THERE will not be a dry eye in the house today at Doncaster if a Yorkshire-trained racehorse called Prostate Awareness is first past the post.
The two-year-old colt has been given the unusual name by his owner Colin Peach, 66, who is currently being treated for prostate cancer.
His wish just conforms with the rules of racing – the names of horses are restricted to just 18 characters, including any spaces or punctuation.
Jockey Andrew Elliott will ride the Patrick Holmes-trained horse against 10 rivals over seven furlongs in the 3pm race – part of Unison’s enduring sponsorship of this popular raceday on Town Moor.
Mr Peach, from Middlesbrough, is urging men aged over 50 to visit their GPs and request a Prostate-Specific Antigen (or PSA) test which is a simple blood test that can help to detect the disease at a very early stage.
More than 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year – including the racehorse owner’s father. “One in eight men will get prostate cancer but if it is detected early enough it can be treated very successfully,” explained Mr Peach.
“Few men are aware of the blood test that could save their lives. Unlike smear tests and mammograms for women, this screening is not routinely made available to men even though prostate cancer is the second most prevalent form of the disease in the UK today.
“Watching horse racing has always been a passion and it was my dream to own a racehorse. By naming the horse Prostate Awareness and racing it at as many courses as possible throughout the country I hope to achieve the double benefit of fulfilling my dream and getting the message across that a simple blood test could save your life.”
Prostate Awareness will race in specially registered sky blue silks – the recognised ‘ribbon’ colour of the various charities which promote awareness and research into this disease.