A two-year-old thoroughbred in Australia will be racing under an unusual name – Horsey McHorseface.

The gelding was named by trainer Bjorn Baker’s team at Warwick Farm racecourse, Sydney, in homage to Boaty McBoatface, which won a public poll to name a new British research vessel.

Horsey McHorseface was shipped to Australia from New Zealand last November, having been bought for $NZ65,000 (£31,880) in a ready-to-run sale in New Zealand.

Jack Bruce, Mr Baker’s racing manager, told the BBC the team had high hopes of Horsey McHorseface.

“We bought him from a ready-to-run sale where he put in a very good breeze (gallop),” he said.

Horsey McHorseface is now in training at Mr Baker’s stables.

It is not clear whether the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) will honour the results of the poll to name its £200m arctic explorer, which Boaty McBoatface won with 124,109 votes, as the NERC will make the final decision.

The state-of-the-art vessel will be launched in 2019 to replace Royal Research Ships (RRS) Ernest Shackleton, and James Clark Ross (pictured above).

Launching the competition to name it in March, the NERC said it was looking for inspirational suggestions, which would exemplify the ship’s work. Former royal research ships have been named after arctic explorer Ernest Shackleton and naval officer James Clark Ross

Other submissions included Pingu, Usain Boat and It’s Bloody Cold Here, while the eventual runner-up was RRS Poppy-Mai, after a 16-month-old girl with incurable cancer.


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James Hand, a former BBC Radio Jersey presenter, originally suggested the name Boaty McBoatface as a joke, but says he has since apologised to the NERC.

And the Antipodean racehorse is not the first tribute to Boaty McBoatface. On 22 March, a UK railway worker renamed the Portsmouth to Waterloo train service Trainy McTrainface.