Jun 14, 2020

Today’s naming feature is on KAMEKO – the 3 year old colt who won the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket this month to an empty house but momentously overturning PINATUBO, as highly rated at 2 as Frankel but has the little fellow trained on? We may find out later this week if he bounces out quickly.

However one regards Qatar as a nation and as having burst onto several sporting scenes including the Football World Cup and all it controversies, there is no doubting the enthusiasm and (nowadays) knowledge of Sheikh Fahad Bin Abdullah Al Thani, a young (around 30) member of the ruling family and the driving force of Qatar Racing which has invested so much in British racing and breeding.

An actual winner himself (in the saddle) of the historic Newmarket Town Plate, his interviews show great charm and proper knowledge in post-race analysis….plus real devotion to the horses which is why the grief at the shattering loss of ROARING LION (Champion 3 year old and European Horse of the Year, who died last year at 4 on his first shuttle to New Zealand) was so widely understood and shared.

Sheikh Fahad  puts across the mix of sadness and excitement at first (and only) crop foals very well, describing how they are beginning to go grey around the eyes. He is a most valuable racing asset.

Sheikh Fahad and family celebrate Kameko's win (pic Melissa al Fahad Twitter page)

Sheikh Fahad and family celebrate Kameko’s win (pic Melissa al Fahad Twitter page)

KAMEKO is another son of Kitten’s Joy, American bred and British trained this time by Andrew Balding, son of Ian of Mill Reef fame. Sheikh Fahad smiled on being quizzed about the name, saying that his wife – Sheikha Melissa – she is American – named the colt.

Kameko is Japanese for child of a tortoise (the symbol of long life). Perhaps also something to do with the Tortoise and the Hare and as we all know, the tortoise won.

There are other connotations which only a Japanese person or a long term resident of Japan would know. Kameko is also the name of a manga character, “manga” being cartoon books or graphic novels that people read throughout their adult lives.

Kameko is an example of the Japanese propensity for importing parts of words – such as “denomi” for revaluation of a currency, from denomination, or “apo”, an appointment.

Or  “karaoke”, “kara” being the Japanese for empty and “oke” – orchestra.

Kameko carries her camera everywhere in the manga hence “Kame”. Stick “ko” on the end meaning “child of” or “love child of” – admittedly “ko” is usually female, but there are exceptions.

Or child of a tortoise. Kameko 亀甲