THE MUCH ANTICIPATED Sensibly Named Horse Cup is proving popular with punters at this year’s Cheltenham Festival as it remains the most wide open race of Day 2 at the festival.
The race, which this year features 10 horses, is open only to horses with ordinary, unremarkable and boring names with the winner set to earn £100,000. No clear favourite has emerged for the race, however, keen racing fans will see it as a neck and neck affair between Geoff, Mike and Clare trained by Gordon Elliott, Willie Mullins and Michael O’Leary.
Set up by racing pursuits in 1899, the Sensibly Named Horse Cup began life as a backlash to the growing trend of the time which saw horse owners and trainers begin giving their horses funny and amusing names.
“Name not your horse with the hope of eliciting laughter from your neighbour. A horse is a noble creature, name it so by bestowing it with a name like Steve, or Dave,” founder of the race Sir Charles Pennyfeather, said at the time of the first ever Sensibly Named Horse Cup.
Controversy dominated the race last year after the birth certificate of the winner by 2 furlongs, Alan, ridden by Ruby Walsh, revealed his real name was ‘Danny DeVito & It’s Always Sunny In Fillydelphia’.
Earlier this morning the Paul Townend ridden Liza was disqualified as its trainer refused to spell the horse’s name with an ‘s’ instead of a ‘z’.
The Sensibly Named Horse Cup takes place at 3.10pm this afternoon.