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The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup returns to Ascot this August

PUBLISHED: 09:00 10 June 2013 | UPDATED: 14:32 14 June 2013

Woolfall Treasure

Woolfall Treasure

Archant

The Rest of the World team will be looking to retain their crown when the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup returns to Ascot Racecourse on Saturday August 10.

Last year, Hong Kong rider Matt Chadwick inspired the worldwide entrants to the second-biggest winning margin since the competition became a four-team event in 2006.

This year, the event looks set to be bigger and better than ever and the Rest of the World team will be captained by American riding legend Gary Stevens, returning to the saddle after a seven-year absence.

His team-mates are Joao Moreira from Brazil, three times champion jockey in Singapore where he has been rewriting the record books, and Japan’s current number one, Yasunari Iwata, winner of three Japan Cups and one Melbourne Cup.

Stevens is part of Royal Ascot folklore after he successfully rode The Queen’s Blueprint to victory in the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap in 1999. He has also won the Kentucky Derby three times in the USA.

“I’m very excited,” admits the 50-year-old. “It’s an honour to be invited back after having been away for so long. I’m looking forward to riding at one of my favourite racecourses again.”

“We’re delighted Gary is returning to captain a really strong Rest of the World team at the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup,” explained Nick Smith, Head of International Racing, Ascot. “In a relatively short period he became a legend on these shores, as well as in the US. The event always showcases the best riders from around the world and was invigorated by the enthusiasm of The Girls’ Team last year.”

The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup has continued to evolve in its 13-year history and this year the unique and exciting format follows 2012, with four teams – Rest of the World, Europe, Great Britain & Ireland and The Girls – competing in six races. Each jockey has five rides and points are awarded to the first five in each race, with 15 points awarded for a win, 10 for second, seven for third, five for fourth and three for fifth. The team that accrues the most points lifts the coverted Shergar Cup, while the jockey with the highest individual score wins the Silver Saddle Trophy.

Since its inception, the event has enjoyed the support of one of the world’s most prestigious brands, the celebrated international airport retailer Dubai Duty Free.

Executive Vice Chairman Colm McLoughlin explains: “Dubai Duty Free’s association with the Shergar Cup began when our brand was carried by the Rest of the World team at the inaugural running. We became title sponsor in 2005 and since then have worked with Ascot to continually innovate and update the format, while retaining the international element of the competition, which fits particularly well with the global nature of our business.”

This year will also see the return of Hayley Turner, who will captain The Girls Team for the second successive year and who finished second behind Chadwick in the 2012 Silver Saddle.

Her team-mates will be top USA star Rosie Napravnik, who is right up there with the best of the male jockeys in the States, and the all-time leading female jockey in New Zealand, Lisa Allpress. That’s a formidable line-up as The Girls look to put one over on the boys.

Last year Turner was unable to catch Chadwick’s 45 points, the third-highest ever individual tally. “Winning the Silver Saddle is a once-in-a-lifetime achievement,” said the Hong Kong star.

Chadwick’s team included Japanese legend Yutaka Take and accumulated 89 points, finishing 44 ahead of second-placed Europe, led by Frankie Dettori. The victory was their first since 2007.

The Great Britain & Ireland team was represented by Kieren Fallon, Johnny Murtagh and James Doyle. They had made a promising start with 47-year-old Fallon riding third favourite Boom and Bust to victory in the opening Mile Handicap.

Team Europe responded with victories in the Stayers and Dash. Three-time German champion jockey Andreas Suborics celebrated his 41st birthday by riding 9-2 favourite Address Unknown to victory before rising Italian star Cristian Demuro won with Desert Law.

However, Chadwick’s third successive second, on Taajub, extended the Rest of the World’s lead over Europe to 12. This grew to 17 in the Classic – Sun Central edging Ahzeemah – and to 27 when Aaron Gryder rode Viking Storm to victory in the Challenge. Chadwick then powered home in the six-furlong Sprint on Mince.

The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup continues to grow in popularity, with more than 30,000 flocking to Ascot every year. It is a brilliant family day out and offers something for everyone, including brilliant evening entertainment.

This year’s post-race festivities include a concert boasting some of Britain’s favourite music acts – you’ll be singing along to some of the greatest hits of the past four decades!

Lee Ryan, Antony Costa, Duncan James and Simon Webbe – aka Blue – have sold more than 15 million albums worldwide. After taking a break in 2005, the quartet are back 13 years after they first got together with a mix of ballads and energetic dance-floor fillers.

Talking of dance floors, D:Ream were one of the UK’s most seminal dance acts in the nineties, while Go West return to action nearly 30 years after signing their first record deal. D:Ream are best known for ‘UR The Best Thing’ and ‘Things Can Only Get Better’. Peter Cunnah and Al Mackenzie return with a combination of their trademark uplifting sound fused with new, modern guitar-led synth pop.

Go West’s Peter Cox and Richard Drummie reached number five in the UK charts with ‘We Close Our Eyes’ in 1985 and racegoers can expect to hear tracks from their new album, ‘3D’, released shortly before their Berkshire visit.

Also making a high-profile comeback this year are Atomic Kitten, the biggest girl band of the noughties and who sold more than eight million records. First formed in 1998, they’re now, older, wiser and feistier! Liz McLarnon, Nathasha Hamilton and Kerry Katona will be performing hits such as ‘Right Now’ and ‘Whole Again’.

Representing the seventies and eighties are Bjorn Again, Abba-inspired entertainers who celebrate 1970s music and fashion, and Rick Astley. Astley was one of the hottest names in music when he arrived on the scene in 1987. His biggest hit, ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, stayed at number one for five weeks and he returns to Ascot after performing here last year to host the evening’s entertainment.

So, from the seventies to the noughties via some of the best sing-a-long tracks in between, you’ll be taken on a fun musical journey through the decades!

• Tickets for the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup raceday on Saturday 10th August, including the evening concert, start from £21 per person. To book or for further information, please call 0844 346 3000 or visit ascot.co.uk

***

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The above is featured in the 2013 edition of Royal Ascot Magazine.

This magazine is an exquisite publication, echoing what Royal Ascot and its guests can expect and maintain. The magazine includes the highest quality editorial features and photographs, complementing an experience that once enjoyed is never forgotten.

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