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Cheltenham Festival renames race for Ukraine Appeal

The Cheltenham Festival will support the people of Ukraine as they endure a military invasion by Russia. Cheltenham Racecourse has announced that the last race on opening day, the National Hunt Chase will be named the Ukraine Appeal National Hunt Chase.

The Jockey Club is supporting the British Red Cross Ukraine Appeal, and will be encouraging racegoers to donate and making its own donation.

Ian Renton, managing director of the racecourse, said: “The festival is a major social highlight for a very large number of the racegoers in attendance, probably even more so this year given the 2021 festival was held behind closed doors. However, this year’s event is obviously taking place against the backdrop of major conflict in Ukraine.

“Given that coverage of the festival extends far beyond the coverage racing receives on a day to day basis, we are keen to hand as much exposure to the invaluable work undertaken by humanitarian charities in these most desperate times. Therefore, using a race title to promote these humanitarian efforts seemed a very appropriate act for us to undertake.”

Mr Renton added: “The Jockey Club is supporting the British Red Cross’s appeal by making a donation and we will also be communicating on our big screens, in racecards and over our PA systems to invite racegoers at all of our venues to make a donation themselves, should they wish, and explain how they can do so.

“Racing has a tremendous record when it comes to fundraising and coming together in times when need is most keenly felt and we are aiming to help the Red Cross Ukraine Appeal as much as possible over the four days of The Festival.”

To donate and find out more about the British Red Cross’s appeal, click here.