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Fifty Shades of Hay
Fifty Shades of Hay

Fifty Shades of Hay

The Extraordinary World of Racehorse Names


256 Pages, 6 x 9.25

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $21.95 (US $21.95) (CA $29.95)

Publication Date: December 2018

ISBN 9781910497715

Rights: US & CA

Racing Post Books (Dec 2018)

Price: $21.95


You might feel sure that a horse is not a Flamingo, a Polar Bear, a Tomato, a Teapot, a pair of Bootlaces, a Taxidermist, a Rat Catcher, or a Flea, but you'd be wrong. Racehorse owners often give their horses bizarre names that would seem to make success impossible. Luckily, thoroughbreds are able to defy such handicaps. A Spaniel has won the Derby (1831), a Crow the St Leger (1976), a Butterfly the Oaks (1860) and, difficult to imagine, Oscar Wilde the Welsh National (1958). It's bonkers. Bonkers won at Southwell in 2002. Over the centuries there have been hundreds of thousands of different names bestowed or inflicted on racehorses, and in Fifty Shades Of Hay, David Ashforth has picked out a selection to baffle, surprise, and amuse in equal measure.

Author Biography

David Ashforth was twice voted Horserace Writer of the Year, he worked for The Sporting Life and Racing Post and, in the USA, was a columnist for the Racing Times and Daily Racing Form. He is also the author of Racing Crazy and The Bluffers Guide to Horseracing.