelot is a nice feline reference for the mare Dance With Tigers. It will be very useful if her three-year-old, Tango With Tigers, cracks his maiden before this filly is offered for sale.
I’ve named a few foals out of Happy Jean, including one of my favourites, Crowd Pleaser. Happy Chappy is a particularly smart Querari colt, and we’re hoping he will be a … um … crowd pleaser.
I’ve explored Argonaut-related references for Lady of the Fleece a couple of times.
Her RTR filly last year was named Fleeced (yes, bit of a cop-out), and then she proceeded to injure herself badly before the sale, resulting in an open wound a good 10cm x 15cm (i.e. fleecing herself, which shows just how prophetic names can be), necessitating her withdrawal from the sale. This year we’ve gone with Lady Warrior, because Jason didn’t only take guys on his quest.
This is the second time naming a foal out of Royal Jubilee (the first was Long Reign). This smashing Dynasty filly is Wife of Windsor, which ties sire and dam together quite nicely.
Once we worked out that Sabrina Fair needed to be allowed to race from the front, she rattled off a couple of big margin victories in a row before doing her tendon. Her filly, Sabrina Fairchild, is possibly the best Querari filly we’ve bred, and a chip off the old block in name as well.
I close with two horses that we bought already named. I would be delighted if Mosalah has just a fraction of the talent of his namesake, Mo Salah.
And, the best post-purchase name discovery of the lot – bearing the RTR sale in mind – is the lovely Gimmethegreenlight filly Ready to Rania.
Are you ready?