Wednesday, 4 August 2010

A Preview of the 2010 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot

The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is the world’s premier international jockeys’ team competition. Three world-class riders will represent each of Great Britain (GBR), Ireland (IRE), Europe (EUR) and the Rest of the World (ROW).
The six races are limited to 10 runners with either two or three horses racing for each team (this will balance itself out over the course of the afternoon), and points are awarded on a 15, 10, 7, 5, 3 basis to the first five horses home (non runners score 4 points). Subject to full fields, each jockey has five rides and the team with the highest total after the sixth race lifts the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup.
All six races are handicaps and all will be run with identical prize money - £30,000 per race. Owners have a fantastic opportunity on Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Day - there are no entry fees for the races, there is prize money down to last place (with reserves that miss out on a run paid £500 travel money) and there is complimentary hospitality throughout the day.
Dubai Duty Free has been associated with the Shergar Cup since its inception, initially as team sponsor of the Rest of the World team and as a race sponsor. In 2006, the company became title sponsor of the whole event for the first time.
Captain for the GBR Team is Hayley Turner, riding in her fourth Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup and the most successful female rider Britain has ever produced. She will be joined by Ascot-born Jim Crowley, who is enjoying a fantastic season as stable jockey to Ralph Beckett and Alan Munro, who will forever be associated with the great Generous, winner of the Derby and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 1991.
Captain for the IRE Team is Richard Hughes, fresh from a record-breaking nine winners at Glorious Goodwood last week and twice winner of the Silver Saddle at the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup. Hughes will ride alongside Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup debutants Pat Smullen, Ireland’s five-time champion jockey and successful in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot this season aboard Rite Of Passage, and Fran Berry, who was elevated to number one jockey to John Oxx and the Aga Khan in Ireland following the retirement of Mick Kinane. Smullen and Berry are currently the top two riders in this season’s Irish jockeys’ championship.
Captain for the EUR Team is Olivier Peslier, who will be making a speedy return to Ascot following his imperious victory aboard Harbinger in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes on July 24. He will be joined by Italian Umberto Rispoli, the 2009 champion jockey who smashed Frankie Dettori’s father’s long-standing record for most in winners in an Italian season, and French-based Belgian-born superstar Christophe Soumillon.
Captain for the ROW Team is Anton Marcus. The South African champion captured the US$5 million Dubai Duty Free aboard Jay Peg in 2008. His teammates are Luke Nolen from Australia, recently crowned champion in Victoria, and Yasunari Iwata from Japan who is the only Japanese jockey to have won the Emirates Melbourne Cup.
The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is being run for the 10th time at Ascot. The first running took place in 2000 when it was staged as an owners’ competition. It became a jockeys’ competition in 2001 and has gone from strength to strength ever since, attracting bumper crowds in each of the last six years it has been run (2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 - it was not staged in 2005 when the racecourse was being redeveloped).
The jockeys competing in the four-team Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup will wear full team colours for the first time at this year’s renewal on Saturday, August 7. This is a one-year trial agreed with the Racehorse Owners Association. Please see page 4 for further information.
The three jockeys riding for the Great Britain team will wear red and white colours, the jockeys representing Ireland will wear green and white, the jockeys riding for Europe will wear blue and white and the Rest of the World team will wear black and white. Distinguishing caps and sleeves (checks, hoops and stars) will allow commentators, racegoers and TV viewers to differentiate between the jockeys riding within each team. Please see page 4 for further information.
Back by popular demand, a two-hour live 1980s concert will take place in the old paddock after racing. The line-up consists of Boy George, Johnny Hates Jazz, Cutting Crew, The Christians, Captain Sensible, Belinda Carlisle and Midge Ure.
Tickets start from £25 (10% discount if you book in advance) and are available from Premier Admission SOLD OUT. Grandstand Admission tickets still available.

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