Eggo Bleu ticks all the boxes for pernickety Vinny
Clontarf’s finest strolls the beach at Curracloe tasked with an onerous responsibility for the Hole In The Trousers Synicate
Clontarf’s finest strolls the beach at Curracloe. Photograph: Gearóid Gibbs/PA Wire
Unlike Gwen Cadwalder, lead soprano in the Clontarf Choristers who had a remarkable return from her numerous interests in draws, raffles, Lotto and prize bonds, Vinny Fitzpatrick’s record in such games of chance was poor.
Yet, against the odds, his number had come up when The Hole In The Trousers Syndicate decided which of their dirty dozen should have the privilege, for that’s what it was, of choosing the colours and naming the juvenile charger currently kicking lumps out of box 13 in Mixer Mulrennan’s stables.
The method selected involved the turn of a card in Foley’s pub where Dial-A-Smile acted as impartial observer, and dealer.
It was agreed that in the event of a tie, spades would have preference over hearts, diamonds and clubs and Vinny’s ace of spades left no room for error – the responsibility of silks and naming rights rested on his roundy shoulders.
He had invited suggestions from the syndicate regarding ground rules but quickly regretted it.
The Reverend insisted the horse’s sire, Distaff, and dam, Lady Gray, should be represented in the name; Charlie Vernon felt there had to be a Clontarf connection as in “Bwian Bowoo Boy”, while Two-Mile Boris thought a link to Foley’s was appropriate. ‘What about Last Orders?’ he suggested.
As a Man Utd nut, Brennie wanted red colours, Fran opted for a nationalist green while Macker reminded Vinny of his long attachment to the red and white garb of Dollymount Gaels.
Vinny promised the lads he’d come back to them with an answer after a weekend which took him south to Wexford on Saturday evening with his wife, step-daughter and twins.
As Angie opened up the mobile in Curracloe, and the twins, now 3½, explored its nooks and crannies, Vinny ambled off to the strand for some contemplation.
His spirits were high as he’d just heard of the Dublin hurlers’ unexpected heroics against Kilkenny.
As low waves lightly lapped the shore of the long silvery beach, Vinny struck out boldly in the direction of Rosslare.
Like the naming of his kids, this equestrian engagement demanded his full attention.
Where to start?
He considered the suggestions of his friends; and discarded them.
For starters, Vinny decided he’d like a name consisting of a forename and surname, involving three syllables. He disliked horses of one-syllable and more than four. He didn’t know why, he just did.
As a patriot with a blood-line to the Irish Republican Brotherhood – his late grandfather Jem had fought in the South Union in the 1916 Rising – Vinny chewed over a name ‘as Gaeilge’.
Jim Bolger, that peerless trainer and Wexford native, once had a run of Irish-named horses, which, if Vinny recalled, had caused racecourse announcers across the Irish Sea to stumble and lose their footing.
Then again, they weren’t in dependable Des Scahill’s league.
But Vinny felt it was best if the name selected tripped easily off the tongue. Reluctantly, the Irish card would not be played.
As he approached the far end of the spit, Vinny thought of the sand underfoot. It was here that the movie, Saving Private Ryan was shot by Steven Spielberg as he recreated the Normandy landings of 1944. The beaches were codenamed, Gold, Sword, Juno, Omaha and Utah – fine candidates for a name but lacking the second word and extra syllable Vinny sought.