What's In a Name: Harrow, Harrovian and Nuvolari

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Nuvolari prior to winning at Epsom | Racingfotos.com

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One single racing day in England–Thursday, Sept. 9-was rich in suggestive racehorse names.

Two winners in Doncaster within two hours of each other-juvenile colt Harrow (Ire) (El Kabeir–School Run {Ire} by Invincible Spirit {Ire}) and 5-year-old gelding Harrovian (GB) (Leroidesanimaux {Brz}–Alma Mater {GB} by Sadler's Wells)–manifested ingenious connections (via their dams' names) to the famous public school founded in 1572 and attended by young Winston Churchill. Singular coincidence.

With Epsom winner Nuvolari (GB) (c, 2, by Time Test {GB}–Luang Prabang {Ire} by Invincible Spirit {Ire}) we are in another territory. Italian Tazio Nuvolari, born in Mantua, was the uncrowned super-champion of motor racing in the 1930/1940s, in a similar way to the figure British legend Stirling Moss was in the 1950s/1960s. “The Flying Mantuan” raced everywhere and won anywhere, including the 24 Hours at Le Mans, the crazy “Mille Miglia” Carrera-like race on the open roads of Italy, and many pre-Formula 1 circuit Grand Prix. Nuvolari was famous for being totally fearless, oblivious to the most serious injuries, and very creative in the driving of semi-destroyed vehicles–at times making do without a proper steering wheel, or a functioning set of brakes, or a full complement of four tires. His Epsom winner namesake seems to share that formidable determination and long may it continue.

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