The battle for the 2017 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup went right down to the wire at Ascot on Saturday afternoon. Fran Berry’s winning ride on Golden Apollo in the closing Sprint was enough to hand Team Great Britain and Ireland their first title since 2006.
Berry also clinched the Alistair Haggis Silver Saddle as the leading rider at the meeting, a feat that he also achieved back in 2010.
Team GB&I’s captain, Jamie Spencer, got them off to a flying start with victory in the opening dash over five furlongs on Stake Acclaim, and although the lead at the top of the standings changed hands several times over the course of an exciting afternoon, the team in green ultimately proved victorious.
Team Europe struck in the second race of the day, the Stayers’, with Adrie De Vries guiding Jim Goldie’s Euchen Glen through the pack to score after a patient ride.
Berry then drove home the opening leg of his Shergar Cup double on Great Hall in the Challenge, providing footballer-turned-racehorse-trainer Mick Quinn with his first winner at Ascot, before Germany’s Alexander Pietsch struck back for Team Europe on Raising Sand in the Mile.
When Anthony Delpech got the best of a thrilling three-way finish to the penultimate race, giving Team Rest Of The World their first winner of the day through Glenys The Menace, it meant that both the team and jockey title would go down to the final Sprint, which didn’t disappoint – and it proved decisive for Berry and his jubilant Team GB&I teammates