NHS charity given £25k donation from all-weather champions

An NHS charity is to receive a donation of more than £25,000 from the all-weather champions.

Godolphin and Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum has donated his champion owner and horse of the year prizes, while the winners and runners-up in the other categories have added to the sum.

They are Ben Curtis and Luke Morris (champion jockey, George Rooke and Grace McEntee (champion apprentice) and Mick Appleby (champion trainer).

Good Friday traditionally sees the climax of the All-Weather Championships, with £1 million of prize money to be won at Lingfield Park, but the meeting is not taking place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead racing industry professionals are supporting SASH, the charity for East Surrey Hospital and all the services provided by Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust.

They are local to the racecourse.

Curtis, the runaway winner of the champion jockey title with 101 winners, said: "My one regret is falling just short of Luke Morris's record.

"I would have loved to set a new British record for the all-weather and had we been able to finish the season, hopefully I would have done that.

"I am giving a donation of £2,000. The NHS do so much for us on a daily basis.

"I have had a few falls and they have always looked after me impeccably.

"I think now more than ever people are appreciating what they do."

The season started on October 22 and champion trainer Mick Appleby, who also captured the title in 2016 and 2018, gave the same amount as Curtis.

"I think that (54 winners) is our best tally of winners for the All-Weather Championships, even though the season ended prematurely.

"I have a great team of staff and owners, and it is lovely to win the AWC champion trainer title again."

Godolphin became champion owner for the sixth consecutive year.

Their famous royal blue silks were carried to victory on 26 occasions.

Hugh Anderson, Godolphin managing director (UK and Dubai), said: "Full credit must go to the whole team, who have all played a part in another successful season.

"In light of the current situation, it seemed entirely appropriate that we donate our prize to those who are working tirelessly to help the country."

The Gary Moore-trained Agent Of Fortune won connections the final award for his seven successes over the winter, which raised his rating 32lb.

Andrew Bickerdike, fundraising manager at SASH, said the charity team members are 'very grateful' for all of the kind donations.

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