On Saturday 11th August four teams battle it out to win the coveted Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Trophy. Today we focus on the European Team:
The Team Anthem - Status Quo's Rockin’ All Over The World
Yutaka Take (Captain, Japan) - Plain Silks
The subject of national adulation in Japan, where he is the country's top sporting figure, Yutaka Take was born in Kyoto on March 15, 1969, the son of legendary jockey turned trainer Kunihiko Take, who was known as the 'Magician of the Turf'.
He rode his first winner on Dyna Bishop at Hanshin on March 7, 1987, and won 69 races when champion apprentice that year, a record for a first season rider.
Take is an internationally renowned jockey who has travelled extensively and was based in California in 2000 and rode in France during the 2001 and 2002 seasons, before returning to his domestic base. He partnered the great Deep Impact in all of his races, including the 2005 Japanese Triple Crown. Take participated at the 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2011 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cups.
He won his first race at Ascot in the 2007 competition, steering the Tony Martin-trained Leg Spinner to success in the Shergar Cup Stayers Handicap.
Take reached another milestone in his career when becoming the first JRA rider to record 3,000 victories. That win, on two-year-old Sky Beauty at Kyoto racecourse, was his 14,288th JRA ride and came 20 years and eight months after the jockey made his career debut. The 5f 7in jockey's numerous notable victories include three in the Japan Cup thanks to Special Week (1999), Deep Impact (2006) and Rose Kingdom (2010).
Previous Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup wins (4): 2007 Leg Spinner; 2008 Strike Up The Band; 2008 Nan's Joy; 2011 Ile De Re
Aaron Gryder (USA) - Hoops Silks
Born on June 5, 1970, Aaron Gryder grew up in West Covina, California, near Santa Anita Racecourse and although he had little contact with horses when he was younger, he was influenced by his father and uncle, who were racing fans, and wanted to be a jockey. He left home aged 13 to learn to ride at the invitation of former jockey Rudy Campas and returned to Santa Anita to ride professionally at the age of 16. The racecourse stewards suggested he got experience at a smaller racecourse, so Gryder chose to improve his riding at Agua Caliente Racetrack in Tijuana, Mexico. He partnered his first winner on January 19, 1987, on Ragin Henry and quickly established himself as a leading jockey at Agua Caliente.
Gryder has made frequent appearances on television, starring on Animal Planet's series "Jockeys" whilst he also offers analysis on TVG. He also had television roles in "Dellaventura" and "The Sopranos". Gryder, also involved with children's charities, is one of the founders and directors of The Giving Circle, originally created to help Hurricane Katrina victims and now helps communities all over the world. Gryder's hobbies include cycling, water sports, running and working out.
The 5ft 6in jockey has partnered 3,556 North American winners (up to July 2), with earnings of over US$111 million and has ridden in Britain once before when American-trained Diamonds Galore finished third in the 1992 Nunthorpe Stakes at York.
Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup debut
Matthew Chadwick (Hong Kong) - Stars Silks
Matthew Chadwick, born on July 12, 1990, is the rising star in Hong Kong racing after a sensational start to his riding career. Chadwick, of Chinese decent, was adopted as a child by Hong Kong-based British couple Jennifer and Chris Chadwick who are both teachers. Matthew's passion for horses and riding was ignited on a holiday to Britain where he rode ponies and, although achieving good grades at school, he signed up for the Hong Kong Jockey Club's training scheme aged 14.
As with many young jockeys, the HKJC sent Chadwick to Australia to gain some experience. He impressed many racing professionals and punters in Australia, riding a further 21 winners before being granted a licence in Hong Kong in December, 2008. He was based with leading trainer Tony Cruz and despite starting late, he ended the 2008/09 season as champion apprentice with 43 winners. The 2009/10 season yielded more success for Chadwick, including his first Group victory on Egyptian Ra in the National Day Cup. In January, 2010, he set a new benchmark when riding out his claim (70 winners) in a one year and three weeks, the fastest in Hong Kong history, while also partnering Egyptian Ra to a second Group Three success in the Chinese Club Challenge Cup. Chadwick ended the season in fourth place in the jockeys' championship.
In February, 2011, he gained his first HK Group One victory on California Memory in the Hong Kong Gold Cup before partnering the grey gelding to an even bigger success in the Group One Hong Kong Cup in December, 2011, becoming the first homegrown jockey to win a Hong Kong International Race. Chadwick has 43 victories on the board this season (up to July 2) and lies fifth in the jockeys' championship. As of July 2, 2012, he has enjoyed a total of 173 winners in Hong Kong.
Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup debut
To find out whether the Rest of the World Team win the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, purchase a ticket today. Tickets from £26 per person. Generous group discounts available. To book, call 0844 346 3000 or visit ascot.co.uk