From a mountain to a mount

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Q. The two greatest horses in National Hunt racing over the last 50 years are Arkle and Red Rum. What is the origin of the names of these two greats?

A. Arkle was named after a mountain in the north-west of Scotland. The great horse was owned by the Duchess of Westminster and the three mountains north of the Westminster estate at Achtary all have strong racing connections - Ben Stack, Arkle and Foinavon. The first two raced in the Duchess's colours and the latter won the the famous 1967 Grand National after the rest of the field became embroiled in a melee at the 23rd fence. Arkle is the middle of three mountains and 787 metres high.

Coincidentally, the horse that caused that melee by refusing and running along the 23rd fence was the aptly named Popham Down - another elevated piece of land, not, however, a Scottish mountain but a hill in North Hampshire.

Robin Soans, London NW6

ANSWERS PLEASE

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If you know the answers to any of these questions or have a sporting question of your own, write to Q&A, Sports Desk, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL. Fax: 0171-293 2894

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