The Shergar Cup really divides opinion within racing circles and the one-off event takes centre-stage this Saturday at Ascot where some of the World’s best riders do battle in a bid to lift the Shergar Cup. This unique team competition first took place in 1999 with just two teams but has evolved in recent times. It’s now a four-team competition which is broken down into Great Britain & Ireland, Europe, Rest of World and the “Girls” team.
Each race will have a maximum of ten runners and two reserves and the first of six races kicks off at 1.05 pm. There are three jockeys in each team and each jockey rides in five of the six races on the day. The scoring system starts with fifteen points for a winner down to three points for the fifth-place runner.
Rest Of The World
- Yuga Kawada
- Vincent Chak-Yiu Ho
- Mark Zahra
Great Britan & Ireland
- Tadhg O’Shea
- Danny Tudhope
- Jamie Spencer
- Filip Minarik
- Gerald Mosse
- Adrie de Vires
- Hayley Turner
- Jamie Kah
- Nanako Fujita
The 2018 contest was won by the Girls with Hayley Turner captaining the team to victory. She will be hoping for a repeat victory this year.
The schedule for the Shergar Cup is as follows:
1:05 Shergar Cup Dash (Handicap) 5f
Selection: Final Venture
1:40 Shergar Cup Stayers (Handicap) 2m
Selection: Billy Ray
2:15 Shergar Cup Challenge (Handicap) 1m4f
Selection: Melting Dew
2:50 Shergar Cup Mile (Handicap) 1m
Selection: Power Of Darkness
3:25 Shergar Cup Classic (Handicap 1m4f
Selection: Sapa Inca
4:00 Shergar Cup Sprint (Handicap) 6f
Selection: Pass The Vino
Winning Team Prediction: Girls
Silver Saddle Prediction: Hayley Turner
This unique event is quite a difficult betting proposition as some jockeys are having their first rides in the UK and most will be riding their respective mounts for the first time. I’d advise to pick your team, sit back and enjoy the day!
Vulcan Village Handicap
The jockey booking of Colm O’Donoghueby by Tim Easterby for Al Erayg is quite ey-catching. The ex french import hasn’t won in twelve starts since joining the yard but showed encouraging signs at Ayr when last seen and off a 19 pounds lower mark than her Brittish debut he must be considered.
Scofflaw was a good course and distance winner two starts back and followed up at Chester on Sunday. He now bids for a quick-fire four-timer and is a horse in a rich vein of form that could be tough to beat.
David O’Meara does particularly well with his Fench recruits with Lord Glitters being a high profile example. Young Fire is his representative here having his first start in Brittan. He was a decent sort in France and could give title-chasing Oisin Murphy a “sweet” winner.
Another horse in fine form is Mayfair Spirit who has won four of his last five starts and Stevie Donohoe has built up a great relationship with the horse. I think the four-pound rise may just be enough to halt his progress.
Selection: Al Erayg – E/W
Dick Hern Stakes
This nine-strong field is packed with mares on an upward curve with all holding some sort of chance. The twice raced and unbeaten pair Miss O Connor and Feliciana De Vega justifiably head the market. William Haggas’ charge won well on her first start for new connections at Nottingham and if this race doesn’t come too soon she will take beating under Oisin.
Ralph Beckett’s Feliciana De Vega has the other problem of lacking a recent run having last run back in December when she took a listed contest at Deauville.
Considering the question marks of the principals it may be worth chancing the top-rated Muchly. She wasn’t beaten far in a Sandown listed race most recently and may get her head in front here.
Others of interest include Red Starlight and Ardiente.
Rose of Lancaster Stakes
This race can be boiled down to four possible winners with Addeybb looking likely to jump off a strong favourite on the back of his fine runner-up finish in the Group 2 York Stakes. That run alone gives him leading claims and he’s the one to beat.
Wissahickon was an impressive winner of the Winter Derby earlier in the year and was a red-hot favourite to win on all-weather finals day only to disappoint behind the progressive Matterhorn. Last season’s Cambridgeshire winner is all class and should make the fav work.
Pondus and Raise You represent the classic generation with both bringing strong pattern form into the race. That being said I think they’ll struggle against their more seasoned rivals now.
Sweet Solera Stakes
Richard Hannon and Mark Johnston have won four of the last five renewals between them so should prove a good starting point when looking at this Group 3 contest. Dark Lady represents Richard Hannon and ran a cracker in the Keenland Stakes at Ascot last month. She seems to be progressing nicely and has to be respected with Pat Dobbs in the plate.
There has been sustained support for West End Girl since Mark Johnston has enlisted the services of Frankie Dettori for his daughter of Golden Horn. She was unlucky on just her second start at Sandown where she met lots of trouble and if getting a clear run she could be tough to beat.
The well-bred Light Blush came up just short in the Star Stakes on her second start and if learning from that experience she may feature. Ultra Violet was a runaway winner on debut at HQ and could just be anything for the Ed Vaughan and Kieran Shoemark team.
Selection: West End Girl