The Shergar Cup is held at Ascot in August and is a team competition featuring riders from all around the world.
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 four competing teams feature three riders each and the teams are as follows:
Great Britain & Ireland
Fran Berry (Capt)
The Rest Of The World
Yutaka Take (Capt)
Adrasch Starke (Capt)
Josephine Gordon (Capt)
Format & Scoring
Six races make up the meeting, all with ten runners in each. Every rider will compete in five of the six races on the afternoon.
Points are awarded for positions 1 to 5. i.e 1st (15) 2nd (10) 3rd (7) 4th (5) 5th (3).
After all six races the team that has amassed the most points overall wins the Shergar Cup and the “Silver Saddle” award is given to the jockey who scores the most points of all.
1.05 Ascot – Dash (5f)
The Clive Cox-trained Kick On Kick On won on his seasonal return at Windsor and looks a sprinter to follow. The three-year-old has only raced five times and has already registered three successes. He still looks to be improving and can get favourite backers off to a flying start in the opening race.
The former Ebor Festival winner El Astronaute is in a rich vein of form at the moment and ran another solid race at Goodwood last time out. He is sure to be in the points for one of the teams.
1.40 Ascot – Stayers (2m)
Seven-year-old Byron Flyer has run creditably in some competitive, long-distance handicaps since he finished a close second in this race last year.
He was narrowly beaten into second in the Mallard Handicap at Doncaster at the St Leger meeting and was agonisingly just picked off in the final strides at Haydock earlier in the season.
His stablemate Speedo Boy, who won over course and distance on his last start, is the favourite in the betting and looks sure to be involved in the finish.
2.15 Ascot – Challenge (1m 4f)
Course and distance winner Machine Learner is sure to attract plenty of support based on his victory here almost a month ago.
The Sir Percy gelding, trained by Joseph Tuite, has an excellent strike rate and has won or placed 17 times out of his 24 starts. There is every reason to believe that he will be a points scorer once again on Saturday.
2.50 Ascot- Mile (1m)
Having captured the Shergar Cup Mile on the round course last August, Raising Sand returns to the Ascot heath with another live chance.
The Jamie Osborne-trained six-year-old has been somewhat disappointing so far this season but you get the impression he is just bubbling under before exploding back to form on this stage.
Examiner won a big field handicap at Newmarket before being pulled up on his return visit to the course. Last year’s Cambridgeshire sixth looks a very dangerous horse to leave out of your calculations in this one mile contest.
3.25 Ascot – Classic (1m 4f)
John Gosden’s one time Derby hope, Corelli, will be the warm order of the day in the Shergar Classic if he is fit and raring to go after his three month absence.
The form of the three-year-old Gossip Column took a boost when Cross Counter won the Gordon Stakes at Ascot last Saturday and the day after the Ian Williams-trained gelding duly obliged by scoring at Chester.
Sergio Leone was a length and three-quarters second to Desert Path in the Maltsmiths Handicap at Goodwood last time out and he should come on for the run.
4.00 Ascot - Sprint (6f)
If the Shergar Cup all comes down to a nail biting finish on this final race then it will pay to have done your homework.
Nigel Tinkler's sprinter put up a career-best display when third of twenty to Foxtrot Lady in a valuable handicap at the Newmarket July meeting.
Tim Easterby’s stable has been firing home the winners for fun over the past fortnight and it would come as no surprise to see his Excellent Times put in another solid effort here.
Out of the frame just once this season, the three-year-old filly may well be the horse that carries the winning team over the line on Saturday afternoon.
Although it is not everyone’s cup of tea, the Shergar Cup does hold a plethora of betting opportunities if you delve deep enough.
Given that the whole competition is based on team tactics and team instructions, it may pay to stick with your fancied team all afternoon and include their mounts in a range of bets, including singles, placepots and forecasts.
For the record, the 888sport fancy for the cup this year is Great Britain & Ireland, by the narrowest of margins.
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*