The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup provides an afternoon of exciting, unique racing action with the chance to see some of the most talented jockeys in the world.
The four teams; Great Britain & Ireland, Europe, Rest of the World and the Girls, each contain three jockeys who will all have five rides throughout the afternoon, amassing points for their team depending on where they finish. The team with the most points after all six races will lift the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup.
The Girls, led once again by Hayley Turner, are looking to defend the title they won last year and Turner will be joined by Group One winning Australian jockey Jamie Kah as well as rising Japanese sensation Nanako Fujita. All three of them ride in the opening race – the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Dash - where Kah will be hoping Final Venture can find a change of luck and get his head in front having finished second on all three starts this year so far. He ran well in the King’s Stand here at Royal Ascot in 2017 and if at his best he could be well handicapped.
Danzeno looks the likely favourite though and he brings strong form to the race, running well in the Wokingham this year and winning his last start at Haydock. He represents the European team and will be ridden by Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup stalwart Gerald Mosse who is joined by Ardie de Vries from the Netherlands and Filip Minarik from Czech Republic.
Minarik, four time champion jockey in Germany, will be hoping that What A Welcome will enjoy the return to Ascot in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Stayers where he has two wins from three starts.
The Rest of the World has a strong hand in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Challenge with three rides for Yuga Kawada, Mark Zahra and Vincent Ho. Hong Kong based Ho rides Genetics for Andrew Balding who was a wide margin winner of this race last year and would have every chance if returning to that form. Zahra, one of the top riders in Australia, partners Indianapolis while Kawada is on Big Kitten for William Haggas, a still unexposed four-year-old.
Mark Johnston saddles three of the ten runners in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Classic and the Great Britain and Ireland captain Tadhg O’Shea looks to have landed the best of the rides on Vivid Diamond. Second at Ascot on King George Day, he is ultra-consistent having won or been second on five of his eight starts and won’t mind any cut in the ground.
O’Shea, who rides mostly in Dubai and has won seven jockeys’ championships in the UAE, will have Jamie Spencer on his side who is booked on another of the Mark Johnston trio in Asian Angel. The final member of the team, Danny Tudhope, is on Boerhan who drops in class having competed in a Group Three last time out.
Tudhope is challenging to be champion jockey this year and enjoyed a superb Royal Ascot with four winners. He has an excellent chance of closing the day out with a win on Hero Hero in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Sprint. Andrew Balding’s three-year-old ran well here at Royal Ascot having won at Chester’s May Meeting and the drop in trip shouldn’t be an issue to the son of No Nay Never.
Kinks was a useful two-year-old for Mick Channon and got back on the winning trail last time out at Newmarket so he could run well for Adrie de Vries and Europe. He got the better of Pass The Vino that day so Hayley Turner, bidding to win the Alistair Haggis Silver Saddle for the second year running, will hope he can turn the form around for the Girls.