What's in a name? Aintree back stories

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The Independent Online

*Vic Venturi

Victory would be appropriate during Masters weekend: he is named in honour of Ken Venturi, the 1964 US Open champion. And the son of Old Vic was bred by the Brabazon family.

*Mon Mome

French for "our kid", especially one with cheeky or brattish tendencies.

*Dream Alliance

His breeder, one of the syndicate which owns the nine-year-old, once had a successful racing pigeon called Will's Dream.

*Big Fella Thanks

Named after his owner Harry Findlay's favourite coursing greyhound, recently deceased after happy retirement.

*Chief Dan George

The hereditary leader of the Salish tribe of British Columbia who became a famed author and actor, with a starring role in Little Big Man.

*Conna Castle

Built in the 1550s by the River Brade in Co Cork, but largely destroyed a century later by a fire in which three young women died. Its tower is a local landmark.

*King Johns Castle

An Anglo-Norman fortification, built around 1200, on the south bank of the Shannon in Limerick, later severely damaged in a 1642 siege by Irish Catholics when held by Protestants.

*Preists Leap

Mountain pass in Co Cork where, legend has it, a mounted priest pursued by soldiers made a miraculous leap, landing many miles away near Bantry Bay.

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