Dubai: Dubai Duty Free will return to the Ascot Racecourse in the United Kingdom this weekend (August 11) as title sponsor of the world’s premier international jockeys’ competition — the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup — for a record 13th year.
Following the outstanding success of this year’s Royal Meeting, followed by the prestigious King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes weekend, the iconic sporting venue is gearing up for one of the sport’s biggest success stories.
British racing’s only event of its kind, the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup attracts top riders from across the globe to compete in four teams representing Great Britain and Ireland, Europe, Rest of the World and the Girls, each vying for valuable points in six competitive handicaps and the chance to lift the coveted Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Trophy.
The Silver Saddle, an award for the rider amassing the most points on the day, adds to the competitive nature of the event pitting team members against each other for individual honours.
Dubai Duty Free’s Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO Colm McLoughlin, said: “We have enjoyed playing a part in the continued growth of the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, which is now recognised as one of most popular events in the British racing calendar.
“It’s a great format which never fails to produce exciting racing and outstanding performances from some of the world’s best-known jockeys and there’s a wonderful atmosphere around the whole day.”
Last year’s thrilling competition went to the wire with three of the four teams still able to clinch the champions title heading into the final race. Victory went to the Great Britain and Ireland team, led by Irishman Jamie Spencer, who also notched up a career milestone in the opening race, the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Dash — his 2,000th British Flat winner.
Rest of the World, captained by Australian Kerrin McEvoy, finished second ahead of Adrie De Vries and team Europe, with The Girls, led by Canadian star Emma-Jayne Wilson, back in fourth place.
Fran Berry riding for Great Britain & Ireland took the Silver Saddle for a second time having claimed the award back in 2010.
The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is Ascot’s best attended race day outside of the Royal Meeting in June and routinely attracts crowds in excess of 30,000 who are treated to a spectacular post-race concert.