By Brad Gray
Cult three-year-old Horsey McHorseface is set to make his long-awaited debut when he steps out in a Kembla Grange maiden on Saturday.
“He’ll run on Saturday for sure. He is all set to go. We’ve given him time and he has trialled well. He is in good order although whatever he does he will improve off it,” said trainer Bjorn Baker.
“He has a bit of a following and the owners are excited to see him. They are all looking forward to it. We’ll have a good look at him on Saturday.”
The Nadeem gelding was cheekily named in a nod to Boaty McBoatface which was the leading public choice in a poll to title a British research vessel. While that name didn’t stick – with figure heads instead opting for the safer option of ‘RSS Sir David Attenborough’ – Horsey McHorseface isn’t going anywhere.
In his latest trial, which was also at Kembla Grange, he ran second to stablemate Test The World who Baker has a high opinion of.
“She is a good horse and has a lot of promise so I think running second behind her will hold him in good stead. She is a good-sized filly and is possibly running next Tuesday at Gosford.”
“(Horsey McHorseface) has been up there in his trials and there is probably not a lot between him and Baltic Prince, both being first starters.”
Horsey McHorseface (pic via @BBakerRacing)
Horsey McHorseface, who was purchased for $65,000 from a ready to run sale in New Zealand, already has an international following even star mare Winx would be jealous of, courtesy of coverage from the likes of US media giant CNN and it’s 34 million Twitter followers.
First time owners Joe Rossetti and Travis Crewe were the ones behind the name and will both be at Kembla Grange with a “crew of 10 to 15” to cheer him home at his first outing.
“My roommate and I only bought 2.5% between us and I didn’t know that no one else at the time had bought into the horse, so it was just me and the trainer. When it came around to naming him there wasn’t much competition,” Rossetti laughed.
“The footy season ended so we thought we would do something to keep ourselves entertained so we bought a horse.
An innocuous tweet from a friend of Rossetti’s hashtagging the Royal Ascot carnival was picked up by the BBC, who were alerted to the quirky name, and the story spread like wildfire.
“Once the BBC wrote an article about it, CNN wrote an article and then Sports Illustrated and it went viral,” Rossetti said.
“I figured out that if 10% of Twitter followers from the company’s that tweeted about him, saw it, a few 100 million would have read about the horse.
“Hopefully he’ll win. His trial were pretty good and he’s looked a lot stronger after his spell. We just want to see him win a race, that’d make everything worth it for us.
“I want to make sure I take Fixed Odds because he’s probably going to be crunched (on the tote) by a whole bunch of people who find it funny.”
All the fields, form and replays at Kembla Grange on Saturday