Former SA champion jockey Anthony Delpech has been invited to join Kerrin McEvoy and Keita Tosaki on the Rest Of The World team at the 2017 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday 12 August.
McEvoy, the 2016 Melbourne Cup winner (Almandin), said: “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.”
Delpech and Tosaki are newcomers to the world’s premier international jockeys’ competition.
Tosaki, who won the 2016 Victoria Mile on Straight Girl, 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.”
The Shergar Cup comprises six races, handicaps each worth £45,000 to bring the total prize money to £270,000. Each jockey gets five rides as they bid to win the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup for their team.
Last year saw the Rest Of The World team, which included Gavin Lerena, lift the trophy for the sixth time when they claimed two of the six races.
Frankie Dettori, Jamie Spencer and Emma-Jayne Wilson are the other team captains.
Wilson, who captained the Girls team to victory in 2015, is back and will be joined by Michelle Payne from Australia and Josephine Gordon, the third female to be crowned British flat-racing champion apprentice in 2016 after Hayley Turner and Amy Ryan.
Wilson, Canada’s most successful female jockey having won more than 1,000 races, will be making her sixth Shergar Cup appearance.
“I am so proud to have been part of the first Girls team to win in 2015 and 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 made history in 2015 when becoming the first female to win the Melbourne Cup on 100- 1 shot Prince Of Penzance. She said: “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 injury. We have a great team and I’m really hopeful that we can do the fans proud and take back the cup!”
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.”
His team also comprises Alexander Pietsch from Germany and 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 competed 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.
Spencer heads up the Great Britain and Ireland team and his teammates are four-time British champion Ryan Moore and Ireland’s 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 and Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman & 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 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 jockey who scores the most points. Points are awarded 15, 10, seven, five and three for the first five horses home with four points for a non-runner.
Nick Smith, Director of Racing & Communications at Ascot, said: “The jockeys riding in this year’s Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup are among the best ambassadors the sport has to offer. 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.” – www.ascot.co.uk.