A race meeting that firmly divides opinion of the racing public, the meeting is a six race event that takes place at Ascot where four teams compete for the ‘Shergar Cup’. It is seen by many as a way to attract an audience beyond the normal racegoers, with a concert after the racing and lots of activities during the day for families. With so many jockeys coming over that those who solely focus on British & Irish racing will not know, we’ve got profiles below so you know who you’re backing come Saturday.
Great Britain & Ireland
Jamie Spencer (Captain) – A marmite jockey for many, you cannot argue that Spencer is one of the best riders in the country at present. He has won 28 Group 1s in his career and continues to ride at his best this season. His biggest success in recent years came with a win in the Belmont Derby, which he added to when winning the Goodwood Cup on Big Orange in 2016.
Fran Berry – Freelance jockey who was retained by Ralph Beckett last season, enjoying good success with Group 3 wins courtesy of Air Pilot and Pleaseletmewin. He’s a very reliable and talented jockey who continues to have great success despite the split with Beckett.
Neil Callan – Experienced Irish jockey who has won some big races in England including the Fillies Mile, Nunthorpe and Racing Post Trophy. He has found great success over in Hong Kong in recent years where he has won the Hong Kong Champions & Chater Cup, Queen Elizabeth II Cup, Hong Kong Classic Mile and most recently the Centenary Sprint Cup.
Number of victories – 2 (2002, 2006)
Number of races wins last year – 1 (Martin Harley – Mistiroc)
Rules and General Info
Points are awarded to the first five horses home in each of the six races, with the points system as follows: 1st – 15 Points, 2nd – 10 Points, 3rd – 7 Points, 4th – 5 Points, 5th – 3 Points. If a dead-heat occurs, the points for first and second are added up and then split between both teams. There is a total of £270,000 prize money on offer and with there being no entry fee and £500 in number cloth sponsorship in each ITV race, all owners are guaranteed to at least have their costs covered.
Obviously without knowing the jockey bookings for certain horses, it’s very hard to call which team will win at this stage. That said, it’s hard not to have your eyes drawn to the Rest Of The World team, who are led by the brilliant Kerrin McEvoy. He is flanked by both Anthony Delpech and Keita Tosaki, who both have proven themselves to be hugely talented and even without seeing the bookings, they look the team to beat.
Emma-Jayne Wilson (Captain) – Led the ‘Girls’ team to victory in 2015 and this North American rider can boast being the first female jockey to win the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine. She won a Grade 1 contest back in 2015 and she has the experience on her side, placing on three occasions in the 2016 Shegar Cup which helped her team massively.
Hayley Turner – With Josie Gordon needed by Hugo Palmer, Turner stepped in last minute and she’s another who needs very little introduction. Although a joke has been made of her multiple comebacks, she is a two time Group 1 winning jockey, winning the July Cup and Nunthorpe in the same season. She commands respect as the most successful women’s flat jockey this country has seen so far.
Hollie Doyle – Michelle Payne was meant to be riding at the Shergar Cup, but due to illness Hollie Doyle has stepped in as the third team member. Apprentice jockey to Richard Hannon, her win on Scarlet Dragon in the 2016 Old Rowley Cup is the biggest prize she has taken home to date. While she lacks the experience of some of the other jockeys riding here, she is clearly talented and will be hoping to make her mark.
Number of victories – 1 (2015)
Number of race wins last year – 1 (Hayley Turner – Early Morning)
Adrie De Vries (Captain) – Predominantly rides in Germany and nicknamed ‘The Flying Dutchman’. He has won six Group 1 races over his career and at the age of 48, he has the experience edge which he can put to good use.
Alexander Pietsch – Another German rider for Team Europe who was Champion Jockey in 2015, owing to his consistent and reliable riding. He is yet to win a Group 1 but has won multiple Group 2s and looks set to be a key asset for the team.
Umberto Rispoli – Extremely talented Italian who has been globetrotting for a number of years, riding in multiple countries including Hong Kong, France and his native Italy. He has won seven Group 1s in his career across those three countries and has become an extremely popular jockey, so it is very exciting to see him riding here.
Number of victories – 4 (2000, 2008, 2013, 2014)
Number of race wins last year – 2 (Thierry Jarnet – In Salutem, Kadrizzi)
Rest Of The World
Kerrin McEvoy (Captain) – Australian jockey who is a two time winner of the Melbourne Cup and tasted huge success as a stable jockey for Godolphin, a position he retained for eleven years. He has won 29 Group 1 races all over the globe and remains one of the best Australian jockeys.
Anthony Delpech – Predominantly rides in South Africa where he is a hugely talented jockey, still holding the record for the most wins by a jockey in one season (334), which he set in 1998/99. He has won the Durban July on four occasions and also tasted success in the Hong Kong Cup and the Sheema Classic.
Keita Tosaki – Japanese jockey who has notched up seven Grade 1 successes, winning six Group races so far in 2017 alone. Highly consistent and reliable, it will be intriguing to see how he gets on, as he is clearly very talented.
Number of victories – 6 (2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2012, 2016)
Number of races wins last year – 2 (Gavin Lerena – Arch Villian, Danehill Kodiac)