Got an itchy palm? It means you’re about to come into some money, the old tale says.
Got a scratchy bottom? Could be the same thing for owner and horse breeder Rick Jamieson.
Scratchy Bottom is the likely cult horse among casual punters at the South Australian Derby on Saturday at Morphettville.
It’s one heck of a name for a horse*, but there is a reason.
The filly – who has two wins and a placing from her six starts – was named after a sleepy village in England that has some fame of its own.
“Rick was having lunch there one day and liked the name so much he thought he’d use the name for one of his horses,” Scratchy’s trainer Mick Kent told InDaily.
The village is in a valley, near Durdle Door in Dorset and two years ago it was honoued with second place in a competition to find England’s “Most Unfortunate Place Names”.
It was beaten into top spot by a nearby hamlet of picturesque thatched cottages called Shitterton. Brokenwind in Aberdeenshire was third, Crapstone, on the edge of Dartmoor, came fourth, while Golden Balls, which is eight kilometres south of Oxford, was fifth in a survey run by findmypast.com
According to the website, the valley of Scratchy Bottom is thought to take its name from the fact that it is a rough and rugged hollow.
Racing Victoria’s senior handicapper Neil Jennings has also picked up on the name, telling Melbourne radio last week the filly can match her unusual name with some classy performances.
“She’s already got a cult following with that name. She was outstanding … she’s a horse with a very good upside. I can see her progressing very well this campaign,” Jennings told RSN’s Racing & Sport program.
Scratchy’s owner has some notoriety of his own in the racing business.
Rick Jamieson’s the breeding genius who matched Helsinge with Bel Esprit to produce Black Caviar, Australia’s legendary unbeaten mare.
Trainer Michael Kent is confident Scratchy Bottom will be in good order when she backs up Saturday after finishing third in the Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) last weekend.
Kent told AAP on Tuesday he wanted to ensure Scratchy Bottom had fully recovered before committing her to this weekend’s Group 1.
“I just wanted to have a look at her and see how she got through the run,” Kent said.
“I came over and we gave her a canter. She looks well and has eaten up so there was no reason not to pay up.”
Speaking to InDaily on Thursday from his home in country Victoria, Kent said Scratchy Bottom continues to do well.
“It’s not easy to back up like that, but she looks and seems OK.”
For those interested in assessing a horse’s chances via the form guide, not just a name, then Order of the Sun might be the bet.
After winning the Sportingbet Classic last Saturday with Driefontein, GaiWaterhouse and Vlad Duric will be looking to add a second Group 1 success from the 2014 TattsBet Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival, when they combine with Order Of The Sun.
The son of Encosta De Lago produced a career best performance on Anzac Day at Flemington when he romped away with the Listed VRC St Leger, and he has drawn perfectly in barrier four for this Saturday’s race.
Another recent feature winner in Melbourne who will also take his place in this Saturday’s Sportingbet SA Derby, is the Ken Keys trained Bring Something.
In his final preparation for this event, Bring Something claimed the Eastern Bridge Galilee Series Final at Caulfield three weeks ago, and he is certain to run as one of the main fancies this weekend.
Last Saturday at Morphettville saw the Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas prepared Gamblin’ Guru, win the Group 3 Chairmans Stakes in a thrilling three way finish from Excites Zelady and Gravitational, and all three will saddle up again this weekend for the Sportingbet SA Derby.
Gamblin’ Guru was dealt no favours at the barrier draw coming up with the extreme outside gate of nineteen, whilst Excites Zelady will also start wide from barrier seventeen, and Gravitational drew barrier eight.
Saturday’s nine-race program starts at Morphettville at 11.25am; gates open at 10.30am, and patrons attending the twilight Crows home game at 4.10pm this Saturday show their football ticket at the gate to gain free car parking, and free entry to Morphettville.
* If you’re keen to own a horse and give it a silly (or creative) name, these are some of the legendary efforts you’ll have to top;
At Yarra Glen races about 10 years ago, a horse by the name of “With Drawn” was supposed to be a runner in the Yarra Glen Cup. Unfortunately the horse reared in the starting stalls, injuring the jockey’s leg. Stewards then ordered that “With Drawn” be withdrawn from the race.
Clever and a bit naughty was the case of Group One winner from the late 1970s, Tangfu.
One of the horse’s owners had worked in Papua New Guinea – where the local word to describe a baggage loss or scheduling failure by Air Niugini was TANGFU [Typical Air Nuigini F*** Up].
The following names fit into the category of creative: Amanda Huggenkiss, Jamaican Odour, Oliver Beer, Waikikamukau (why kick a moo cow) and the tongue twisting Miss Thunderstood.
Kenoath, Legsman, Between the Sheets and Dirty Weekend suggest a lick of blokey humour while we are somewhat relieved that officials knocked back Sofa King Fast, Hoof Hearted and the horse owned by four chefs, Four Quenelle.
But back in a celebrated case on July 18, 2006, the fields for race three at Kilmore listed two horses that would go on to achieve very little in their careers.
Lisa Currie’s mount The Girlfriend was listed as number 11, while the debutant Wooden Swallow was number 12.
They both were scratched on the morning of the race, causing radio broadcasters announcing the scratchings to declare: “Scratch in race three, La Vie Amour, Rosa Gallica, The Girlfriend, Wooden Swallow.”
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