2014 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup set to be the biggest one yet
August sees the return of one of the most anticipated race-days in the British racing calendar, the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, the world’s premier international jockeys’ competition.
Dubai Duty Free has been involved with the Shergar Cup since its inception at Goodwood in 1999, before it switched to Ascot a year later. Dubai Duty Free’s involvement started first as Rest of the World team sponsors and, from 2006, as event sponsors.
This year’s Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is set to be the biggest ever and sees Dubai Duty Free’s involvement grow, having being announced as title sponsor with exclusive naming rights for all six races.
The event that brings the best jockeys from around the world together for this unique race-day and only team event in the racing world, has also received a prize-money boost, with the value of this year’s competition rising 33%, with all six races now £40,000 handicaps rather than £30,000 that they were last year. The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup continues to be one of Ascot’s most popular race-days after the Royal meeting. With competitive racing, plenty of attractions throughout the day and an after-racing concert, it is a race-day unrivalled in terms of its originality.
Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice-Chairman Colm McLoughlin said, “The 2014 renewal looks like being a fascinating contest bringing together some of the world’s most accomplished riders. We’re delighted that the competition will provide some of them, like Yuichi Fukunaga the winner of our race on Dubai World Cup night, with their first experience of riding at this internationally renowned venue, and I am sure they will be eager to impress alongside the more experienced Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup contenders.”
Top jockeys from around the globe have been confirmed for this year’s event, with them all having achieved a great deal of success in their own countries. After bursting on to the scene a few years ago, S’managa Khumalo, known at home as ‘Bling’ on account of his peroxide blonde hair, has won a plethora of Group 1 races in South Africa, notably last year’s Durban July on Heavy Metal. In doing so, he made history by becoming the first black South African to ride the winner of the continent of Africa’s premier race.
Khumalo will ride in the UK for the first time in next month’s Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, alongside Japanese Australian Craig Williams and Yuichi Fukunaga, on the Rest of the World team. On the Girls’ team, Hayley Turner will make her eighth appearance in the competition having missed last year due to injury and will be looking to increase her tally of four Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup winners to date. She is joined by Canadian star, Emma-Jayne Wilson, who participated in the competition in 2006 and 2012, and Steffi Hofer from Germany, daughter of trainer Mario Hofer, making her British debut.
For Europe, Frankie Dettori has successfully deferred a suspension to enable him to take part. He is joined by Olivier Paslier and Adrie de Vries. For Great Britain & Ireland, Tom Queally will captain the team and it is hoped he will be joined by Jimmy Fortune and Richard Hughes. Each jockey will get five rides as they bid to win the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup for their team and there is £3,000 for the Silver Saddle-winning jockey (the top jockey overall). Points are awarded 15, 10, 7, 5, 3 for the first five horses home with 4 points for a non-runner.
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