Lambourn support boosts worried family

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A Ukrainian employee of Jamie Osborne has hailed Lambourn’s community spirit following the invasion of his country by Russia.

Alex Makhmudov, whose wife Ievgeniia Isai has been Osborne’s housekeeper for six years, has worked for the trainer since 2003, doing “anything that needs to be done”.

Ukraine, which was attacked by Russia last week, leading to condemnation of the invasion and sympathy for those on the receiving end, is reportedly responsible for 28 members of British racing’s stable staff.

They include Makhmudov, one of three employed by Osborne.

“I feel bad, really bad,” he said. “I have family back home in Kyiv and, for now, they’re fine; it’s not too bad. It’s bad, obviously, but everyone is still alive. 

“It’s hard for everybody and I have a wife and child here, and half of me wants to go back to Ukraine and help, and half wants to stay with them.

“We watch the news all the time and you’re always thinking about it. We speak to our family non-stop because we don’t know what will happen next.”

Makhmudov, described by Osborne as a senior yardman and spa specialist, added: “Everybody understands the situation and my son is nearly 11. He knows what’s going on and watches the videos and news.

“I hope everything will be okay and people can talk and stop all of this. Everybody is worried for us. We’ve spent a lot of time in the village and everyone knows we’re Ukrainian. People in the shops and school, where my son goes, know us and we want to thank everyone for their support.”

The BHA on Tuesday “wholeheartedly” condemned Russia’s military actions and said it was assessing the nation’s investment in British racing, although early indications suggested that was “extremely limited”.

The European and Mediterranean Horseracing Federation (EMHF) on Wednesday said a Russian application to join the body – which was founded in 2000 and has Britain, Ireland and France among its 26 members – would not be considered.

“The EMHF is a federation of the governing authorities for thoroughbred horseracing across the European and Mediterranean region,” a statement read.

“The EMHF recently received an application from the Russian National Racing Association, seeking membership. This application will not be further progressed at this time.

“The EMHF expresses its concern and sympathy for our former member and colleague, the Ukrainian Jockey Club.”