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Race horse names.

Can they make or break a horse?

Look at the greats: Tulloch; Winx; Phar Lap; Gunsynd; Bernborough; Peter Pan; Kingston Town; Strawberry Road; Makybe Diva; Black Caviar; Sunline; Atlantic Jewel – and many others.

They all are strong, robust and command attention.

Now, yesterday at Muswellbrook a horse with a name that isn’t quite so strong sounding went around. He’s called Bugalugs.

He ran well in his maiden, moving up at the 200m and finishing 2nd – but when his owners decided to name him, did they really see Bugalugs being a winning moniker?

And as I pondered that question, I thought of a few other horses going around on our racetracks now that can’t possibly be good racehorses because of their names.

Maybe I’m wrong. Let me know, but here’s a few current racing horses with what I call “no hope of being any good” names.

TUNNEL RAT (Shellscrape-Cascadia). Winner of 2 bush races from 20 starts.

The term Tunnel Rats was given in war time to Australian, American and Kiwi soldiers who carried out search and rescue missions during the war.

But to the average Joe – it probably means something else.

JOHN THE RODENT (Barbados-Scotch N Ice) No wins from 13 starts.

Rodents are from a large family that include a wide variety of animals such as squirrels, chipmunks, prairie dogs, rats, and mice. Calling one John doesn’t make it any more appealing. A rat is a dirty rat no matter what his name is….unless it’s Ben.

COCK MATCH (Zoffany-Danish Dollar) No wins from 4 starts

Some people can understand this name from an intellectual or artistic point of view. Johann Zoffany, a famous painter, completed his painting about a chook fight in 1788. But to the rank and file out there – it makes grown men chuckle.

PUJOLS (Magic Albert-Jewel Vault) No wins from 38 starts

Again this is explainable. Albert Pujols is a champion professional baseball player. But his name is pronounced poo holes – and the great unwashed who have never heard of Magic Albert Pujols just laugh when they hear his named called. Imagine the roar when Pujols races Cock Match!

TATA DA GOOSE (Choisir-Justine Crop) 1 win from 11 starts

Can’t find anything to justify this name. The answer to why a horse would be called a goose is – a pineapple.

WHITCHETY GRUB (Wandjina-Ice Creme) No starts

I get this name, but still not flattering. Wandjina is from the Australian Aboriginal mythology depicting rain and clouds. And these grubs are eaten by many Aboriginals because they are a strong source of protein and when fried taste like eggs with chicken crispy skin.

MUD WASP (Olympus-Hahjes) No wins from 11 starts

Mud wasps are often known as mud daubers and while they can sting and hurt people, they rarely do. They are beneficial to the eco system because they kill spiders. But a racehorse name? No bookies have been stung, just some punter’s pockets.

Flog and Bin Chicken and Aunty Pugs are others I’ve heard recently.

Let me know if you know any other strange, non-champion-like names.

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