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Sunday, 20 January, 2019

Horsey McHorseface? Joseph O'Brien turns to Twitter for filly's name

Joseph O'Brien: turned to Twitter to name a new filly
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Asking Twitter for name suggestions has been a hit-or-miss tactic in recent years.

The Natural Environment Research Council’s attempt at naming their new polar research ship resulted in the infamous RRS Boaty McBoatface, and last year a three-year-old based in Australia was named Horsey McHorseface in tribute.

Doncaster council also struck gold in November when its two new gritters were named Gritsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Anti-Slip Machiney and David Plowie and now horseracing has its very own potentially brilliant, potentially headshaking opportunity thanks to Joseph O’Brien – the youngest trainer to win the Melbourne Cup – who has turned to Twitter for help naming a four-year-old bay filly by Presenting out of Rare Gesture.

O’Brien has stated he will name the filly after the best suggestion that is available, which must be no longer than 18 characters and “must be clean”. He used an exclamation mark to add emphasis to that last point – which should probably not come as a surprise.

The responses range from the sublime to the ridiculous with all manner of racing personalities getting involved.

Two-time Irish champion jockey Davy Russell suggested Stetsonsnstilettos, William Kennedy opted for the more obvious Present Gesture and Matt Chapman followed orders and plumped for You Called Me What.

Suggestions ranged from the topical – Stable Genius, The Melbourne Cup and Catch Em Derry – to the witty (Bay Filly Roller, We'll Chat To The Lads, Namedbytwitter, Letsgetquizzical and TryALittleKindness) – via the sensible – Rare Miss and Generous Gesture – and the downright ridiculous: Dusty Carpet, Katie Hopkins and The Salamander.

After more than 3,000 suggestions O'Brien settled on four, running a poll on his Twitter feed to decide. He wrote: "Well, that escalated quickly! We’ve had well over 3,000 names suggested for our Presenting filly, so we decided to pick our four favourites and let you decide. The first three are all Glen Campbell songs/lyrics that fit her pedigree and the last is just a name we really liked."

The options are: I'll Be Me, Galveston Girl, A Lady Like You and Seldom Is Precious.

O'Brien added: "The four final names were suggested by (in poll order): @acmulrennan, @flutter61, @deemoloney85 and @tbirchall. Thanks so much to everyone who made a suggestion. There were loads that we liked, but many were unavailable and some were scandalous!"

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The responses range from the sublime to the ridiculous with all manner of racing personalities getting involved
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