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Preston-born jockey races to £950 total for Rosemere Cancer Foundation

Posted on - 15th November, 2021 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Preston News, Proud Preston
Maurice with Sheikh Fahad and Michael Owen

A Preston-born jockey who has raced for royalty has raised £950 for Rosemere Cancer Foundation.

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Dad-of-four Maurice McCarthy lives in Poulton and is regarded as one of the country’s leading amateur flat racing jockeys.

Although he only rides in charity events, he raised funds for Rosemere racing in the BET365 Charlie Hall meeting charity race at Wetherby Race Course.

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Maurice McCarthy celebrating with his supporters

Cheering him on were daughter Ellie-Marie, 15, and 11-year-old twin daughters, Chloe and Lilly, along with other family and friends. Among them was James Lettice of Blackpool, a former Rosemere Cancer Centre patient and a loyal fundraiser. Maurice took the ride in Mr Lettice’s honour.

Maurice has raised more than £275,000 racing for various charities, believed to be a world record.

He said: “I lost my dad, also Maurice McCarthy, to cancer about seven or eight years ago.

“He too had been treated at Rosemere Cancer Centre, so when I became aware of Mr Lettice’s fundraising, via his granddaughter Megan, who is a friend, I wanted to help.”

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Maurice with Mr Lettice

Maurice, whose business away from the track is residential homes for children with behavioural problems, only began horse riding aged 31. Within four weeks of his first lesson, he was in jockey silks.

Since then, he has raced for members of the Royal Family, including HRH Prince Charles, whose wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, presented him with a trophy at a meeting at Ascot where he rode to raise money for the Prince of Wales’ Countryside Fund.

He has also ridden for the Qatar royal family and alongside Sheikh Fahad, who took part in a 2017 Ascot race, which featured former England footballer and racing enthusiast Michael Owen. Maurice beat Mr Owen, who is now a good friend, into second place.

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Maurice with Prince Charles

It was Maurice’s 54th charity race, but his racing achievement to date has been winning the Newmarket Town Plate, the oldest flat race in the world.

Its first winning jockey was King Charles II, and in 2019, Maurice broke a 350-year-old record to win by 86 lengths and 28 seconds.

Maurice, who had trials for Nottingham Forest FC when the club manager was Brian Clough, and who represented Blackpool at both codes of rugby, has Newbury, Ascot, Ludlow, Goodwood and Lingfield races already in the diary for when the flat season returns next spring.

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Maurice with Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall

Over the winter, he will practise his skills on his horse NotwhatIam, currently training with Alan Berry in Cockerham.

Maurice added: “I will continue to ride in charity races and raise money for good causes until my legs won’t get me to the track!”

For more information on Rosemere Cancer Foundation, visit – https://rosemere.org.uk/

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