Ask any racing enthusiast whether they have an opinion on the Hennessy Gold Cup and you’ll almost certainly get an answer – even though the big race at Newbury benefited from a change of sponsor almost two years ago.
Ask who’ll win the Ladbrokes Trophy and you’ll probably receive a puzzled look – because it takes time for a successful brand to change its name.
I’ve only just discovered that Dime Bars are currently called Daim bars, but then I’m a bit slow on the uptake with things like that. To be fair, I had spotted the ‘Daim-name’ when shopping in IKEA, but had simply assumed that I’d successfully sourced some deliciously cheap foreign imports. Unlike Snickers, which I’ve obstinately referred to as Marathon bars ever since the Mars corporation changed their name eighteen years ago.
I know, it’s just nuts!
It’s time to get used to the fact that we will no longer be able to sit down with a Marathon bar to watch the Hennessy Gold Cup on Racing UK – because everything is undergoing a change of name. A new name for Racing UK is required because, from 1st January, the channel will be broadcasting racing from Ireland – as well as the best racing from England, Wales and Scotland.
Nearly 90% of all Group and Graded races in Britain and Ireland will be shown live on the channel, in high definition, next year, which means that race-fans will be able to follow the progress of Irish horses as they head towards the major festivals at Cheltenham and Aintree. But more importantly, viewers will also be able to see all of the races from all five Scottish racecourses too!
I’m not going to spoil the big media launch by revealing the new name of the channel here, but that’s not because I can’t remember it – unlike the new name for Opal Fruits, which I had to look up while writing this column. Apparently they’ve been known as Starburst since 1998.
The new channel name will be every bit as classy as the horses that feature in the coverage. It will quickly become synonymous with top quality racing and we’ll eventually wonder why we ever confined our horizons to the domestic fixture list alone – just as we’ve forgotten that The Beach Boys were once known as The Pendletones, that Nike was once known as Blue Ribbon Sports and that the highly successful O2 Arena was once known as ‘that cruddy Millennium Dome’.
Most people are aware that Datsun vehicles became Nissan vehicles in 1984, but they may not know that the original brand name was Datson. The name change was instigated when it was realised that Datson sounded too similar to a Japanese phrase meaning ‘to lose money’…
Speaking of which, our selection for this week is Allysson Monterg, trained by Richard Hobson, in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury – which will be covered live by Racing UK… until the New Year, when we’ll be calling it something different.