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Aguerooo, Zlatan, Switcharooney and more race horses who share names with famous footballers

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FOOTBALL will forever influence people’s name choices.

Whether it’s a pet or a son or daughter, the greats like Cruyff, Messi, Ronaldo will all have their names immortalised.

Footballers like Wayne Rooney have race horses named after them

And then there’s racehorses. There are plenty that are named after legends of the beautiful game.

Let SunSport tell you which horses share their names with footballers – starting with a Manchester United legend.

SWITCHAROONEY

Famously bought by Wayne Rooney in 2011, Switcharooney was immediately sent to a stables owned by Michael Owen.

However, it wasn’t so fortunate on the track.

Between 2012-2013 the £63,000 nag failed to win a single race and was retired.

Most recently, a charity rescued Switcharooney by paying for a £2,500 operation to cure his hoof condition that could have turned out to be ‘incredibly painful’, according to charity boss Nigel Wood.

Racingfotos.com

Switcharooney was owned by Wayne Rooney and cost £63,000[/caption]

ZLATAN

Of course, the AC Milan and Sweden legend has a horse named after him.

And Ibrahimovic would approve – with the seven-year-old winning eight races in its lifetime.

Incidentally, the giant centre forward is a fan of all animals – owning a showjumping horse called Grande Dieni – which translates as ‘Great Gods’.

CAPTAIN GERRARD

No prizes for guessing who this one’s named after.

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard had a top stallion named after him, and is it any wonder?

Captain Gerrard retired in 2010, and has since sired 55 individual winners of over 150 races.

Getty Images – Getty

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has a stallion named after him[/caption]

Racingfotos.com

Captain Gerrard retired in 2010 and his since sired 55 individual winners[/caption]

BERGKAMP

The Arsenal and Dutch all-time great had a pretty mediocre horse representing him on the racecourse.

Now seven, Bergkamp was bred by Mickley Stud and trained and owned by Philip J Reynolds.

But it managed no wins from 12 races.

PABLO HERNANDEZ

Leeds fans most certainly will approve.

The Elland Road favourite’s horse is only three and hopefully has a long career ahead of it, unlike the Spanish winger who is coming towards the end of his playing days.

Four races without a win, but it’s early days.

Incidentally, Martin and Iris Wainwright who run Highbank Stud are huge Leeds fans.

They have also named horses Radebe, Bremner, Reviette after the legendary Don Revie and Bielsa after the current boss.

Another Leeds-related star is Yorkshire Pirlo – named after Kalvin Phillips – who defied odds to 190-1 to win at Southwell.

RONALDO

A Bay Gelding with some finesse, six-year-old Ronaldo has won once on flat turf and another in rules races.

It was bred by Gestut Ittlingen, so it is German-owned.

Ronaldo (the horse) has made around £67,000 in earnings. The Portuguese legend probably wouldn’t get out of bed for that.

Racingfotos.com

Ronaldo was bred by Germans Gestut Ittlingen[/caption]

Getty Images – Getty

Cristiano Ronaldo makes more in a day than a horse named after him does[/caption]

AGUEROOO

Arguably the most famous finish to a Premier League season, Martin Tyler’s commentary combined with the name of Manchester City’s popular Argentine footballer creates the moniker for the seven-year-old.

And Aguerooo has been just as prolific as its striker name-sake – winning 16 races during its lifetime.

Owned by P E Axon, Aguerooo is trained by Charlie Wallis.

Racingfotos.com

Aguerooo, the nearest horse in this photo, has won 16 races[/caption]

Getty Images – Getty

Sergio Aguero was famous for scoring one of the most important Premier League goals of all-time[/caption]

VAN BASTEN

For some reason, Dutch centre forwards make good horse names.

Van Basten was born in Australia in 2012, but wasn’t much of a striker.

It won once in 23 meetings in Singapore and soon retired.

Amusingly, a horse named Van Nistelrooy was the sire of Van Basten.

MESSI

The Germans love their football, so it’s no wonder their horse racing owners name their race horses after great footballers.

Messi is now 10, having been bred and trained by Gestut Brummerhof.

10 wins from 57 races show that Messi is no slouch on the race track too.

imago images/Future Image

Messi the race horse has won 10 races from its 57 meets[/caption]

CHRISTOPHER WOOD

Possibly the most impressive horse on this list, and it’s named after a Newcastle centre forward from New Zealand.


Christopher Wood is owned by Sharon Kinsella and trained by Paul Nicholls.

And the five-year-old has recorded more wins than anyone else on this list – 12 from 46 races.

You can imagine Chris will be chuffed to have such a winner named after him.

Racingfotos.com

Christopher Wood is coming on leaps and bounds under Paul Nicholls[/caption]

FOX VARDY

No prizes for guessing who King Power Racing Co support!

In their fleet of horses are the likes of Fox Vardy and Fox Shinji, after, of course, Jamie Vardy and Shinji Okazaki, both part of their Premier League-winning team.

VAN DIJK

Unlike his Liverpool namesake, this three-year-old is yet to reach first place.

Owned and trained by Antony Brittain, Van Dijk nevertheless has proved a remarkably consisted and reliable horse, so far free from injury.

Van Dijk has won Brittain just over £4,000 in his short career and seems destined for a first win having finished runner-up twice.

DE BRUYNE HORSE

Hit the heights at the start of this year with two wins over the fibresand at Southwell.

The David Griffiths-trained horse, who now specialises in distances up to one mile, finished sixth on his last run on December 6.

OOH AH CANTONA

Sadly retired long ago (United’s treble-winning year of 1999 to be exact), Ooh Ah Cantona enjoyed some success on the track.

The bay gelding finished runner-up on his final race but mustered five wins in all during a 29-run career.

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Commercial content notice: Taking one of the bookmaker offers featured in this article may result in a payment to The Sun. 18+. T&Cs apply. Begambleaware.org


Remember to gamble responsibly

A responsible gambler is someone who:

  • Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
  • Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
  • Never chase their losses
  • Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry or depressed
  • Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
  • Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org



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