Read all about the champion racehorses who have shared their names with famous figures from history, from Michelangelo to Winston Churchill and Debussy.

Alter egos 19: Get It On

get it onI remember Get It On first time round as a number 1 single in 1971 for T. Rex. By the time of its release Marc Bolan had long moved from the music of the psychedelic folk/rock duo Tyrannosaurus Rex that filled my student rooms, and was a full on leader of glam rock. Read more

Alter egos 18: Jack Barker

jack barkerJohn William "Jack" Barker (1906 – 1982) was an English footballer who played over 350 matches for Derby County and won 11 England caps. He later managed Derby County and Bradford City. Read more

Alter egos 17: BB tries for a GG double

Brendan Bracken- Big Brother

Brendan Bracken- Big Brother

Brendan Bracken [/caption]The First Viscount Brendan Bracken (1901-1958) was an Irish born journalist who turned politician and became Conservative MP for North Paddington. Read more

Alter egos 14: Walter de la Mare

walterdelamareRacing is no different to any other walk of life in that most of its participants are neither born great, achieve greatness, nor have greatness thrust upon them. Almost all are honest in their toil, and a proportion of them do make their mark in some way or other. Read more

Alter egos 11: Winston Churchill

Churchill welcomes Colonist II home

Churchill welcomes Colonist II home

Winston Churchill died on 24 January 1965. During his long life he was involved with racing in both his political and personal life. Read more

Alter egos 11 – Dunlough Bay

Dunlough Bay drugs haul

In a week in which there has been a lot of attention on cocaine, it is appropriate to consider Dunlough Bay, a point about as far South and West as you can go in Ireland. It’s a quiet area, with a few villages scattered around its shores, and quite popular for sea fishing in a small way. On the whole, nothing much happened there, until 2007, when it was the scene of what was, at the time, the biggest drugs haul in Ireland. Read more

Alter egos 10 – Anton Dolin

Sydney Francis Patrick Chippendall Healey-Kay has rather too many letters to be registered as the name of a racehorse with the Jockey Club. And Patrick Kay, as young Sydney was known as he grew up, wasn’t anything special. He needed a name with rather more chutzpah if he was to make it in his chosen profession. Read more

Alter egos 7- Polly Peachum

Conditions were pretty filthy at Stratford yesterday, very suitable for a horse that shares her name with a character from one of the murkiest musical operas ever to be staged. In that you can take your pick between John Gay’s 18th century The Beggars Opera and Kurt Weill’s 20th century re-working, The Threepenny Opera. Read more

Alter egos 6 – Yeats

Yeats - one of The Wild Ones?

Yeats was a racehorse of which it could be argued that his biggest break was a major setback at the time in 2004. He ran only once as a two year old, an effortless win in his maiden. Yeats followed up with two equally impressive successes early the following season. Read more

Alter Egos 5 – Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald - in her prime

Ella Fitzgerald might be a late developer. When she ran in the maiden for three year olds at Windsor yesterday it was only her second race. Nothing compared with her rivals Homeboy and Lupo Doro, who had already run 21 and 16 times respectively. She showed promise, as she had done when a beaten favourite on her Kempton debut last month. Read more

Altar egos 4 – Michelangelo

John Gosden has had to be patient with Michelangelo. The bay colt, sired by Galileo, did not race as a two year old. It was clear then that he was a horse that would not show its capability over short distances. Read more

Alter egos 3 – Debussy

Debussy wins the Arlington

Debussy has had three incarnations as a horse. The earliest, foaled in 2002, raced exclusively in America, mainly in claiming races. He had eight different trainers, which rather suggests he may have been claimed several times and moved on to a new trainer each time. Read more

Alter egos 2 – Jay Kay

As usual there was no win for Jay Kay at Southwell on Tuesday evening. After all, Danielle McCormick’s three-year-old gelding has only had that honour once in his 13 races, although that was earlier this month at Southwell. Read more

Alter egos 1 – Shostakovich

Shostakovich was a horse trained by Sylvester Kirk. Over the two seasons he spent in the yard he was kept busy, running 13 times as a two year old in 2010, and 16 times the following year. Read more

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