Top International Riders Assemble For The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup
Twelve of the world’s top international jockeys are heading for Ascot Racecourse, UK for the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, the world’s premier international jockeys’ competition which takes place on Saturday, 10 August.
Four teams representing Great Britain & Ireland, Europe, Rest of the World and The Girls will go head-to-head in the points-based competition which is played out over six competitive ten-runner handicaps each worth GBP 60,000.
Irish-born Tadhg O’Shea who is based in Great Britain and in March this year became the UAE’s most successful rider of all-time will captain the Great Britain & Ireland team. He is joined by Danny Tudhope, currently in second place in the British jockeys’ Championship with more than 85 winners this season and making his Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup debut. Jamie Spencer, winner of two British and five Irish Classics and four winners in five previous appearances at the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup completes the line-up.
Hayley Turner, the most successful female jockey in British racing history will lead The Girls team bidding for back-to-back Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup victories. On her 12th appearance in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup last year Turner collected the Alistair Haggis Silver Saddle for the meeting’s most successful jockey.
Turner is joined by Japan’s only licenced female jockey, Nanako Fujita, who returns to Europe having won the Women Jockeys’ World Cup at Bro Park, Stockholm at the end of June, and Australia’s Jamie Kah who set the record for most wins by a female jockey in an Australian season in 2016/17, ending the campaign with 129 wins. Kah’s 500th career win followed at Morphettville in July, 2017.
Japan’s Yuga Kawada captains the Rest of the World team and makes his Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup debut. Kawada is one of only eight jockeys in JRA history to have won all five Classic races in Japan, the first of which came with Captain Thule in the 2008 Japanese 2,000 Guineas. He has ridden over 1,200 winners in Japan, including 12 at Group 1 level and is on course to enjoy his best season to date, currently topping the JRA standings with more than 95 winners this season.
Kawada is joined by Vincent Ho Chak-Yiu, better known in his native Hong Kong as C-Y Ho where he has ridden a total of 257 winners including 55 during the 2018/19 season which saw him finish fourth in the jockeys’ championship. No stranger to success in Britain having ridden the Mark Johnston-trained X Rated to victory at Haydock Park on August 9, 2018.
Australia’s Mark Zahra who registered first Group 1 victory on the Jim Conlan-trained Above The Deck in the Doomben Cup in May, 2006 and rode his first winner for Darley in May 2009, which led him to being retained as second jockey to Sheikh Mohammed’s operation in Melbourne behind Kerrin McEvoy.
Over the last 10 years Zahara he has established himself as one of Australia’s leading riders. In the 2015/16 season, he registered his first century, ending the campaign with 110 wins in total and this year makes his Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Debut.
The Europe team is captained by Czech-born Filip Minarik. Four-times champion jockey in Germany Minarik has also ridden regularly in Japan over the past two years. He has partnered over 1,500 winners in Germany, including 14 at Group 1 level with this year’s German Oaks winner among them but despite considerable international success is yet to ride in the UK.
Minarik is joined by French ace Gerald Mosse who has taken part in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup seven times, winning the Alistair Haggas Silver Saddle in 2008 and 2013 and Dutchman Adrie De Vries, 12 times champion jockey in Holland who has three Dubai Duty Free appearances to his credit which have yielded one winner so far.
The entertainment continues after the racing action has finished with a full live headline concert from Jessie J which will be followed by Tinie Tempah + Charlesy DJ Set set. Pop-duo Go West will open the after-racing concert.
Dubai Duty Free has been involved with the development of the world’s premier international jockeys’ challenge since its inception at Goodwood in 1999, becoming title sponsor in 2006 and adding sponsorship of all six races on the programme to its investment in 2014.