Frankie Dettori, Jamie Spencer, Kerrin McEvoy and Emma-Jayne Wilson have been confirmed as team captains for the 2017 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, the world’s premier international jockeys’ competition at Ascot on Saturday, 12 August.
The tables below show where the four teams - the ‘Girls’, the Rest of the World, Europe and Britain and Ireland - stand in the latest TRC Global jockeys’ rankings.
All six races are handicaps worth £45,000, bringing the total prize money to £270,000. Each participant will get five rides as they bid to win the Shergar Cup for their team.
Last year saw the Rest of the World lift the trophy for the sixth time when they claimed two of the six races.
Emma-Jayne Wilson, who captained the Girls’ team to victory in 2015, is back and will be joined by Michelle Payne from Australia, and 2016 British champion apprentice Josephine Gordon.
Payne made history in 2015 when becoming the first female to win the Melbourne Cup - on the 100-1 shot Prince Of Penzance, while Gordon became the third female to be crowned British flat racing champion apprentice in 2016 after Hayley Turner and Amy Ryan.
Wilson is Canada’s most successful female jockey, having ridden over 1,000 winners. This will be her sixth Shergar Cup appearance.
Wilson said: “I am so proud to have been part of the first Girls’ team to win in 2015 and I am looking forward to being back at Ascot this year. The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup provides a great opportunity for us girls to prove we are as good as some of the world’s best male jockeys and I can’t wait to team up with Michelle and Josephine.”
Payne, added: “I am so excited about riding in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, especially after the disappointment of not being able to last year due to my injury. We have a great team and I’m really hopeful that we can do the fans proud and take back the cup!”
Frankie Dettori is a Shergar Cup veteran having taken part eight times. He said: “I always look forward to the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup as it is a great day with a fantastic atmosphere. We were so close last year, hopefully we can win this time.”
He will be partnered in the Europe team by Shergar Cup debutant Alexander Pietsch, from Germany, and Dutchman Adrie De Vries. Pietsch was champion jockey in 2015 and runner up in 2016. It will be his first Shergar Cup but second time riding at Ascot, having ridden in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2016. De Vries won the 2016 Qatar Derby on Noor al Hawa and earlier this year won the Dubai City of Gold on Prize Money.
2016 Melbourne Cup winner Kerrin McEvoy will captain the Rest Of The World.
McEvoy commented: “I am very honoured to captain the Rest Of The World team and am really looking forward to my second Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup. It’s a unique competition that brings something different to racing.”
Joining him will be two new recruits to the competition – the South African Anthony Delpech, who this year has already won the G1 Majorca Stakes and the G1 SA Fillies Classic, and top Japanese rider Keita Tosaki. Tosaki won the fourth leg of the Longines International Jockeys Championship at Happy Valley last year. This will be the first-time riding in the UK for both.
Tosaki said: “It has always been my dream to ride in England and to do it for the first time at the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is something I am really looking forward to. It is a great opportunity to ride against some of the most successful jockeys in the world.”
Jamie Spencer will captain the Great Britain and Ireland team where he will be joined by world number one Ryan Moore and Hong Kong-based Irishman Neil Callan.
“I really enjoy the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, it is fun to ride as part of a team and the atmosphere at Ascot on the day is great,” Spencer said. “The crowd really get behind their favourite team and I am excited to be captaining the Great Britain and Ireland team this year.”
Dubai Duty Free has been associated with the Shergar Cup since its inception, Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, said: “We are very much looking forward to this year’s Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, the 17th 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 and Communications at Ascot, added:
“The jockeys riding in this year’s Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup are among the best ambassadors the sport has to offer. Among them is the international phenomenon which is Canada’s Emma-Jane Wilson, the perennial champion at Woodbine, and Michelle Payne, who made history in 2015 when she won the Melbourne Cup. We all wait with excitement to see which team will come out on top and whether the Rest of the World can retain their crown.”
For further information,visit www.ascot.co.uk
THE RIDERS’ CURRENT WORLD RANKINGS
TRC Global Rankings are based solely on results in Group and Graded races over a rolling three-year period. Positions often reflect the level of opportunity afforded to riders in the biggest races.
Emma-Jayne Wilson (478)
Josephine Gordon (NA)
Michelle Payne (312)
Rest of the World
Kerrin McEvoy (11)
Anthony Delpech (66)
Keita Tosaki (12)
Frankie Dettori (4)
Alexander Pietsch (NA)
Adrie de Vries (97)
Britain and Ireland
Jamie Spencer (83)
Neil Callan (87)
Ryan Moore (1)