Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The Girls Team: Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup

On Saturday 11th August four teams battle it out to win the coveted Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Trophy. Today we focus on The Girls Team, new for 2012:

The Team Anthem - Eurhythmics's Sisters are Doin' It For Themselves

Hayley Turner (Captain, Great Britain) - Plain Silks

Hayley Turner, the joint champion UK apprentice jockey in 2005, is the most successful female rider to emerge in the 400-year history of the Sport of Kings in Britain. Born on January 3, 1983, in Nottingham, Turner was taught to ride by her mother, a riding instructor.

She started riding out for trainer Mark Polglase, who supplied her first winner, Generate, at Pontefract on June 4, 2000. She also attended the Northern Racing College, and then was apprenticed to Michael Bell in Newmarket. Turner became the first woman to be crowned champion apprentice when partnering 44 winners during the 2005 Flat (turf) season, sharing the title with Saleem Golam.

Turner was forced to miss four months of the 2009 Flat season after an incident on the Newmarket gallops that March, when catapulted from the horse she was riding and knocked unconscious. Turner's injuries - bruising to the brain - were originally considered serious enough that her licence was suspended for a year. However, following an appeal hearing at the British Horseracing Authority in July, she was declared fit to resume race riding and came back at Ascot the following day.

This season she became only the second woman to ride in the Investec Derby at Epsom Downs, although her mount Cavaleiro finished last.

Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Wins: 2007 Relative Order; 2008 Gee Dee Nen; 2009 Noverre To Go; 2010 Yorgunnabelucky

Chantal Sutherland (Canada/USA) - Stars Silks

Born on February 23, 1976, at Winnipeg in Canada, Chantal Sutherland is a leading jockey in both her homeland and the USA. She grew up in Ontario, where her father Hugh owns a horse farm. Although she competed in show jumping and dressage during her youth and was also an accomplished field hockey player (competing for Canada's national Junior World Cup team), she did not decide to embark on a career as a jockey until her graduation from York University in Toronto, where she gained a degree in Communications and Psychology.

After her initial success on Silver Bounty at Woodbine on October 9, 2000, Sutherland quickly established herself as one of the brightest talents in North American racing and gained the Sovereign Award for Canada's top apprentice jockey in 2001 and 2002. The 2002 campaign ended with Sutherland finishing third in the standings at Woodbine with 124 wins.

Last year Game On Dude also finished runner-up under Sutherland in the Grade One Hollywood Gold Cup and the Breeders' Cup Classic. The winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic, Drosselmeyer, ironically was ridden by her ex-boyfriend Mike Smith. Game On Dude also enabled Sutherland to become the first woman to ride in the world's richest race, the Dubai World Cup, at Meydan in March, 2012. The pair finished 12th.

 Sutherland is also a well-known celebrity off the track. She starred in the reality series "Jockeys" on Animal Planet, had a recurring role in the HBO TV series "Luck" and remains an aspiring actress. She has also modelled and was the face of Canada-based cosmetics line Mistura Beauty. As of July 2, 2012, Sutherland, who is 5f 2in, has ridden 922 career winners with earnings of $46,187,950. She currently lives in Huntington Beach, California, with her husband Dan and is the new face of Del Mar Racecourse, whose season opens on July 18.

Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup debut.

Emma-Jayne Wilson (Canada) - Hoops Silks

Born on September 1, 1981, at Brampton in Ontario, Emma-Jayne Wilson is a riding phenomenon from Canada, with nearly 1,000 wins to her name. She burst onto the North American racing scene in 2005 when landing the riding title at Woodbine. At its 167-day meet, Wilson rode 175 winners from 1,096 mounts, becoming the first female to take the title in its 50-year history, and only the third ever apprentice to do so, following Sandy Hawley in 1969 and Mickey Walls in 1991.

Wilson started riding at the age of nine and soon had her heart set on becoming a jockey. She studied equine management at the University of Guelph and spent two years riding out at Woodbine racecourse, where she caught the eye of leading agent Mike Luider.

She became the first female rider to win the Grade One Queen's Plate, part of Canada's Triple Crown, when scoring on board Mike Fox in June, 2007. Wilson competed in the Hong Kong International Jockey Challenge in December, 2007, and was granted a licence to ride in the former colony the following winter. She was out of action for nearly three months following a fall at Woodbine in August 21, 2010, when she suffered a lacerated liver. Wilson made an impressive debut at the Breeders' Cup in November, 2011, partnering Excaper to finish second behind Wrote in the Grade One Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. She ended 2011 with 135 winners at Woodbine and 143 in all.

As of July 2, 2012, she has recorded 974 wins in her career with prize money of more than US$46 million. Wilson, who won the inaugural Pimlico Female Jockey Challenge in June, 2011, is making her second appearance at the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, having participated in the competition in 2006.

No previous Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup wins.

To find out whether the Girls 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

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