A Hearts-mad owner has named his racehorse Hampden FiveOne after his team’s Scottish Cup win over rivals Hibs, as it prepares to race at the US track of Kenwood today.
The Horse will take to the New Jersey track draped in maroon to mark the Jambos’ historic Scottish Cup victory over rivals Hibs last May.
Owner Alistair Fyfe, who emigrated from Portobello in 1984, named the foal while still delirious from a whistle-stop trip home to take in the all-Edinburgh final.
“I’m a Hearts fan, from Edinburgh originally, and was at the Hampden game which was a historic occasion and thought it would be great to name my horse in memory of the fine moment in the history of the Capital.
“I have a couple of partners and usually we have a competition to come up with the best horse names, but this time round I had this in mind already. The horse’s mother was Mirimar Miracle and I think we saw a miracle at Hampden last May so I thought it was apt.”
Mr Fyfe’s devotion to horse racing was sparked by the Totopoly board game he recalls playing at the age of three – and which also ignited an interest in banking.
And despite crossing the Atlantic, distance hasn’t diluted the former banker’s passion for his boyhood football club.
“I came back last year specifically for the game,” he said. “I still pay attention to the games in Scotland and was a huge fan as a kid in Edinburgh and still watch what’s going on.”
The racehorse magnate, who lives in Cleveland, Ohio, will today watch his two-year-old compete over six furlongs but doesn’t expect the chestnut nag to emulate the success of his Hearts heroes.
“We think the horse is going to need a bit of time – we aren’t expecting him to do too well on his debut,” said Mr Fyfe, 53. “I hope not too many Hearts fans put money on him because it might bring the price down. I’m also hoping the name doesn’t cause any fights in the bars.”
Hearts season-ticket holder Councillor Steve Cardownie said he expected Jambo fans to embrace Hampden FiveOne and admitted he may even lay a bet of his own.
“I think I’ll put £51 on it to win,” he quipped. “This is all just good fun. I’ve had the 7-0 scoreline rammed down my throat since [Hibs beat Hearts in] 1973 so we Hearts fans are just getting started. This is a fantastic name for a horse and while I didn’t know about this race I will get some money on it.
“It’s all tongue-in-cheek and of course we are going to mock Hibs fans, and we are entitled to in revenge for all the comments after the 7-0 game.”
Lifelong Hearts fan and season-ticket holder Diane Scougall said there was no doubt Jambos would back the nag.
“I would put £19 on that – Rudi Skacel’s shirt number,” she said. “I would imagine a few flutters will be placed by Hearts fans on this horse.”
Jambos have revelled in 5-1 baiting sneaking the hand gesture into live TV broadcasts, newspapers and even holiday snaps at the Arctic Circle.