Commentators pick the toughest names
The role of a racing commentator is hard enough as it is without having mischievous owners trying to trip you up at every opportunity.
From the downright rude to the clever innuendos, many names are rejected by the British Horseracing Authority, but that doesn’t mean that these tongue twisters can be banned.
We asked three of them for their toughest horse to call and then added a few of our own…
Simon Holt – Quantitativeeasing
“One of the hardest horses I’ve found to pronounce has been a chaser in the past few years called Quantitativeeasing,” Holt recently told the Radio Times. “If you’re fitting all the syllables in it’s quite difficult to say Quan-Ti-Ta-Tive Easing very, very quickly. It ran at the Cheltenham Festival earlier this year and I thought, ‘Oh f**k, not Quantitative Easing!’”
Richard Hoiles – Unique New York
“The main ones are the usual tongue twisters like Unique New York and Shesells Seashells, but anything in a dialect like Bancnuanaheireann (Irish) or Goninodaethat (Scottish) aren’t much fun!”
Richard also recommended we take a look at this race in the US between My Wife Knows Everything and The Wife Doesn’t Know. Brilliant!
Gareth Topham – Chatanoogachoochoo
“The Irish Gaelic names are always tough, but names like Chatanoogachoochoo and Udododontu are difficult as they contain a lot of syllables and are very easy to mispronounce or trip over on – especially when they’re involved in a close finish!
And a few others we found which could be tricky…
Only those with a knowledge of The Sound of Music could attack this one with any sort of confidence. One of its ‘favourite things’ (groan) to do was win races, namely a Grade 2 contest in USA.
The popular tongue twister was once used to name a horse trained by Michael Bell, winning twice in 2010. Now, where’s Redlorry Yellowlorry?
As if this wasn’t confusing enough, former owner Alison Guest also has another horse called Udontdodou – the latter lives up to his name more than the former though, as Udododontu was sold to the powerful Godolphin operation following a string of good performances.
This horse was once as short as 10/1 to win the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and his names, simply, means ‘number four’ in Gaelic. Still, why make it so easy for a commentator?
Flat Fleet Feet
Thankfully, the scourge of US commentators has not been seen on a racetrack since 1997, but she did run seven times, finishing second twice and ensuring that she was prominent enough to warrant a tricky mention from the race caller.
Aux Ptits Soins
One of a flux of French horses to have come over to Britain, Aux Ptits Soins won the Coral Cup at last year’s Cheltenham Festival on his first ever run in the country. Remember to pronounce it as “Oh Petty Swan”, to look cultured in front of your friends.
On its own, it’s a fairly easy name to say but when you consider that the horse was trained by George Baker and once ridden to success by jockey – you guessed it – George Baker, you can see why the commentators could get themselves tied up in knots.
Winner of eight races in his career, the horse defies his name which is pronounced “Defeater’s Dream”. Exercise your new knowledge by cheering him on in this Saturday’s BetVictor Handicap Chase at Cheltenham.
Not so much a tongue twister, but one that could also cause a commentator embarrassment. Listen below…