The Rest of the World team secured the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot this afternoon after a thrilling finish to the competition which went right down to the wire.
Heading into the final race of the day, the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Sprint, the Rest of the World team were leading on 63 points, 13 ahead of their nearest rivals Great Britain and Ireland. Europe were languishing on 40 points at the foot of the table but a one-two in the last, courtesy of the Thierry Jarnet-ridden Kadrizzi and Flying Pursuit, the mount of Pierre-Charles Boudot, saw them end the day on 65 points.
However, a fourth placed finish by Kenichi Ikezoe on Suqoor earned the Rest of the World team a valuable five points, which was enough to secure victory. Captain Silvestre de Sousa was delighted with the performance of his team, which won with 68 points, and had particular praise for South African-rider Gavin Lerena, who rode a 285/1 double on the card.
“It was good,” said de Sousa.
“I’ve really enjoyed the day. It’s something a bit different and was a big team effort. We had some great riders on our team and it’s great to win. I’d met Gavin before today but I hadn’t met Kenichi before. Gavin is a brilliant rider and he has showed that this afternoon with two good winners. I’d definitely like to ride in the Shergar Cup again – it’s good fun.”
Jarnet’s victory in the final race means he also rode two winners and Kadrizzi’s victory gave the Frenchman a 37.5/1 on the card. It also meant that he finished the day at the top of the Alistair Haggis Silver Saddle standings on 38 points, eight ahead of Lerena.
“I am very happy with today,” said Jarnet.
“I am delighted to finally ride a winner at Ascot – it’s a beautiful racecourse. The ground was perfect and it’s fantastic to win the Silver Saddle. It’s very nice to come to England and ride at these meetings. The competition is fantastic here and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m delighted to have been the top jockey and it’s always nice to win any award.”
Ikezoe was delighted that his ride gained the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup for the Rest of the World team. He said: “It is great that my ride in the last has clinched the Shergar Cup.”
Gavin Lerena, the most successful member of the Rest of the World team with two winners, declared: “My saddle slipped on my mount in the last but luckily it has not made any difference to the end result.
“I am very, very pleased with the day – we won and I had two winners. Thanks go to Dubai Duty Free for sponsoring the event and to the two others on my team.”