The competition is an international jockeys’ tournament with 12 riders taking part, three jockeys riding for each of the four teams, Great Britain (GBR), Ireland (IRE), Europe (EUR) and Rest of the World (ROW).
Horses are entered by their owners to take part in particular races, but they do not select which jockey rides which horses. Instead, jockeys are allocated to ride the horses through a ballot system.
By allocating the horses randomly in this way, it will be up to the jockeys to make the most of the horses they ride, so placing more emphasis on the jockeys' skills than in a normal racing format.
Jockeys score points for their team in each race according to their place in the finish, and the team with the most points at the end of the day is declared the winner.
DUBAI DUTY FREE SHERGAR CUP 'DRAW' PROCEDURE
Jockeys from the four competing teams of Great Britain, Ireland, Europe and the Rest of the World were allocated to horses via a 'Draw' at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Thursday, 4 August.
1. Owners entered their horses for the meeting's races and of those entries, the horses with highest official BHA ratings were selected to run. There were 10 runners and 2 reserves selected for each race.
2. The 10 runners in each race were then ranked from 1 to 10 by form experts/odds compilers from Ladbrokes, the Official Bookmaker to the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup. A complex formula has been created to ensure that each of the four teams – Great Britain, Ireland, Europe and Rest of the World – receives a balanced spread of higher and lower ranked/priced horses and, further to that, that each of the three jockeys representing each team also gets a balanced spread of higher and lower ranked/priced horses for his/her five rides.
3. Once the ranking process was completed, the four team names went into a ballot. The order in which they were randomly drawn determined which set of horses is allocated to each team.
4. A second ballot then took place. The three jockeys representing each team were drawn at random to determine an order (e.g. Great Britain 1, Great Britain 2 and Great Britain 3) and were then allocated to their rides according to the set formula.
5. All owners of participating horses have agreed that jockeys will wear the colours of the team which they represent (rather than the usual owners' colours). Jockeys riding for Great Britain will wear red and white colours; Ireland green and white colours; Europe blue and white colours; and the Rest of the World black and white colours.