Cheltenham Runner To Wear Ukraine Colours

New silks in aid of a good cause

Lisnagar Oscar will run in the yellow and blue of the Ukrainian flag in the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle on Day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival on Thursday to raise awareness of the humanitarian crisis resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The nine-year-old, who upset the odds to land the Gr1 in 2020 for trainer Rebecca Curtis, is owned by Racing For Fun but will carry new silks organised by fellow owner Colin Peake at Cheltenham next week.

Trainer Rebecca Curtis

The Racing Post reports that his association with Curtis began when his horse, Breaking Waves, was beaten by Lisnagar Oscar in a novice hurdle at Chepstow in 2019. The following year, Peake backed him to win the Stayers’.

“You look at the news every day and it just gets worse and worse,” said Peake. “I can only do so much but I want to raise awareness and push people to do a little bit more. I’ve had the colours made and registered them for the week with the BHA for Lisnagar Oscar.

“Rebecca agreed on the spot and spoke to her owners. It was about doing the right thing for Ukraine and getting racing to agree to do something, while trying to do my little bit as just an average owner.”

Jockeys at next week’s Cheltenham Festival could be encouraged to wear armbands in support of Ukraine on the opening day, while last week the Jockey Club renamed this year’s National Hunt Chase after the Ukraine Appeal to raise funds for the British Red Cross.

Curtis stable stars Lisnagar Oscar and BeatTheBullet enjoying a morning at the beach

The organisation is also running a raffle and offering racing fans the opportunity to win hospitality tickets to the sold-out Gold Cup day when they donate £10 to the appeal through the Jockey Club.

“We’ve renamed the race, which has helped draw attention to the British Red Cross Ukraine Appeal,” said Cheltenham managing director Ian Renton. “It will hopefully encourage more racegoers to donate.

“We’re speaking to jockeys regarding wearing armbands, particularly on the opening day, so hopefully we’ll reach an agreement on that. We’re also running a raffle for hospitality places on Gold Cup day.

“We wanted to support the appeal across all Jockey Club courses. It’s a good charity as it allows racegoers to text in a donation on the day. It’s great other sports have come on board and opted to follow suit.”

World Horse Welfare has also launched a fund on behalf of the British equestrian industry, while the Tote has made a £5,000 donation to the British Red Cross Ukraine Appeal.

Flutter, the parent company of brands such as Paddy Power and Betfair, has donated £250,000 to the appeal and is matching employee donations to charity CARE International.


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