IRISH racecourses are digging deep to help those affected by the war in Ukraine.

All gate proceeds from today’s meeting at Gowran Park will be donated to the Irish Red Cross Ukraine Appeal. Tomorrow Limerick Racecourse is giving 50% of its turnstile takings to the same good cause.

Today’s Gowran Park fixture is Holden Plant Rentals Day and usually attracts a good crowd for the last hurrah before the Cheltenham Festival.

Racecourse manager Eddie Scally said: “Our financial controller Pat Skehan approached me early this week and suggested that some form of gesture should be made from the track to try help in a small way to what is a terrible situation.

“I contacted our Board, and it was unanimously agreed to contribute the full gate to this appeal, which I must say is a great gesture.

“Racing people have been so generous in the past when needed and I feel anyone looking at the heart-breaking pictures from Ukraine would want to try help in some way.

“Our golf members have also agreed to donate all Sunday’s competition entries to the appeal which is very much appreciated by us all.”

Aside from donating all the gate and racecard income, Gowran will have a bucket collection at the gate and a Gofundme page has been set up for anyone unable to attend who would like to make a donation.

The page will close for donations at 9am on Monday.

On Sunday week (March 20th) Downpatrick will stage an auction in aid of the Ukraine humanitarian appeal after its Randox Ulster National meeting. The auction will take place at 7pm in the racecourse’s Dunleath hospitality suite. It is hoped that those not present will be able to bid online.

Downpatrick has pledged to match the total funds raised at the auction. Items already donated include a private tour for six people of Cian O’Connor’s Karlswood stables, along with a demonstration and lunch, a morning on the gallops with Willie Mullins, and a morning at Gordon Elliott’s yard.

Anyone with suitable auction items to donate should contact or