What is the best thing about horse racing? It’s the silly names, isn’t it? That is the best thing about horse racing.
Horses with names like Large Umbrella and Svelte Fringe and Christ’s Chin - that’s what it’s all about.
A good and stupid name on a mule encourages you to bet on it without actually knowing anything about it. How many times has it won a race? Has it ever come last? Will the fact that it only has three legs hinder its chances? None of these things matter a jot if the name is good enough.
Especially if you’re the kind of person who is clueless about horsing. If you’re that person then all you have is the name. So just who should you be placing your hard-earned pennies on at this weekend’s Grand National - the biggest horsing race of them all?
Well, as someone who is also clueless about those long-faced dogs, I will help you, by ranking them solely on their names, from worst to best:
(I have also included the actual odds for people that actually care about their money - they may actually be quite useful)
This sounds like some sort of shyster website that would take your car but never give you the money for it. Untrustworthy slug, this horse.
A spicy Italian name, how exotic!
No, not exotic, because Virgilio is the Italian version of Virgil, and thus the dots become joined pretty swifty: this horse is a nerd.
Jesus Christ, I’m not waiting that long for this lazy sack of pastry to finish.
TENOR NIVERNAIS (150/1)
I assume this horse is named after some choir singer who lives in France, which is boring, isn’t it? Choirs = boring.
Not too cool to have the actual constitution of your horse in its name. I am therefore not interested in this liar donkey.
BAIE DES ILES (16/1)
This means ‘bay of the isles’, which sounds like some sort of Sandals holiday, and I’m not putting my cashish behind some geriatric equine tourist.
This means ‘May’ in Italian, which is boring. Also, ‘may’ is not a strong enough verb for me to entertain when about ten pounds is on the line.
WALK IN THE MILL (100/1)
Don’t put ‘walk’ in the name of your ‘supposed to be fast’ racehorse.
VINTAGE CLOUDS (40/1)
Sounds old, might die. May have in fact already died and live in the clouds. Not worth the bunce.
THUNDER AND ROSES (66/1)
This horse shares a name with the eighth album by an ‘80s spandex metal band during their lowest early-2000s ebb. A critical and commercial failure.
UCELLO CONTI (20/1)
If we alter the spelling a tad, we can translate this to ‘bird counts’, which makes not a goddamn jot of sense and to spend more time on this would be to waste it.
LORD WINDERMERE (66/1)
Sounds like a yappy, piss-flicking chihuahua owned by some spoilt hotel-heiress. Definitely needs euthanising, basically.
SAINT ARE (66/1)
Dunno, probably a nice horse, but won’t stop banging on about the Bible.
MINELLA ROCCO (20/1)
An aging ‘50s film star with a big pair of lips smeared with bright red lipstick, tottering about with a fag stuck in a jade cigarette holder. This horse is past it and will probably fall down the stairs at some point.
CHILDRENS LIST (80/1)
Don’t know what it is, but there’s something creepy about it, and I don’t want it anywhere near me. Exorcise this bronco immediately.
I, erm, don’t know what this means, but I guess I don’t hate it to any extent that would get physical.
CARLINGFORD LOUGH (66/1)
A horse named after a lake? Nice and beautiful, sure, but a bit wet - I wouldn’t bother if I were you.
HOUBLON DES OBEAUX (50/1)
I’ve tried to work out what this all means, and I think it’s something to do with hopping. So maybe this horse is going to do the race on one leg, which will no doubt piss some people off. Pay 50p for the spectacle, don’t expect it to win.
ALPHA DES OBEAUX (40/1)
No hopping this time, but the word ‘alpha’, which I assume means this nag twists his wet towel up and whips the arses of all the other horses in the locker room.
VALSEUR LIDO (66/1)
This loosely translates as ‘waltzing at the outdoor swimming pool’ which is a reckless and frankly foolhardy pursuit. Not prepared to let this mule ruin the entire day for me by being frivolous.
At first I thought this was a really cool name and I put it up near the top but then I found out it’s just a tiny boring village in Ireland. So I will put a tiny boring amount of money on this horse: 2p.
THE LAST SAMURI (18/1)
This would have been higher, but they’ve spelled it wrong, so it falls down a few places. An illiterate dunce, I am not to be associated with it.
ANIBALE FLY (11/1)
Sounds a bit like ‘cannibal fly’? And I can have only one reaction to a cannibal fly, and that is: interest.
This sounds like the kind of place you’d find in Benidorm playing old football matches on the plasmas all day. AKA a place in which to spend lots of money for only a modicum of return, based on your preferences. It’s totally up to you with this one.
THE DUTCHMAN (33/1)
Boring name, but get this: it might fly.
PLEASANT COMPANY (40/1)
Nice, I guess, fun to race with, might win, might lose, will let you borrow some tea-bags, bit of a snore. A middle-of-the-road filly, through-and-through.
REGAL ENCORE (33/1)
An encore usually comes after a successful showing, so maybe this one has won before. Done a little dance and span around on its back or something - might be in with a chance.
SHANTOU FLYER (40/1)
Unlike THE DUTCHMAN, we’re specifically mentioning flying this time around, which I think is a good hint as to how fast this thing is. This is how it works, if you hadn’t guessed by now.
BLESS THE WINGS (66/1)
Again, this is a pegasus.
GAS LINE BOY (33/1)
[Check with editor before inserting childish joke about how this horse can go faster because of its farts here]
TIGER ROLL (12/1)
Sounds like some kind of new-fangled hybrid sushi dish - I am excited by its prospect and would happily spend money on it. Drop a wad of twenties on this one, is my tip.
I JUST KNOW (25/1)
That I’m going to win, I have said many times - it has never gone that way, but it will this time.
PERFECT CANDIDATE (80/1)
Really spelling it out for you here - almost cussing out all the other horses with a name like this. I also think there’s a stipulation present that means you get your money back if a horse with a name this confident loses.
VIEUX LION ROUGE (33/1)
This means ‘old red lion’, and if you think that I don’t want to see an old red lion race with a bunch of horses, then you’re sadly mistaken. I don’t even care if it comes last - I’m putting my dough on a lion, every time. Especially an old red one.
DOUBLE ROSS (100/1)
Look, I have no idea how well this horse will do but ‘double ross’ is really funny isn’t it.
FINAL NUDGE (66/1)
Good tip to how this horse is going to finish - with either a last spurt of energy or a last-ditch attempt to floor another horse. Either way, I’m behind the plan.
I originally had this way down low, because come on - Vincent? But then I found out that it actually means ‘to conquer’ and as such, I would swipe right on this neddy, and initiate conversation immediately.
ROAD TO RICHES (80/1)
Can you spot the hidden message here? It is: if you bet on this horse you are absolutely guaranteed to win ‘some money’. Don’t quote me on it, but you 100% are.
RAZ DE MAREE (33/1)
This name means ‘tsunami’ which is a very cool name for a horse. However, drop it down a substantial number of places if it’s simply called that because it’s always pissing everywhere.
CAPTAIN REDBEARD (28/1)
This is a pirate mustang and I would like to ride it if they let me.
WARRIORS TALE (50/1)
Now, you’re not exactly going to tell an epic story about a feared fighter if he loses, are you? We’re talking winners here. Unless you count Braveheart, but I’m not. So drop a thousand.
CHASE THE SPUD (66/1)
A lifetime of chasing potatoes has finally led up to this point. Godspeed, my sweet steed, you are my dauphinoise stallion.
TOTAL RECALL (11/1)
If we’re picking horses based on the names of films we like, then we should be putting money on this horse, shouldn’t we? However, make sure you do not put any money on the horse called THE TOTAL RECALL REMAKE.
I HAVE NEVER HEARD A MORE PERFECT NAME FOR A HORSE THAN BEEVES.
Enjoy your spoils! I shall take a 20% cut.