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Horse Racing

Racehorse has ‘insulting’ name changed at last minute by BHA bosses ahead of debut

A RACEHORSE has had his ‘insulting’ name changed at the last minute.

Buggerlugs was due to run at Beverley tomorrow for North Yorkshire-based trainer Tim Easterby.

This was the email sent out alerting media of the name change

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the ‘informal, old-fashioned’ term is ‘used for referring or speaking to someone in a slightly insulting but friendly way’.

The unraced two-year-old colt will now make his debut under the name Sling Yer Hook instead.

The horse’s listed owner is Nick Rhodes and Partner, and David Allan is the jockey booked for the 2.10 race over five furlongs.

Sling Yer Hook is also entered to race at York on August 18.

Scottish Sun racing expert Jim Delahunt was one of the few to notice the horse’s original name.

He tweeted: “Buggerlugs declared to debut at Beverley on Tuesday.

“Heard it a lot growing up and always thought it was a bit iffy but seems to have got past those pesky BHA sensors.”

Turns out bosses were eventually alerted to the controversial name, forcing its late change.

Sun Racing has contacted the British Horseracing Authority for comment.

One punter couldn’t believe the original name had apparently caused offence.

They said: “Absolutely ridiculous that anyone could find what is a joke insult offensive.

“I call my husband buggerlugs all the time – the definition in the Urban Dictionary of an older, grumpy person suits him down to the ground!”

BHA bosses – who check every racehorse name before they run – apologised in December 2020 after a horse with a racist name ran at Wolverhampton.

Punters were gobsmacked after seeing Jungle Bunny appear on the racecard.

The David Evans-trained horse came sixth on debut – but it was her racially offensive title that sparked controversy.

Evans apologised for the ‘innocent mistake’ and her name was changed to Jungle Bells.

The filly was named by Evans’ assistant trainer Emma Folkes, who said: “I actually named the filly myself – I didn’t have a clue.

“It’s the first time Weatherbys (racing administrators) have rung us on a Sunday morning. Nobody in the yard had said anything and I can only apologise.

“I’ll take the blame. It was a totally innocent mistake.”

And in January last year an American horse with a ‘devastatingly offensive’ name also had to have it changed.