Best Named Horse: 'Protectionist' Wins Melbourne Cup

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in at 11/05/2014 01:30:00 AM
Protectionist gallops to victory in Oz.
The recent results of the Melbourne Cup remind us that there is a gladiatorial quality to horse racing that we do not always appreciate. Sure, auto racing involves high speeds and hence high danger, but the interface is man and machine whereas horse racing involves man and beast. This less mechanical, more physical meld of human smarts and equine strength has proven to be appealing to punters ("gamblers" to those unfamiliar with this UK term) many decades after mechanical contraptions have well outpaced, well, one horsepower. My interest was piqued by the highly colorful name of the winning racehorse in the high stakes Melbourne Cup, a fixture on the antipodean social calendar:
German horse Protectionist, for English jockey Ryan Moore, won the Melbourne Cup but favourite Admire Rakti collapsed and died after the race. Moore guided his 7-1 chance, trained by Andreas Wohler, to a four-length win from British challenger Red Cadeaux, who was second for the third time. New Zealand runner Who Shot Thebarman was third, but the Japanese-trained Admire Rakti faded and finished last.
Perhaps the owner of Protectionist is a regular IPE Zone regular? I can only hope. An uncle of mine told me about encountering a fighting cock named Saddam [!] at his local cockpit circa 1990. Before its fateful match, the trainers were stroking it and telling Saddam to "kill the opposition." Fittingly enough given the fate of its real-life inspiration, it keeled over in its very first match.

In horse racing, though, novelty names are all the rage--the cleverer, the better. Inspired by Protectionist, here are some other names--some studly, others less so but amusing nonetheless--I much recommend to horse trainers:

10. Neoliberal - epithet used by leftists for anything vaguely smacking of the market;
9. Supply Sider - for Reaganites dreaming of America's return to its 80s form;
8. Capitalist Roader - for a cheeky retro-Maoist insult;
7. Running Dog - see (8);
6. Randian - for devoted followers of the capitalist cultist;
5. Conspiracy Theorist - for the lunatic fringe;
4. Cargo Cultist - for the third world fetishist;
3. Appeaser - for Neville Chamberlain;
2. Deflationist - for Japanese-bred racehorses; and my best recommendation...
1. Ordoliberal - for horses of German origin like Protectionist.

I suspect some horses have already used some of these names, but there are infinite possibilities. With such great possibilities, why on earth would you name your horse Admire Rakti or suchlike? Even Fusaichi Pegasus is several lengths ahead.