Frankie Dettori, Kerrin McEvoy, Jamie Spencer and Emma-Jayne Wilson – a quartet of the world’s finest jockeys - have been confirmed as the four team captains for the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday 8th August.
Dettori, who will captain the reigning champion Europe team needs no introduction. The winner of over 200 Group 1 races during a career that stretches back almost 30 years, he has ridden in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup eight times and been on the winning side on four occasions.
“Last year’s nail-biting one point win over the Girls in front of a massive Ascot crowd with a great atmosphere was one of the highlights of my season,” Dettori said. “The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is always a magnificent occasion and I am delighted to be part of it again this year.”
Rest Of The World captain McEvoy, the ‘Kid From Streaky Bay’ in Australia, was an integral part of the European racing scene in the mid-noughties as a retained rider for the Godolphin operation but will be making his Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup debut. He rode over 300 winners in Britain during a five year period and enjoyed a particularly successful Royal Ascot in 2006 when Shamardal in the St James’s Palace Stakes was one of his three victories.
“I am delighted to be invited to ride in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup and go up against some of the best jockeys in the world,” McEvoy said. “Ascot is a beautiful course and has provided me with some memorable moments so I look forward to taking part in this great competition.”
Jamie Spencer stunned the racing world last autumn by announcing his retirement. Thankfully the 34-year-old, who has been a regular in big race Winners' Enclosures right around the globe since 1998, has reversed that decision as he is still riding as well as ever.
“I am really looking forward to taking part in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup for the first time in seven years,” Spencer said, “and it is an honour to be asked to captain the Great Britain and Ireland team, especially since my good friend, Kerrin McEvoy, will be among the opposition. It is a unique competition and competing as part of a team adds a different dynamic to the day.”
Canadian superstar Wilson wowed the bumper crowd with two victories and the broadest (and most determined) smile in Berkshire at last year’s meeting. She came within a hair’s breadth of lifting the Silver Saddle Trophy for the day’s most successful jockey and it will take a talented man - or woman - to stop her from getting her hands on the silverware this time around.
“I am thrilled to be coming back to Ascot for the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup and captaining the Girls team again,” Wilson said. “Hopefully we can show what girls can do and really prove ourselves.”
“Last year I was so hungry for the win and the fact that we were only one point off winning was huge. My plan is to come back this year and put things right!”
Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman, Colm McLoughlin, said: “The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup has become a fiercely contested event as last year's single point winning margin proves.
“The captains selected for 2015 are among the most competitive and accomplished riders in the world and we look forward to seeing them lead their respective teams into battle in August.
“They have taken part in more than a dozen Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup competitions between them and have a wealth of international experience, so it looks set once again to be a fascinating contest.”
Nick Smith, Head of Communications & International Racing at Ascot Racecourse, added: "The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is all about friendly rivalries and Kerrin and Jamie were particularly keen to go up against each other in this competition which we are pleased we are able to make happen.”
“Frankie and Emma-Jayne are very important to the event and add so much when they ride at Ascot. I think we'd all secretly like to see Emma-Jayne get her hands on the Silver Saddle this year after coming so close in 2014.
“This year, that award will be named the Alistair Haggis Silver Saddle to remember racing's great friend and one of the architects of what the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is today, who passed away late last year having bravely suffered with Motor Neurone Disease."
Racing will be followed by a free evening concert for racegoers, featuring Razorlight, Blue and Rick Astley. A fourth and final act will be confirmed in due course. Premier Admission ticket holders will have a short priority access period allowing them to get towards the front of the stage.
Tickets start from £25 for Grandstand Admission and £45 for Premier Admission. Group discounts are available. Fine Dining and Private Boxes start from £160 per person + VAT.
To book tickets, or for further information, please click hereor call 0844 346 3000.