What is the Shergar Cup and how does it work?

By Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
Fri 10 Aug 2018

Move over Marmite, it is the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot.

Like it or loathe it, Saturday's team jockey competition is here to stay and is now in its 18th year.

Full Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup racecards and video form

The leading world jockeys'championship attracts a huge crowd, often in excess of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes meeting staged at the same course a few weeks beforehand, and bouyed by a post-racing concert featuring (or should that be Feat.?) the likes of Rita Ora and Soul II Soul it is a date on the racing and social calendar for many.

Diehard racing fans are likley to be either on holiday, or wishing they were, but with full fields of ten in every race and competitive betting there is often mileage to be had for punters.

You would be hard pressed, however, to find somebody who could actually tell you how the competition worked so here is a handy primer to keep you going thoughout the afternoon on Racing UK.

What is the Shergar Cup and who is in it?

 Andrasch Starke , Corey Brown and Per Anders-Graberg enjoying some ice cream in London before the Shergar Cup (Ascot)
Andrasch Starke , Corey Brown and Per Anders-Graberg enjoying some ice cream in London before the Shergar Cup (Ascot)

The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is the world’s premier jockeys’ competition, a unique event where three top riders in each of four teams - Great Britain & Ireland, Europe, Rest of the World and The Girls - battle against each other in a thrilling six-race showdown.

Each team will have an anthem for the day, played whenever they have a winner -

Great Britain & Ireland:

Fran Berry (capt) - Shergar Cup Appearances: 3 (2010, 2011, 2017); Wins: 4; Points 94.

Pat Cosgrave: Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup debut

Adam Kirby: Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup debut

Anthem: The Boys Are Back in Town;

Rest Of The World:

Yutake Take (capt) - appearances: seven (2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012 & 2015); wins: 4; points: 150

Joao Moreira - appearances: 1 (2013); wins: 1; points: 28

Corey Brown - Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup record debut.

LISTEN: Corey Brown on the Shergar Cup

Anthem: Rockin All Over The World;

Girls:

 The Girls Team won the Shergar Cup in 2015 driven by Sammy Jo Bell's 35 points (Ascot)
The Girls Team won the Shergar Cup in 2015 driven by Sammy Jo Bell's 35 points (Ascot)

Josephine Gordon (capt) - Appearances: 1 (2016); Wins: 0; Points: 10

Hayley Turner - Appearances: 11 (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017); Wins: 5; Points: 218

Hollie Doyle - Appearances 1 (2017); Wins: 0; Points: 10

Anthem: Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves;

Europe:

Andrasch Starke (capt) - Appearances: 2 (2009, 2013); Wins: 0; Points 21

LISTEN: Andrasch Starke on the Shergar Cup

Per-Anders Graberg: Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup debut

Gerald Mosse - Appearances: seven (2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2013); Wins: 6; Points: 183

Anthem: Ca Plane Pour Moi.

How does it work?

 Jamie Spencer, Fran Berry and Neil Callan won last year
Jamie Spencer, Fran Berry and Neil Callan won last year

The six races are limited to 10 runners with either two or three horses racing for each team (this balances itself out over the course of the afternoon).

Points are awarded on a 15, 10, 7, 5, 3 basis to the first five horses home (non-runners score 4 points).

Subject to full fields, each jockey has five rides. This is to ensure that in the event of an injury, there is a spare jockey on each team who can assume mounts.

The team with the highest total after the sixth race lifts the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup.

The jockey amassing the most individual points will take home an additional £3,000 plus the Alistair Haggis “Silver Saddle” trophy. The trophy is named after the PR man who did so much for this competition, suggested the formation of the Girl's Team and who died of motor neurone disease in 2014.

All six races are handicaps and all will be run with identical prize money - £45,000 per race.

There are two reserves per race, who can be utilised up to 45 minutes before each contest is run.

Dubai Duty Free has been associated with the Shergar Cup since its inception, initially as team sponsor of the Rest of the World team and as a race sponsor. In 2006, the company became title sponsor for the first time and, since 2014, has sponsored the entire event.

The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is being run for the 18th time at Ascot. The Shergar Cup first took place at Ascot in 2000 as a jockeys’ competition.

The event did not take place in 2005 because the racecourse was being redeveloped.

The jockeys competing in the four-team Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup will again wear full team colours at this year’s renewal.

To ensure balance, female AND male cheerleaders will welcome the winning rider back after each race and be part of the opening and closing ceremonies.

Don't forget those who drive the day:

Owners have a fantastic opportunity on Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Day - there are no entry fees for the races, there is prize money down to last place (with reserves that miss out on a run paid £500 appearance money).

Stable staff will once again benefit from special prizes worth over £5,000, more than on any other raceday in Britain. There is a £200 prize for the groom in charge of the best turned out horse in every race, while the winning lad or lass in each race will also receive £200. In addition, £100 will be given to the lad or lass leading up the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th horses (i.e. the other points’ scorers) in every race. Stable staff will enjoy free food and drink in the stable staff canteen.

Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Silver Saddle winners - last 10 years:

 Gerald Mosse was parachuted in to Saturday's competition for his eighth appearance and has won the Silver Saddle twice (FocusOnracing)
Gerald Mosse was parachuted in to Saturday's competition for his eighth appearance and has won the Silver Saddle twice (FocusOnracing)

2017: Fran Berry – 37 points

2016: Thierry Jarnet – 38 points

2015: Sammy Jo Bell - 35 points

2014: Olivier Peslier - 42 points

2013: Gerald Mosse - 46 points

2012: Matthew Chadwick - 45 points

2011: Paul Hanagan – 35 points

2010: Fran Berry – 35 points

2009: Richard Hughes – 49 points

2008: Gerald Mosse – 50 points

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