Racehorse honours legacy of rugby league inspiration

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RUGBY LEAGUE legend Steve Prescott’s name lives on – thanks to a winning racehorse that has been named after the inspirational cancer campaigner who raised £500,000 for charity before his death last November.

The racehorse Steve Prescott, who made a winning debut at Haydock and is trained at Malton by Richard Fahey, is the brainchild of prominent owner Dr Marwan Koukash who is the high-profile owner of Super League club Salford City Reds.

He has also pledged to donate all prize money to the Steve Prescott Foundation, which was founded by the rugby league international when he was diagnosed with a rare form of stomach cancer at the age of 32. Proceeds go to charities allied to cancer care, transplant surgery and rugby league.

Dr Koukash was at Haydock with the rugby player’s widow Linzi, and two sons, to watch the colt win by more than three lengths under David Nolan. “I have never been so thrilled in all my life as I have been this evening by Steve Prescott winning,” he said.

“I wanted to spread his legacy into racing. Obviously everyone in rugby league knows about Steve Prescott but I wanted to bring his name into racing.”

There’s also the likelihood of further success – the colt holds an entry at Chester this Saturday. “I wanted a horse fast enough and brave enough who was fit to carry his name. I didn’t want to name just any horse, it had to be a decent one,” added Dr Koukash.

Those words were echoed by Mr Fahey whose Baccarat prevailed at Royal Ascot last Saturday. He said: “It’s tremendous Marwan has named him after Steve. He’s a horse we like and hopefully he will raise awareness of – and money for – the Steve Prescott Foundation.”