Our money's on 'Harry Patch' to win cash for Poppy Appeal
He is one of the West's true heroes – and now his young namesake could be an inspiration, too.
On the eve of Remembrance Sunday, the aptly-named Harry Patch will be galloping for glory in Doncaster.
The bay horse, named after the much-loved World War I survivor, will today take his place on the starting line at the town's race course aiming for victory in the 1.30.
And the two-year-old, 5-1 favourite has more than just a 100 per cent winning record to defend.
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The Western Daily Press has placed a charity bet on the race in the hope Harry will race home to victory and help raise more funds for the Poppy Appeal and our Bibic campaign.
Trainer Michael Jarvis, who lives in Newmarket, said the idea to name the horse after Britain's last surviving Tommy came after he was bought during last year's Poppy Appeal.
He said: "He was purchased by my wife and myself in October last year. With it being close to Remembrance Sunday there were lots of different stories about war veterans and we thought it might be a nice idea to name the horse after one of them.
"My youngest daughter, Sarah, had been reading an article about Harry Patch and suggested that we name the horse after him."
Mr Jarvis said that he wasn't sure whether Mr Patch would be watching the race itself but he would let him know the result.
"Under Jockey Club rules you have to ask permission to name a horse after someone who is still living. My secretary found the article online and managed to track Harry down to his nursing home in Wells, Somerset.
"We then asked permission to use the name and he was very pleased. He sent a note back to say he would follow his progress with interest and to let him know when he raced.
"His first race was only a month ago and we e-mailed Mr Patch to tell him how pleased we were that he had won," he said.
Now, he said, it was all eyes on Harry's second race.
He added: "He's quite a nice horse, this race is more competitive but he's been training well and is in good order."
At a mere 108 years older than Harry Patch the horse, Henry John "Harry" Patch is the second-oldest living man in the UK and the last survivor of the trenches.