The Story of Potoooooooo

Horse racing is certainly no stranger to oddball horse names. Just the other year Horsey McHorseFace (an homage to boaty mcboatface) gained worldwide attention when he won the Lathan Arthur Thompson Memorial Maiden in Australia. Other funny horse names that have raised anything between a titter and a belly laugh include the likes of Hoarse, Hugh Janus,  Oh no it’s my mother in law, magic carpet burns and passing wind.

Funny horse names aren’t just a modern occurrence though. We see that here with a racehorse called Potooooooo born all the way back in 1773. His owner, Willoughby Bertie, already had the bright / strange idea of naming the horse Potatoes. This rather unflattering name was to take another twist though, when Bertie instructed a stable lad to write down the horses name. Instead of writing Potatoes, he wrote down Pot-8-O’s, as in literally the word Pot followed by eight O’s. The owner found this error rather amusing and so instead of correcting it the name stuck. It creates a funny little place for Potoooooooo in history, as the story lives on to this very day!

There’s not many achievements that Richard Johnson hasn’t bagged during his long and illustrious career in racing. From becoming Champion Jockey at just age eighteen in the 1995/6 season, to being awarded an OBE in the new year’s honours for his services to horse racing, he’s done it all.  A Grand National win still eludes him though. Here, speaking to Betway, Johnson steers us through the highs and lows of some of his previous Grand National experiences and lays out the hopes and dreams that are part and parcel of his 2019 Grand National ride on Rock The Kasbah.

Night Nurse  Night Nurse ran to 35 wins during his racing career that featured flat, hurdle and chase events. Trained in England by Peter Easterby, Night Nurse was originally a National Hunt race horse. The gelding was able to find success no matter what type of race or event he took place in.

Debuting in 1973, Night Nurse’s career didn’t start well. The horse lost six races during the season. If expectations weren’t high after the first year of racing, then the finish of his second season didn’t increase hope of success by much. Night Nurse won just once in six races in 1974. The gelding’s lone victory came at Ripon Racecourse.

Wins would come more often to Night Nurse in the following years. He raced to victory in two of three races in 1975 with wins at the Fighting Fifth Hurdle and the Irish Sweeps Hurdle. A year later, Night Nurse won the Champion Hurdle for the first of two times, the Scottish Champion Hurdle and the Welsh Champion Hurdle for the first time. In 1977, Night Nurse won his most remembered race at Aintree. Competing in the Templegate Hurdle, Night Nurse won a deadheat against Monksfield.

After being so successful in hurdle competitions, Night Nurse was switched to chasing, and more wins followed. Often ridden by jockey Paddy Broderick, Night Nurse raced until 1983. The duo was one of the most feared on the racetrack and many a race was most likely won before the horses even left the gates. During his racing career, the gelding earned over £170,000 in prize winnings.

In 1983, Night Nurse was retired and lived out his days for the next 15 years. Those final years saw Night Nurse live on the farm of his trainer, Easterby, and later buried on the property. In November 1998, the horse was put down just short of his 28th birthday.