Naming Future Champions

Recently, Darley in Japan asked for name suggestions for this year’s two-year-olds from their staff as it has done for the past few years. DITI’s Team Japan also had the honour of participating in this "contest".
Kay and a new-born foal

Naming a racehorse is very interesting and you can follow the development of certain names through generations. Here, we have a look at some examples which were suggested by Team Japan.

For the Deep Impact – Archeology colt, Rebecca suggested the name ‘Tutankhamun’ as his discovery in Egypt was one of the biggest findings in archaeology.

For the son of King’s Best out of Short Hand, she came up with ‘Napoleon’, as the short height of the Emperor of France was well documented.

Kay offered the name ‘Rhapsody’ for the Pyro – Gift of Song two-year-old, connecting fire to ‘hot music’.

As you can see, when naming horses, there will often be some connection to his or her parents' names. Of course, there are names which are influenced by just one of the parents or you do not have to have any influence at all.

For example, Chason’s name for the daughter of mare Earth Song is ‘Heal the World’ – both names are famous songs by Michael Jackson about making the world a better place. He also suggested ‘Travelling Light’ for another two-year-old which is a name of a song as well. Chason once looked after the horse and liked him very much. The horse is a little bit nervous and gets stressed very easily. Chason hopes he can relax and ‘travel light’. Sometimes we can know the idiosyncrasies of the person coming up with the names and in Chason’s case, he is obviously a music fan.

We all tried to add our personality to the new names. For example, one of Rebecca’s names was ‘I See Autumn’ which sounds like ‘Icy Autumn’ – the meaning of Rebecca’s Chinese name.

Japanese racing already has some interesting names, like ones translated into English from Japanese such as the famous Japanese stallion ‘Kurofune’ whose name is the Japanese word for ‘black ship’.

With this inspiration, Kero has suggested his favourite and the most promising horse for the name of ‘Issekisanchou’, which is Japanese for the phrase, ‘killing three birds with one stone’, hopefully meaning that he could become the Japanese next Triple Crown winner. Unfortunately, we will not find out which names were accepted until April.

Darley Japan also has a special connection with the DITI interns through their foster mare and teaser names. We have worked with foster mares Shirley, Jie and Grace who are named after previous DITI Japan interns commemorating their time in Japan. So we hope to hear there will be a new foster mare called ‘Kay’ in the future.

Apart from working hard on naming horses, we have been working hard on the stud delivering new foals and training two-year-olds. We will never forget Training Rider Kaname-san’s pride when he mentioned that he had trained Galileo, as well as the smile of Stud Manager Willie Brogan when he shared his story about delivering G1 champion Lucky Nine.

We hope one day we can say to others: “I delivered/trained/named this G1 winner!"

Team Japan

DITI training manager Sidney and Team Japan at Tokyo Racecourse for the G1 February Stakes
Team Japan at Ohi Racecourse in Tokyo