Shergar Cup at Ascot

The annual Shergar Cup takes place at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday 7 August, 2010.

What is it?

The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is “the world’s premier” international jockeys’ team competition. With three world-class jockeys per team, the countries represented are Great Britain (GBR), Ireland (IRE), Europe (EUR) and the Rest of the World (ROW).


Who is riding? 


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.

What are the races?



  • 2.10pm • The Barclays Shergar Cup Dash (Class 2) • 3+ •  Five furlongs
  • 2.45pm • The Titanic Quarter Shergar Cup Classic (Class 2) • 3 • One mile & four furlongs
  • 3.20pm • The Les Ambassadeurs Club Shergar Cup Mile (Class 2) • 4+ •  One mile
  • 3.55pm • The St Hallett Shergar Cup Stayers (Class 2) • 4+ • Two miles
  • 4.30pm • The Michael Page International Shergar Cup Challenge (Class 2) • 4+ • One mile & four furlongs
  • 5.05pm • The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Sprint (Class 2) • 4+ • Six furlongs


How does the scoring work?

All horses entered are eligible to represent one of the four teams, regardless of ownership, and to be ridden by any of the jockeys participating in the competition. The horses are allocated to riders using a complex ranking and balloting process, to ensure equality for each team as far as possible.

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). 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.

Who wins what?

At stake for the winning team is the magnificent Shergar Cup, which depicts the mighty 1981 Derby and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner. It was graciously provided by His Highness The Aga Khan, who owned Shergar.

All six races are handicaps and all will be run with identical prize money – £30,000 per race.

The jockey amassing the most individual points will take home an additional £3,000 plus the “Silver Saddle” trophy. David Flores in 2001, Richard Hughes in 2002, Kieren Fallon in 2003, Weichong Marwing in 2004, Ryan Moore in 2006, Hugh Bowman in 2007, Gerald Mosse in 2008 and Richard Hughes for a second time in 2009 are the past winners of the Silver Saddle.

For the second year running, one jockey will receive the Dubai Duty Free Ride Of The Day Award, which will be judged by former top jockeys John Reid and Joe Mercer.

The stable staff will once again benefit from special prizes worth over £5,000. There is a £200 prize for the groom in charge of the best turned out horse in every race, while the winning lad or lass in each race will receive £200 plus a free entry (worth over £80) into the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Draw to win a luxury car. In addition, £100 will be given to the lad or lass leading up the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th horses (i.e. the other points scorers) in every race.

What’s new this year?

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, 7 August. This is a one-year trial agreed with the Racehorse Owners Association.

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.

Did someone mention cheerleaders?

For the second time at the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, each of the four teams will have a team anthem. If a Great Britain-ridden horse wins a race, Kasbian’s ‘Fire’ will be played; if there’s an Irish-ridden winner, U2’s ‘Elevation’ will be played; if a European-ridden horse wins, ‘Fascination’ by Alphabeat will be played; and a winner for the Rest of the World team will be greeted by ‘I Gotta Feeling’ by The Black Eyed Peas.

Eight cheerleaders on the grandstand lawn will dance to the wining team anthem just after the finish of each race, while the winning horse will be greeted by a short section of the anthem as they return to the winner’s enclosure. The cheerleaders will also dance to different anthems when the horses reach the post prior to each race.

Anything else we should know? 

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.

The Plaza Lawns will feature an exciting range of fairground rides and attractions including climbing walls for different age groups, inflatable slides and a soft play area for young children. There will also be football skills and cheerleading workshops and a Glee Club tribute band will play on the bandstand between races. All activities are free of charge.

Allison is the Publisher of Eclipse Magazine. She loves going to the Races and is learning to bet (despite being officially the worst bettor in the History of the Universe), there's a lot more to learn...

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