South African Doug Whyte, the record-breaking 10-times Champion Jockey in Hong Kong, will return to the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup for the first time in five years on Saturday 6th August as Captain of the Rest of the World Team.
Whyte, 39, is nailed on for an 11th consecutive championship title when the season ends next month and remains the only jockey to ride 1,000 winners in Hong Kong. He will be joined in the world’s premier international jockeys’ competition by Japanese superstar, Yutaka Take.
Take, 42, has been crowned Champion Jockey in Japan on an unprecedented 18 occasions and has ridden an all-time record of well over 3,000 winners in his country, where he is revered as a sporting icon.
The third member of the team is Hugh Bowman, one of the top five jockeys in Australia who was crowned champion in Sydney in 2008-09. The 30-year-old is back in the UK for a short period riding for Mick Channon, with whom he spent a successful stint in 2007.
All three jockeys have excelled in past Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cups, making them a formidable combination for the Rest of the World Team this year.
Since it became an international jockeys’ competition in 2001, Whyte has ridden in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup three times (2002, 2003 and 2006), finishing second in the Silver Saddle table for the top jockey in 2003 when he rode two winners.
Take has taken part four times (2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008), finishing second in the Silver Saddle table in 2008 when he notched up two winners to add to the one he rode in 2007.
Bowman has ridden in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup once before, in 2007, when he made a huge impact, winning the Silver Saddle as the day’s top jockey (he rode a winner, a second, a third and fourth) and captaining the Rest of the World Team to victory with Take alongside him. That is the last time that the Rest of the World Team was victorious.
Colm McLoughlin, Managing Director of title sponsor Dubai Duty Free, said: “We are delighted to see such a strong contingent representing the Rest of the World.
“The competition for places in all the teams further endorses the growing profile of the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup and we look forward to seeing some of the world’s leading riders competing on one of the world’s greatest stages.”
Ascot’s Head of International Racing, Nick Smith, said: “This has to be the strongest and most experienced Rest of the World Team that we have ever assembled for the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup.
“Doug Whyte and Yutaka Take are nothing short of legends in the Far East where they have broken every riding record, while Hugh Bowman is one of Australia’s very best jockeys and rode our tracks so well when he was here in 2007, taking that year’s Shergar Cup by storm.
“Ireland has won the Team competition for the last two years, but I’m sure the Rest of the World will make a bold bid for victory this year. We will be announcing the teams to represent Great Britain, Ireland and Europe in a few weeks’ time. ”
The six races will be followed by a two-hour 80s concert with a line-up including Jason Donovan, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, Jimmy Somerville, Paul Young, Toyah, China Crisis and Altered Images.
It is Ascot’s best attended raceday outside the Royal Meeting with a crowd of around 30,000 expected. Tickets (Premier £40; Grandstand £26) can be booked in advance with a minimum 10% discount (higher discounts available for group bookings) at ascot.co.uk or by calling 0870 727 1234.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:Nick Smith, Head of Public Relations and International Racing, Ascot, 07771 791449