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
The blue-bloods at Coolmore trained by Aidan O’Brien didn’t just look good, they sounded good – Galileo, Giants Causeway, Rock Of Gibraltar, Fame And Glory, Camelot, Yeats and George Washington among them.
Facing north on his return journey, Vinny scrunched up his chubby cheeks, his grey cells worked overtime.
He considered his boyhood heroes, Heffo, Jimmy (Keaveney), Himself (Christy O’Connor), Seve, Jackie (Jameson) and Sheeds (Kevin Sheedy), among them.
Heffo’s Heroes was a possible runner, Wristy Christy another, as was Shaking Sheeds. Vinny felt his choice had to mirror his influences, his roots in Clontarf and yet also possess a modern aspect.
As he made for the caravan park, it was like a bolt of lightning struck him. He had suddenly thought of a name which ticked the stable door number 13 in Mixer’s yard in Naul, north Dublin.
The name signalled his passion for the club closest to his heart, Everton; had a catchy two-word, three-syllable, ring to it, had a subtle connection to the sire, Distaff, and would not confuse punters or commentator.
Suitably, it also carried a Gallic whiff, which was so common these days, especially in the all-powerful yard of Willie Mullins.
As far as Vinny’s old man, Finbarr Fitzpatrick, was concerned, there had been no finer left-winger in Irish football than Tommy Eglinton, whose senior career spanned more than 20 years, a dozen of them for Everton and 24 Irish caps.
That Eglinton had been denied a place in the Irish team which defeated England at his own Goodison Park patch in 1949 was, according to fiery Finbarr, one of the foulest acts of sporting injustice ever perpetrated by the FAI’s selectors.
As a kid, Vinny had seen Eglinton play once, as a 40-year-old winger for Cork Hibs in the 1963 FAI Cup final at Dalymount Park.
On his retirement, Eglinton set up a butcher’s shop in Dollymount, where Vinny was regularly sent for messages.
He’d marvelled at how Eglinton chatted and joked amiably with his customers, surrounded by rings of black puddings and tripe.
The late Eglinton had a life-long nickname that would now be carried on the racetracks, in the colours of Everton’s royal blue, and a white cap.
Just where the journey would take The Hole In The Trousers Syndicate was anyone’s guess but saddling up with Eggo Bleu was, he felt, going to be one hell of a ride.