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  Monday, 1 April, 2002, 11:05 GMT 12:05 UK
What's in a name?
Galileo's name was said to have suited his promise
Galileo's name was said to have suited his promise
By BBC Sport Online's Saj Chowdhury

From The Dikler and Hallo Dandy to Mister Snugfit and The Pilgarlic, the Grand National has hosted an array of colourful-sounding horses.

But finding a suitable name for your beloved horse can be a complicated process for an owner.

So, where do you start?

Whether you own a number of high-class horses or are happy to put your overweight mare in the 4.15 at Southwell - they all must be registered by Weatherbys, racing's administrators.

And you can only register the horse if it follows the strict guidelines set by the Jockey Club.

  Funny old name
Acting Up
The Bunny Boiler - Chaser named after scene from film Fatal Attraction
Joey Tribbiani - One of several Newmarket-based horses named after characters from TV series Friends
Risky proposition
Peony's Envy - Made it past the US Jockey Club despite double entendre
Passing Wind - Hurdler trained in Wales
Banned from use
Knicklerless - Although Nicholess was allowed
Heezaputz - Putz is Yiddish for male member

On the banned list of names are those that are:

  • More than 18 characters long, including signs or spaces
  • Followed by numbers - no Joe 90 then
  • Names of a public person, unless written permission is given by the person concerned or their family - hard to trace Genghis Khan's family
  • Clearly linked to commercial products - so "Coca Cola is Great", is unacceptable.
  • Suggestive or have a vulgar or obscene meaning; names considered in poor taste; or names that may be offensive to religious, political or ethnic groups

    A spokeswoman for Coolmore stables in Ireland, John Magnier's huge breeding organisation, said the choice of name depends on whether they think the horse boasts a good pedigree.

    "Well, we have a few names on file. For example when Galileo, who won the Derby, came to us we gave it that name because it was simple but also grand," she said.

    "There is another that we have called Tendulkar, named after the famous Indian batsman.

    "But generally if we happen to breed or stumble across a horse with a bit of class, then we give it a name that would befit it. It's not often we've given a horse a bad name."

    Trainer Thomas Tate, who once looked after Haditovski, revealed why he gave the horse such a suggestive name.

    "Well, it was during the time of President Clinton's faux pas and we got the name from Private Eye who gave Monica Lewinski the nickname Haditovski," said Tate.

    "He was a cheeky little horse, so I thought that was apt.

    "I don't think Weatherbys realised that it was rude, so I got away with it."

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