Frankie Dettori, Jamie Spencer, Silvestre de Sousa and Emma-Jayne Wilson have been confirmed as team captains for the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup; the world’s premier international jockey’s competition at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday 6th August.
2016 will also see a further increase in prize money with all six races now worth £45,000 (£40,000 last year). Each participant will get five rides as they bid to win the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup for their team.
Last year saw the Girls team lift the trophy for the first time when they claimed three of the six races. Emma-Jayne Wilson, who captained them to victory, is back and will be joined by Michelle Payne from Australia, and Ireland’s Cathy Gannon.
Payne made history last November when becoming the first female to win the Melbourne Cup, on the 100-1 shot Prince of Penzance, while Gannon became the first female Irish Champion Apprentice in 2004 and has enjoyed considerable success since moving to the UK in 2006, notching over 300 winners here.
Wilson is Canada’s most successful female jockey having ridden over 1,000 winners. This will be her fifth Shergar Cup appearance.
Wilson said: “Last year was amazing and I am so proud to have been part of the first Girls team to win. I am looking forward to reminding everyone what a powerful force we are. The Shergar Cup provides a great opportunity for us girls to prove we are as good as some of the world’s best male jockeys. Bring it on.”
Frankie Dettori is a Shergar Cup veteran having taken part seven times. He missed out on riding in 2015 due to suspension and is keen to get back to his role of captaining the Europe team.
He said: “I always look forward to the Shergar Cup as it is a great day with a fantastic atmosphere. Hopefully we can win this year.”
He will be partnered by two Shergar Cup debutants from across The Channel - Thierry Jarnet and Pierre-Charles Boudot. Jarnet is a stalwart of the French Weighing Room and has enjoyed a resurgence in his career in recent years thanks to Treve’s two Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe’s triumphs. Boudot is Europe’s hottest jockey in recent few months, who shared the 2015 French Jockeys Championship with Christophe Soumillon and has enjoyed a brilliant start to 2016.
Britain’s Champion Jockey of 2015, Silvestre de Sousa, who was born in Brazil, will captain the Rest Of The World team.
“I am very honoured to captain the Rest Of The World team and am really looking forward to my first Shergar Cup,” he said. “It’s a unique competition that brings something different to racing. Hopefully I will get some very good horses to ride.”
Joining him will be two more new recruits to this competition – the South African Champion, Gavin Lerena, and the Japan Cup-winning jockey, Kenichi Ikezoe. Gavin is in particular looking forward to his first visit to the UK.
Lerena said: “It has always been my dream to ride in England and to do it for the first time at the Shergar Cup is something I am really looking forward to. It is such a magnificent opportunity to ride against some of the most successful jockeys in the world.”
Jamie Spencer will once again captain the Great Britain and Ireland team where he will be joined by the three-time British Champion, Ryan Moore, and the young starlet, Oisin Murphy.
“I really enjoy the Shergar Cup, it is fun to ride as part of a team and the atmosphere at Ascot on the day is great,” Spencer revealed. “The crowd really get behind their favourite team and I am delighted to be captaining the Great Britain and Ireland team again this year.”
Last year’s Silver Saddle winner, Sammy-Jo Bell, who was the star of the show when winning two races and helping the Girls team claim their first Shergar Cup victory, is hopeful the Girls can do it again.
“I felt really privileged to step into Cathy’s place in the team last year when she got injured and will be rooting for the Girls to follow up last year’s success,” Bell said. “Riding in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup was the most fantastic experience and I look forward to doing it again in the future.”
Sammy Jo Bell, who replaced the injured and returning Cathy Gannon last year, will be first reserve for the team.
Hayley Turner will be presenting Ascot TV on the day and said:
“The Shergar Cup has always been one of my absolute favourite racedays, to which Dubai Duty Free have been a fantastic support. I enjoyed great success there during my career in the saddle, the highlight being last year when the ladies took home the cup. I am really looking forward to presenting at the meeting this year and will be cheering on the girls for another victory!”
Dubai Duty Free has been associated with the Shergar Cup since its inception, Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman of Dubai Duty Free said:
“We are very much looking forward to this year’s Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, the 16th renewal that we have supported at Ascot.
“The line-up of jockeys for this year’s event demonstrates that the competition continues to command the attention of top riders from all over the world and places in any one of the four teams are highly sought after.”
There is a £3,000 prize as well as the Alistair Haggis Silver Saddle Trophy on offer to the highest points-scoring jockey of the day. Points are awarded 15, 10, 7, 5, 3 for the first five horses home with 4 points for a non-runner.
Nick Smith, Director of Racing & Communications at Ascot Racecourse, added:
“The jockeys riding in this year’s Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup are among the best ambassadors the sport has to offer. Amongst them is the international phenomenon which is Canada’s Emma-Jane Wilson, the perennial champion at Woodbine and Michelle Payne, who made history last year when she won the Melbourne Cup. We all wait with excitement to see which team will come out on top and whether the girls can retain their crown.”
Grandstand Admission from £30 in advance. Premier Admission from £55 in advance. Free entry for 18’s. Concert included within the raceday ticket.
Or treat yourself to a day in a restaurant or private box. Ascot has a wide range of restaurants, bars and concessions offering a variety of food and drink options at different price points. Plus private boxes for hire with a host of different packages available.
Accompanied children under 18 years of age gain free entry at all Ascot race meetings.
To book tickets and for further information, please call on 0844 346 3000 or visitwww.ascot.co.uk.