UPCOMING RACEDAY MATCHEM STAKES DAY, Saturday 28 September

What’s In A Name? Rattlesnake

The first in our series of stories behind naming a winner at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth. This month we look at Rattlesnake.

Take a moment to think about what mental connection you make when you think about the following: Narrow Creek. Buffalo Bill Cody. Rattlesnake.

The Wild West? Shootouts from horseback, cowboys chasing Apaches through ravines and valleys? And then, as the riders get off their horse and take a swig of water under the hot sun, there’s the unmistakable, frightening sound of the rattle?

Wherever your mind takes you, it’s back a few hundred years, right?

You would be 100 percent correct. Renowned breeder John Everett had made that connection when naming Rattlesnake, a two-year-old colt who won his maiden at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth on 21st May. He hadn’t factored in the Narrow Creek part though.

The sire Buffalo Bill Cody has actually made Everett deviate from his own naming habits. “Normally I name my babies after a song. I do a lot of driving during breeding season and play a lot of music. I have a dictaphone and when I hear a lyric, I record it and later ask my wife to check if the name is available.

“John Fogerty actually has a song called Rattlesnake Highway, so that was an option, but I went with Rattlesnake. He was born in November 2021 and was one of four Buffalo Bill Cody that season. Three of them have already won. I called one Southern Express and another Chicken Fry. The latter was born in September 2021 and again, I thought of all the railroads down south and the whole ‘Western’ vibe came to mind.

“Chicken Fry was bought by the Hollywoodbets Syndicate and they renamed her Khethiwe’s Destiny, which is isiZulu for ‘The Chosen One’. From last year’s Buffalo Bill Cody crop I named a colt Eastwood. I’m sure you know why!

“I’m of the age where Buffalo Bill Cody just resonates with the Wild West. As a youngster I watched those black and white movies … they don’t make them like that any more!”

Everett will be making the 135km drive up from his Narrow Creek Stud in Wolseley to Hollywoodbets Kenilworth for the 2024 Cape Racing Winter Yearling Sale to be held on 6th June. He has three yearlings on the Sale – two by Futura and one by Buffalo Bill Cody. No doubt, the music will be on and he will have a dictaphone at the ready, in case a a song springs to mind.

The filly he is offering by Buffalo Bill Cody is out of Honey Bunch. The name he has given to her? Walk Right In? Again, there’s no escaping the fact that when making the mental connection between sire and yearling, it’s of a group of men playing poker, a saloon full of smoke and then the doors swing open …

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Vaughan Marshall

Vaughan Marshall saw it coming from a long way out. What he envisaged then, the racing community is seeing now.

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Hollywoodbets Durbanville, Saturday 28 September