Monday, 12 July 2010

International Stars Lined Up for The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup

Top South African jockey Anton Marcus, who is the clear leader in his country’s jockeys’ championship and who gained international recognition when winning the 2008 Dubai Duty Free (Group 1) on Jay Peg, will captain a powerful Rest of the World Team in this year’s Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, the world’s premier international jockeys’ competition, at Ascot on Saturday, August 7.

Marcus, who is nicknamed “Superman” in his homeland, will be joined by the highly experienced Yasunari Iwata from Japan, who sprang to international prominence when winning the 2006 Melbourne Cup (Group 1) on Delta Blues. He also won the Japan Cup (Group 1) on Admire Moon in 2007 and the 2008 Yasuda Kinen (Group 1) on Vodka. In 2008, he landed the JRA Award for Best Jockey (in terms of prize money won), ending the seven-year reign of Yutaka Take.

The trio is completed by the up and coming Australian star, Luke Nolen, who is currently clear leader in the Victorian Jockeys’ Premiership. Retained by trainer Peter Moody, he has ridden Typhoon Tracy to four Group 1 victories in the last nine months and partnered Wanted to win the Newmarket Handicap (Group 1) in March. Nolen enjoyed the biggest success of his career so far when landing the 2007 Cox Plate (Group 1) on El Segundo.

The European Team will be captained by Frankie Dettori as long as he is free from riding commitments for Godolphin. Frankie will be joined by fellow Italian Umberto Rispoli, who re-wrote the record books in Italy last season when riding 245 winners, breaking the previous record of 229 winners set by Frankie’s father, Gianfranco Dettori, way back in 1982.

The third member of the European Team has yet to be confirmed, but is likely to be either Olivier Peslier or Christophe Soumillon, neither of whom has participated in the event before.

The line-ups for the Ireland and Great Britain Teams will be announced nearer the time.

“We are delighted to have secured the participation of two highly experienced, established stars from overseas in the shape of Anton Marcus and Yasunari Iwata and two up-and-coming riders who have already made a big impression in their own countries in Luke Nolen and Umberto Rispoli,” said Ascot’s Head of Communications and International Racing, Nick Smith.

“The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup provides a great opportunity for some of the world’s top jockeys to showcase their talents in the UK and we are looking forward to a great contest next month.”

The six races will be followed by an 80s concert with a line-up including Boy George, Midge Ure and Belinda Carlisle. It has been Ascot’s best attended raceday outside the Royal Meeting in recent years with a crowd of around 30,000 expected. Tickets (Premier admission £35; General admission £25) can be booked in advance with a minimum 10% discount (higher discounts are available for group bookings) at or by calling 0870 727 1234.

The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is one of the world’s major international jockeys’ competitions which was first staged at Ascot in 2000. Twelve top riders take part, three representing Great Britain, three Ireland, three Europe and three riding for the Rest of the World. The day features six races, all handicaps worth £30,000, with each jockey having five rides and sitting out one race. Points are awarded on a 15, 10, 7, 5, 3 basis to the first five horses to finish in each race and the team with the highest points total after the last race lifts the Shergar Cup trophy. The top individual points-scoring rider wins the Silver Saddle trophy.

Dubai Duty Free, the world’s number one airport retailer, has been involved with the Shergar Cup since its inception, and became title sponsor of the event in 2006.

Further information:

Nick Smith, Head of Communications and International Racing, Ascot, 07771 791 449

Alistair Haggis, Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Event Manager, 07761 896500

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