Predicting the winner of The Racing Post Arkle based solely on the horses' names
- Sponsored by Racing Post -
Horse racing is a game of two halves, a ball in two courts, a joust into the abyss hoping to not be jousted back, a soufflé that is both risen and unrisen, if you get me. The Racing Post Arkle Chase at Cheltenham is no exception to these rules.
The key to being the best horse in a horse race is to be the fastest and jump the highest. That's it. That is the trick. If you are a horse and you are reading this looking for tips to improve your performance, simply, you must run faster than the other horses and be a good jumper.
But what if there was another way? What if your name gave you a distinct advantage before the race even began? For example, if you are a horse and your name is Quick Hucknall, you're likely to be quite fast. If your name is Lindsay Slow-han, you're probably going to come in last place.
Sticking with this bananas logic, I'm going to predict the winner of Cheltenham's Racing Post Arkle Chase using nothing more than the horses' names.
Bet every penny you own on #1. It's a guaranteed win. The system is foolproof. Congratulations.
21. Us and Them
This is not the name of a horse, it's a novelty act that Louis Walsh puts through to The X Factor live shows. They're a brother-sister duo in their early twenties who can't sing and for some reason dress identically. They openly flirt with each other, while still projecting a very wholesome family image into the public domain. They get booted off the show during week one and live out their remaining days doing sponsored nightclub appearances and trying to monetise their YouTube channel that has 18 subscribers.
This is not the name of a horse, it's a cocktail that you try when you're on your first summer holiday without any parental supervision. The barman has little work in convincing you and your rambunctious mates to order this mystery drink, which is comprised of nine spirits, some fizzy water, what appears to be a Berocca and one single tear from a virgin. Its effects aren't felt at first, but two hours later you're face down passed out on a nearby beach, exhausted from arguing with the banana boat operator for refusing to take your naked and intoxicated self out on the water at 5am.
This is not the name of a horse, it's a board game that your rich cousins have, which involves using legitimate intelligence to win. They insist on playing it every time you call over, taking the games console hostage until everyone has played a round. They beg their parents to join in, which results in the entire extended family huddling together on the lumpy carpet trying to figure out another word for 'petition' before the timer runs out. Your youngest cousin will get mad because he is too stupid to play, so he'll just sit and chew his own toenails until it's over. After an intense battle, you emerge victorious, but make it look as though you weren't even trying.
18. Camelia De Cotte
This is not the name of a horse, it's a girl you went to college with. She was invitingly mysterious, only ever speaking in whispers to her inner circle. She wore a red beret and a neckerchief despite being from Bognor Regis, really hamming up the fact that her parents gave her an exotic name. Camelia went on to achieve great things, all of them online. Her blog now gets over 12 unique visits per calendar month, and she's in talks at her current job to get a pay rise after working there tirelessly for the past eight years. Although still technically on probation, she feels confident in her quest for a living wage.
This is not the name of a horse, it's how your friend from Northern Ireland pronounces 'Bollywood'. He's a huge fan of movies, Hindi cinema included. When you were younger, you'd make short films together, nothing too hectic, just for fun. In one of the movies, you had to lie down in the street while he pushed a car to pass over you. Your mum found out and throttled the pair of you, questioning how you could be so stupid and also where the car came from. When she found out you borrowed it from the neighbours, you were grounded for a month. "That's show business, baby", you replied like an absolute baller.
16. Defi Du Seuil
This is not the name of a horse, it's what the French call Daffy Duck. You learned that during a semester abroad, where both your horizons and shoulders were broadened. That's right, you spent the entire time getting hench because you hated life. The host family were a nightmare, eating dinner at the ungodly hour of 10pm each night and forcing you to drink wine and smoke cigars together. When you finally returned home, loved ones remarked that you seemed different, more mature, possibly a little spaced out.
This is not the name of a horse, it's a failed superhero museum in town. The owners were excitable and large men that specifically relocated to your town to launch what they firmly believed would be a famous attraction where nerds worldwide would gather to marvel (pun intended) at the various capes that belong to famous superheroes. Inevitably, they had an influx of a baker's dozen enthusiasts on the opening day, which dwindled to -6 visitors by their second week of business. Baffled at their failure, the entrepreneurs turned the premises into a doughnut shop. The doughnuts are damn tasty too, credit where it's due.
14. Minds Eye
This is not the name of a horse, it's the most used catchphrase of your old English teacher. Whenever someone asked her a question that she couldn't answer, she'd say "Well, in my mind's eye..." then trail off into an elaborate tale of her misspent youth and past tragedies, concluding with a vague statement about the importance of thinking outside the box. Then she'd pass out a pre-written essay that she wanted the entire class to learn verbatim to use for the A-levels. She's dead now. Died of a broken heart after hearing about your shoddy results. Shame.
This is not the name of a horse, it's a nickname for your best friend in primary school. She was a lunatic, always making mud pies during lunchtime, then daring herself to eat them without any encouragement from outside parties. One time she swallowed a worm and told everyone that when she pooped it out, it was still alive. Nobody believed her, but you pretended to because you felt bad. A few years ago you were in Vietnam and ate a live worm for a dare because you love banter. Later, you pooped the worm out and it was dead. "Lalor would've loved this", you whispered to yourself, but didn't bother to Facebook message her because you are socially awkward, even online.
This is not the name of a horse, it's a series of consonants and vowels selected on an episode of Countdown. You only watch it when you're getting dinner ready, but often find your mind drifting off, wondering what life would be like if you were smart enough to appear on the show. You'd nail the numbers round, impressing Nick, Susie and Rachel with your intellect, achieving the highest score ever witnessed on the show. You'd take the famous Countdown teapot home and pridefully make a brew with it. Distracted by excitement, you'd sip the tea before it had cooled down sufficiently. "Not so smart now", you'd joke, then ice your tongue until the swelling goes down.
11. Slate House
This is not the name of a horse, it's the name of the company where you had your first job. Slate House sold roof slates at discounted prices to builders and construction workers. They often called you Butterfingers because of your tendency to drop the slates as you were loading up the vans. The management got so fed up, they started docking your wages for every careless mistake made. One week, you went home with a total profit of 75p. Still, at least you learned the hard way that dropping stuff is bad, unless it's a fire mixtape, am I right?!
This is not the name of a horse, it's a courier service you used to send your brother his Christmas presents. He lives in Australia and rightfully foregoes the temptation to return home each year to spend the holidays with family because your Mum's cooking leaves a lot to be desired. You sent over some home comforts - tea, biscuits, chocolate and a giant sex doll all direct to his work address. Will he face unemployment and be forced to return home as a result of your devious prank? Probably, but at least you can go halves on your parents' Christmas presents again, just like the good old days.
9. Duc Des Genievres
This is not the name of a horse, it's a popular dish at your local French restaurant. The owners are lovely, a young couple who really understand what makes a great eating experience by creating a vibrant and friendly atmosphere, combined with delicious food that doesn't cost a bomb. Apparently, the husband went off with another woman a few years ago, but they worked through it and are stronger than ever now. Just goes to show, you can make many mistakes in your personal life but still set them aside to produce the finest coq au vin this side of the Atlantic. Bon appetit!
This is not the name of a horse, it's a type of rifle, but also the name of your pet turtle when you were growing up. Kalashnikov was a lazy little sod, always begging for food and thinking about little else. One day he escaped into your neighbour's back garden, hoofing himself into their entire vegetable patch, slowly but determinedly destroying all they worked so hard to create. Your neighbour promised she wasn't mad, but her wheelie bin did look particularly full the week after Kalashnikov went missing. Probably a coincidence, wouldn't worry about it!
7. Clondaw Castle
This is not the name of a horse, it's the venue where your friend got married last summer. It was a pretty good weekend, aside from the fact that hotel prices were extortionate and you became deeply aware of the fact that she hid her wealth from you the entire time you were friends. She married an earl! There were chandeliers at the reception! The dinner wasn't disgusting! Someone started a rumour that Prince Harry would be attending! (He never showed). Things got a bit introspective after the wedding. You realised that your family were incredibly rude to bring you into this world without a giant bucket of wealth waiting for you. Arseholes.
This is not the name of a horse, it's a small town where they produce large quantities of butter. The locals welcome visitors warmly, offering up their homes at a very competitive off-the-books price, asking for little in return besides cash and expensive gifts. You've been contemplating a visit there and it's a great idea, just the tonic you need after a stressful couple of weeks at work. Why not suggest it to the group chat, but in a very chill and nonchalant way to avoid being roasted or referred to as a 'butter nonce'? Or don't, since this is an entirely fictional concept. Your choice.
5. Voix Du Reve
This is not the name of a horse, it's a new shampoo you've been trying out lately. You're yet to see any real difference between it and your usual brand, aside from the price point which is steep. Still, it smells pretty good, kind of like the soap in a fancy hotel. You read an article a few months ago that suggested spending a little more on the essentials for a treat every once in a while. You started with moisturiser, then moved onto brand name biscuits and now it's shampoo. Truthfully, you are crippled by a shopping addiction, but at least it brings you temporary joy.
4. Glen Forsa
This is not the name of a horse, it's a guy you used to work with who had really bad coffee breath despite never drinking coffee. He exuded upper management vibes, even though he was an intern. Glen wore a suit and carried a briefcase, which always gave the customers at the deli a decent laugh. Watching him carefully disrobe into the white coat and apply a hairnet was enchanting. You filmed it every day and put it on Instagram, a platform Glen to this day still doesn't know about. Still, he was destined for greater things. These days he's the disgraced former CEO of an electronics firm. Dress for the job you want, etc.
3. Real Steel
This is not the name of a horse, it's the tagline for a scrap yard near where you grew up. They buy anything for cash, albeit minuscule amounts of cash. When you were younger, your older brother tried to get them to purchase you. He brought you down in a wheelbarrow with all the various necessary documentation (a forged letter from your parents agreeing to the as yet undecided terms of the sale) and asked the guys how much they'd pay out for you. They burst their asses laughing, then offered £6. Your brother shook their hands and left you behind. You are a piece of scrap metal now. RIP.
2. Mengli Khan
This is not the name of a horse, it's a type of massage you can get when you're very stressed. It involves the masseuse sticking KerPlunk pins directly into your pressure points, then lying on them in the same way that people rest on a bed of nails. This allows for a more even blood flow throughout your body, whilst still keeping things fun thanks to the KerPlunk pins coming in a variety of exciting colours and varying degrees of suitability for the task after years of wear and tear. You'll feel the calm of a thousand Tibetan Buddhist Monks once those pins are removed and the bleeding stops once the swelling goes down. Treat yourself to a Mengli Khan today!
1. Paloma Blue
This is not the name of a horse, it's a brand of cigarettes that the winning horse will smoke to celebrate the victory of his win in The Racing Post Arkle Chase. He prefers this particular brand because it emits blue smoke, the same kind that is used to signify that a new Smurf pope has been elected. The horse will then neck an entire bottle of champagne and kick back with some tranquillisers and a side garnish of carrots for sport. He will drift away into sweet sweet ecstasy listening to Foals, chuckling as he announces to no one in particular that he's quite fond of the band, despite the lead singer being a little hoarse. Victory is yours, Paloma Blue. Congratulations, champ.
Go see the latest odds for Paloma Blue winning the Arkle here
Download the Racing Post app here
Check out the latest Cheltenham Festival free bets here