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Picture: Eyjaffjallajokull won at Turffontein Standside yesterday (JC Photos).

Trainer David Nieuwenhuizen praised Varsfontein Stud for the “beautiful” name given to his strapping grey gelding Eyjafjallajokull.

More on the name later in the article, but firstly David holds the son of Erupt in high regard and is hoping he gets into the Grade 1 Premiers Champion Stakes on Marshalls World Of Sport Gold Cup day.
He said he had reluctantly had to geld the big grey because he had been “impossible” after the Sale and was not only intimidating to the grooms but probably a danger to himself. 
On debut over 1200m in one of the strongest juvenile form races of the season, won by Thunderstruck, Eyjafjallajokull was not disgraced but he said he had been outpaced “and all over the place” so small cups were fitted second time out.
He then showed a superb turn of foot over 1600m, but did not know what to do out in front and was caught late.
Yesterday, he ran over 1400m against older horses and Gavin Lerena used that fine turn of foot to power him into a big lead shortly after turning for home in an effort to not only win the race, but also to teach him what it is all about.

He just hung on to win by half-a-length.


David lamented the wide draw he has landed in the Champion Stakes, because he believed Hollywoodbets Greyville would suit him.
His turn of foot will be a valuable asset on the tight course and he is likely to have horses around him all the way to the line, so there will be no time for wandering.
David pointed out that whilst Dubawi stallion Erupt was a twice Group 1 winner over the classic Derby distance Eyjafjallajokull’s dam Kiss And Fly (Jet Master) had been speedy, winning three times from 1200m to 1400 and placing third in the Listed Ladies Mile.  
So the big grey has inherited plenty of speed.
He is in fact a half-brother to Grade 1 Cape Guineas winner Kilindini, so David did well to land him at the BSA National Yearling Sale for R275,000.
He had been impressed by the big grey and even more so when he was in the ring “screaming” at him.
The discussion about his name had already begun at the Sale.
Click Below to watch Eyjafjallajokull being sold:
Video Player

Stergio Poriazis took a share and helped put the syndicate together of Messrs S Poriazis, John Arvanitakis, Gary Citron, R P Macnab, Mr D J & Mrs H M R Nieuwenhuizen.
David  said there has been a lot of debate surrounding his name and it had been a fun aspect of training and owning the horse. 
He said, “Googling it there are whole news items about the pronunciation. Even the Icelanders seem to have different pronunciations.”
He added, “I call him Eyja which means island.”
“Eyja” means island, “fjalla” means mountains, and “jökull” means glacier. So when put together, Eyjafjallajökull means “glacier on island mountains.”
It is the name of the volcano in Iceland which erupted in 2010  causing enormous disruption to air travel across northern and western Europe for a week.
The horse’s name was obviously prompted by his sire’s name, Erupt.
The name is not easy to pronounce as it requires special Icelandic phonetic clicks for the double LLs  which sounds similar to a ‘T’.
Click here to hear what sounds to be an authentic pronunciation: PRONUNCIATION