The Girls Team with the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot Image Credit: DDF

A star-studded array of jockeys will once again line up for the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot this year with four new-look teams set to do battle in the 20th running of the event on Saturday.

Each team will comprise three riders representing the four teams from Great Britain, Ireland, Ladies’ and Rest of the World, contesting six handicaps each worth 42,000 pounds.

Great Britain will be captained by Adam Kirby, this year’s Epsom Derby winning jockey who makes his second appearance in the competition. He will be joined by James Doyle, one of the leading jockeys in the world who has recorded top-level success across the globe, and one of this year’s Royal Ascot-winning jockeys Cieren Fallon, best known for his association with high-class sprinter Oxted.

Doyle is making his third appearance in the competition having ridden a winner on both previous occasion in 2012 and 2013. Fallon is making his Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup debut but will be looking to maintain a strong family tradition on the day after his father, Kieren, won the Alistair Haggis Silver Saddle in 2003 and was on the winning team in 2001 and 2002.

This year’s Ascot Gold Cup-winning jockey Joe Fanning will captain the Ireland team and he will have the help of rising-star David Egan who has enjoyed big-race success in Saudi Arabia and Dubai this season. The Ireland team is completed by Tadhg O’Shea, the most successful jockey of all-time in the UAE having ridden more than 600 winners and won the UAE jockeys’ championship for the ninth time this season.

A formidable Ladies team will be captained by Hayley Turner, the most successful jockey in the history of the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup with eight winners and 297 points from 13 appearances. Turner’s team will also feature globe-trotting sensation Mickaelle Michel from France and Scotland’s Nicola Currie.

Sean Levey will lead the Rest of the World team and the Swaziland-born Classic-winning jockey will be joined by Danish-born Kevin Stott who became the first Dane to win a British Group 1 when victory in last year’s Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot initiated a memorable double on the day. Completing the line-up is Italian Andrea Atzeni who enjoyed Royal Ascot success earlier this summer.

Dubai Duty Free CEO and Executive Vice President Colm McLoughlin said, “The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is undoubtedly one of the highlights of our horse racing sponsorship portfolio and one of Ascot’s most popular events.

“Unfortunately the ongoing Covid-19 travel restrictions will prevent us from being there in person this year, but we will be following all the action closely from Dubai as the day unfolds and we wish all the jockeys and the horses’ connections a great day.”

Nick Smith, Director of Racing and Public Affairs at Ascot Racecourse, said: “We’re thrilled with the jockey line up for the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup this year. Obviously COVID-19 has made international travel very difficult so to pull together such a strong set of teams that still has a global feel is really pleasing.

“It should be a great days racing and another thrilling renewal of the competition which sadly didn’t take place last year, but we look forward to building the day back up in the years to come.”

Dubai Duty Free Ride of the Day

In previous years, the Dubai Duty Free Ride of the Day has been judged together by Joe Mercer and John Reid. This year’s award will be presented in Joe’s memory and the trophy will be inscribed accordingly.

Joe’s very good friend and former jockey, Trevor Rogers, will judge this year’s award and be on hand to present the trophy to rider judged to have produced the outstanding performance of the day.