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Museum supports Churchill by displaying Sir Winston's silks

Sir Winston Churchill's racing silks and the Aly Khan Memorial Trophy, both on display in Newmarket
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As an odds-on favourite with Ryan Moore on his back, Churchill is unlikely to need much in the way of outside assistance in the St James's Palace Stakes, but the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art has nonetheless nailed its colours to his mast - or rather someone else's.

For, "in the hope they will bring luck to his namesake", the Newmarket museum is now exhibiting the racing silks of Britain's most celebrated former prime minister, Sir Winston Churchill, after whom the dual Guineas winner was named by Sue Magnier.

The pink and chocolate colours, on display thanks to the generosity of the Soames family, were never actually carried to victory at Royal Ascot, although the great wartime leader did have a runner-up in both the Gold Cup (Colonist II) and Hardwicke Stakes (Vienna).

Moreover, Churchill did once win the Ribblesdale Stakes. However, Colonist II's success in the 1949 running came at a time when the race, now restricted to three-year-old fillies and run on the Thursday of the royal meeting, was staged in September and open to colts.

The Heritage Centre, which is also showing off the Aly Khan Memorial Trophy, won in its only staging by Churchill's High Hat in 1961, was recently shortlisted for the Art Fund Museum of the Year Awards, with the winner to be announced on July 5.

The pink and chocolate colours were never actually carried to victory at Royal Ascot