Shergar Cup 2019 Guide

By Samantha

The Shergar Cup is a team competition held annually at Ascot. There are six races on the card all sponsored by Dubai Duty Free. Named after 1981 Derby winner Shergar, it was originally sponsored by the Aga Khan, his owner. It has been held every year from 1996, apart from 2005 when Ascot was redeveloped. The unusual qualities of this meeting attract a different group of people than what you would stereotypically associate with horse racing. It’s a good family day out with Jessie J and Tinie Tempah playing after racing.

How It Works

There are four teams – Girls, Great Britain and Ireland, Europe and Rest Of The World. There are three jockeys per team and one of them is the captain. Each jockey rides in five of the six races and they gain points for their team depending where they finish –

1st 15 points
2nd 10 points
3rd 7 points
4th 5 points
5th 3 points

The points are all added together and the team with the most points wins. Also, the rider with the most points wins the ‘Silver Saddle’. It was won last year by the Girls team captain Hayley Turner and also Europe team member Gerald Mosse has won this award in 2013.

Previous Winners

Shergar Cup
2018 Girls
2017 Great Britain And Ireland
2016 Rest Of The World
2015 Girls
2014 Europe

Silver Saddle
2018 Hayley Turner
2017 Fran Berry
2016 Thierry Jarnet
2015 Sammy Jo Bell
2014 Olivier Peslier

Meet The Teams

The girls team, who won this last year when Hayley Turner was accompanied by Josephine Gordon and Hollie Doyle, has more of an international theme this year with Japanese rider Nanako Fujita and Australian rider Jamie Kah in the pink silks. Hayley Turner is the captain and rides often on this card. She was the first female rider to win at Royal Ascot in thirty two years a few weeks ago when partnering Thanks Be to victory in the Sandringham she is the most successful female jockey in British history. Jamie Kah recently broke the record for the lost wins in for a female in a season in Australia. She has won one group one race in her native country. Nanako Fujita is the winning-most jockey in Japan with over sixty wins to her name and she was the first female to ride in a grade one in Japan. Because she is yet to ride a sufficient number of winners, she has a 3lbs apprentice allowance in the UK.

Great Britain and Ireland
The Great Britain and Ireland team, who will be wearing green, is made up of captain Tadgh O’Shea, Danny Tudhope and Jamie Spencer. O’Shea is a seven times champion jockey in the UAE and based in Dubai. He’s won at Royal Ascot in 2009 in the Jersey Stakes on Quqba. Danny Tudhope is a Scottish born jockey who really hit the headlines this season by leading the jockey championships in a close battle with Oisin Murphy. He won the group one Queen Anne at Royal Ascot 2019 and had three more winners that week. Jamie Spencer’s biggest win of the season was in the Irish 2000 Guineas on Phoenix Of Spain and recently won a group one in Sweden on the David Menusier trained Danceteria.

The European teams three members are Filip Minarik, Gerald Mosse and Adrie De Vries and they’ll be in blue. The most well-known of these in England is Gerald Mosse. The globe-trotting Frenchman has won the Arc, French Derby, Oaks and the Melbourne Cup. He’s currently based in England and is being particularly successful. Team captain is Filip Minarik. The Czech jockey is a fourteen times group one winner and is a four time German Champion Jockey. The final member is Adrie De Vries who is based in Germany and has had thousands of winners. He won here at Royal Ascot in 2012 and has won the Dutch Derby five times.

Rest Of The World
Rest Of The World, who will be in yellow, is Yuga Kawada. He won the Japanese Derby in 2016 and is currently the leader of the Japanese Jockeys championship. He was successful in a quick spell here last year. He’s accompanied by Mark Zahra. The Australian has won thirteen group ones and has ridden over 1100 winners. Vincent Ho is the last team member and has been riding in the UK for the past month, mainly for Mark Johnston, and he’s had three winners. He was champion apprentice in Hong-Kong in 2011.

Race Previews

Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Dash

DANZENO looks the horse with the strongest latest form, having won at Nottingham by six lengths at the start of June then was third in the Wokingham. The second has subsequently won well. Now on 105, the former won last time. Three year old Recon Mission was very good at York on his penultimate run but was well-beaten at Newbury so needs to improve. The other three year old is Street Parade who’s struggled in handicaps since winning at Windsor in May. He’s a speedy horse. Another horse on a retrieval mission is Lancelot Du Lac. The nine year old is a Glorious Goodwood and listed level winner but he has been well beaten since his last win. Last time was an improvement though. Final Venture, the ten year old, has been very consistent of late but hasn’t won since 2017. Stone Of Destiny and Encore D’or’s form figures aren’t great lately. Foolaad won a handicap off 95 at Doncaster but is 4lbs higher. Corinthia Knight was well behind Danzeno at Royal Ascot but won last time. Old boy Caspian Prince was fifth in a group two, which he’d previously won, last time.

Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Stayers

Eddystone Rock, What A Welcome and Time To Study ran against each other last time out and were well beaten behind the smart King’s Advice. Eddystone Rock is stepping up in trip from his victory at one mile five. What A Welcome is a course and distance winner. Time To Study was a good third, staying on at Royal Ascot, but has been well-beaten since. The four year olds are Aircraft Carrier, Billy Ray and Blue Laureate. The former was behind Stradivarius on his penultimate start and fourteenth in the Northumberland Plate. He’s top weight. Billy Ray was a really good second on his first try at this trip behind Withhold so that’s good form. He’s a horse on the up and is partnered by Danny Tudhope. Blue Laureate gets 3lbs off his back and was third, staying on, over this trip so has a good chance. Theglasgowwarrior was fifth over this trip last time and has ran well over two miles two before. Lorolina is a mare who like the mud and is stepping up in trip. Alfredo completes the field but hasn’t been seen for 208 days. He’s a winner over this trip before but seems an all-weather specialist. Each way claims.

Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Challenge

Ian Williams trains three of these—Reshoun for Great Britain and Ireland and Restorer and Mandarin for the Europe team. Reshoun was eighth over two miles last time but his first of two wins came over this trip. He’s 5lbs higher that his most recent win but has joint top weight with stablemate Restorer and Indianopolis. Restorer has three 0s as his lost recent form figures and will need to improve significantly. Indianopolis is ex-Aidan O’Brien and won at Dundalk for him. He’s yet to win for new connections in five runs but he ran well last time out beating Koeman, Melting Dew and Restorer. Koeman has an apprentice allowance and placed on his first two starts this year but was second the next twice. Melting Dew has been ninth on his last three starts. A smart horse on his day, he has form to make up. MANDARIN has won his last two by a combined five and a half lengths. Considering he has bottom weight, he shouldn’t have an issue with the 6lbs rise in the Handicap. Genetics won this last year but hasn’t won since. He’s been beaten in class twos since and goes off an 8lbs higher mark than last year. Temple Cloth has been well beaten over this trip and two miles on the last three occasions so will need to dramatically step up. Teammate Badenscloth is six from twenty four and is stepping up to twelve furlongs for the first time. Big Kitten has only ever won on the All-Weather and looked the winner for a long way in the John Smiths Cup.

Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Mile

Via Serendipity won this last year with Hayley Turner but Tadgh O’Shea takes over. The horse won at Chelmsford in June nicely. Original Choice and Zhui Feng were eighth and seventeenth in the Stewards Cup eight days ago. The former’s last win was in December and Zhui Feng’s was last June. Another Batt won in Meydan in January and has done a lot of racing since and not placed. Breden won at Newbury on his penultimate start but was beaten by the smart Mojito last time. Zwayyan beat Breden in the Lincoln Trial but hasn’t shown anything since. Waarif beat War Glory three starts ago but is another on a retrieval mission. War Glory was last that day and has since been beaten about seven lengths on both starts. Power Of Darkness is three from seven and won nicely last time. His jockey has been successful in the UK before. NICHOLAS T has won three of his last four starts and is on a career high mark but he defied a penalty last time out and is in the best form.

Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Classic

Mark Johnston has three of the runners – Vivid Diamond, Sapa Inca and Asian Angel. The former was thought good enough to run in the Cheshire Oaks, where she came eighth, on her fourth start and since then hasn’t been beaten far on each occasion. Sapa Inca is ultra consistent but needs softer ground to do her winning on. Steadily climbing the handicap. Asian Angel was last seen running at Glorious Goodwood when Sapa Inca came second. Yellow Tiger finished ninth in that race on his debut for Ian Williams after previously winning for Mark Johnston on his only run for that yard. Zuba won five days ago but his penalty is cancelled out. Boerhan has 10st to carry after finishing seventh in the Bahrain Trophy last time. Very classy horse. NEVER DO NOTHING has never been out of the top 3 and ran well over course and distance last time out. He stayed on that day and he has a good Rest Of The World pilot. The other yellow runner is Aspire Tower who has come third on his last three starts, once behind Never Do Nothing. Amber Spark wants cut in the ground and Sophosc completed a treble around this time last year.

Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Sprint

Victory Day and Hero Hero are quite unexposed. The former won on three year old debut then was only beaten a head in a very competitive handicap at York. That makes him a leading player. Hero Hero won by eight lengths at Chester when breaking his maiden then finished tenth in the Britannia and there could be more to come from him. Kinks won for the first time in over a year last time and he was previously eleventh behind Pass The Vino when he won a good handicap at Newmarket but when Kinks won in late July, Pass The Vino was a neck behind. PASS THE VINO has 1lbs more to carry but is preferred to Kinks. Jack’s Point was two places behind Kinks when they got beat by Pass The Vino so has to reverse the form off level weights with Kinks. Junius Brutus was kept in high company last year and into this one but ran well in a class three last time. Magical Wish ran at the Galway festival six days ago and he filled the gap between Kinks and Jack’s Point, who’d previously beat him, at Newmarket. Barbill was ahead of them in fifth but has never recaptured the form of when he won valuable races at the Curragh and Chantilly. It’s a monster task for The Cruising Lord off top weight and Woven needs to improve a lot.

Shergar Cup Prediction

1st Europe
2nd Girls
3rd GB and Ireland
4th Rest Of The World

Silver Saddle Prediction

Between Hayley Turner and Jamie Spencer

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