North American stars Chantal Sutherland and Emma-Jayne Wilson will join Britain’s best female Flat jockey, Hayley Turner, to form the first ever female team at the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot on Saturday, 11 August.
They will ride against three male teams, representing Great Britain & Ireland, Europe and the Rest of the World in the world’s premier international jockeys’ competition.
Turner (pictured) has become a regular fixture at the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, taking part every year since 2006 and captaining the Great Britain team from 2008–2010, while Emma-Jayne Wilson is the only other female to have taken part in the competition as part of the Rest of the World Team in 2006, when the competition had a two-team format.
“The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup has regularly reinvented itself and we thought that the time was right to break new ground by seeing how three of the most successful female riders of all time can fare against three teams made up of some of world’s top male jockeys,” said Ascot spokesman, Nick Smith.
Hayley Turner, who will captain the female team, said: “The three of us rode against each other in the Pimlico Female Jockey Challenge in the USA last year and I told Ascot straight afterwards that if there was ever an all-girls’ team at the Shergar Cup, we’d definitely be keen to take part.
“I’m thrilled that it’s going ahead and having been with Chantal in Dubai last week, I can tell you that we’re both really up for putting one over on the boys on 11 August and I know Emma-Jayne will be too!”
Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice-Chairman of Dubai Duty Free, commented: “We are delighted at the way the teams are shaping up for this year’s Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup.
“The event continues to find ways to reach out to new audiences and I am sure the opportunity to see some of the world’s top female riders in action will add an entirely new dimension to the international media coverage, further raising the profile of this unique raceday.”
The riders in the male teams will be announced in due course, but one jockey gets an automatic invitation as a result of winning Dubai Duty Free’s big sponsored race on Dubai World Cup Night. James Doyle scored a stunning success on Cityscape in the Dubai Duty Free, a Group One race over nine furlongs, and will be invited to make his Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup debut for the Great Britain & Ireland team.
The format of the event stays the same, with four teams of three jockeys taking part across six races, each with ten runners. Every jockey has five rides and points are awarded on a 15–10–7–5–3 basis to the first five jockeys to finish in each race. The team with the highest total after the sixth race lifts the Shergar Cup and the jockey with the highest individual score wins the Silver Saddle trophy.
The ‘Girl Power’ theme continues in the post-racing concert, when some of the top female acts from the 1980s will appear live on stage at Ascot. They include Bananarama, who with 30 Top 40 hits remain the Guinness Book of Records’ most successful girl band of all time, Carol Decker, who fronted the rock band T’Pau, Katrina Leskanich, former lead singer of Katrina and The Waves, and solo artist Belinda Carlisle.
Midge Ure, the former front man of Ultravox, Howard Jones and Rick Astley are the male stars from the ‘80s who will be performing.
Tickets for the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup on Saturday, 11 August, including the ‘Here and Now’ concert, start from £26. To book call 0844 346 3000 or visit www.ascot.co.uk
Born on 23 February, 1976 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Chantal Sutherland is a leading jockey in both her homeland and the USA. She grew up in Ontario, where her father owns a horse farm. Although she competed in showjumping and dressage during her youth and was also an accomplished field hockey player (competing for Canada’s national Junior World Cup team), she did not decide to embark on a career as a jockey until her graduation from York University in Toronto, where she gained a degree in communications and psychology.
After an initial success at Woodbine on 9 October, 2000, Sutherland quickly established herself as one of the brightest young talents in North American racing and gained the Sovereign Award for Canada’s top apprentice jockey in 2001 and 2002. The 2002 campaign ended with Sutherland finishing third in the standings at Woodbine with 124 wins.
In the winter of 2004, she made the move across the border to the USA and rode at Laurel Park in Maryland before moving on to ride in Florida and New York. During her time in New York, where she rode for leading trainers H Allen Jerkens and Todd Pletcher, she enjoyed success at Grade Three level on Smokume in the Tom Fool Handicap and on Gigawatt in the Miami Mile Handicap.
After a return to Canada in 2007, she made the move to Santa Anita, California, where she was dubbed “Queen of the longshots” by US Racing Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens. In 2008, she was back in Canada and on 9 August rode five winners in a day. That same season also saw Sutherland partner future Kentucky Derby hero Mine That Bird to three stakes race successes at Woodbine.
Sutherland currently splits her time between riding at Santa Anita in the winter and the rest of the year at Woodbine. The best horse Sutherland has ridden is Game On Dude. In 2011, she partnered the Bob Baffert-trained gelding to victory in the Grade One Santa Anita Handicap, becoming the first female jockey to win the historic contest. Last year Game On Dude also finished runner-up under Sutherland in the Grace One Hollywood Gold Cup and the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Drosselmeyer, ironically was ridden by her ex-boyfriend Mike Smith. Game On Dude also enabled Sutherland to become the first woman to ride in the world’s richest race, the Dubai World Cup, at Meydan in March, 2012. The pair finished 12th.
Sutherland is also a well-known celebrity off the track. She starred in the reality series ‘Jockeys’ on Animal Planet and also had a recurring role in the HBO TV series ‘Luck’. She has also modelled and is the face of Canada-based cosmetics line Mistura Beauty. As of 1 April, 2012, Sutherland has ridden 908 career winners with earnings of $45,615,891. She will be making her Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup debut in 2012.
Hayley Turner, the joint champion UK apprentice jockey in 2005, is generally acknowledged as the most successful female rider to emerge in the 400-year history of the Sport of Kings in Britain. Born on 3 January, 1983, in Nottingham, Turner was taught to ride by her mother, a riding instructor. She started riding out for trainer Mark Polglase, who supplied her first winner, Generate, at Pontefract on 4 June, 2000. She also attended the Northern Racing College, and then was apprenticed to Michael Bell in Newmarket.
Turner became the first woman to be crowned champion apprentice when partnering 44 winners during the 2005 Flat (turf) season, sharing the title with Saleem Golam. She also became only the fourth woman in Britain to ride out her claim, following Emma O’Gorman, Alex Greaves and Lisa Jones. Her success during the 2005 season led to Turner being awarded a Lester for apprentice jockey of the year, the first woman ever to land the award.
Turner’s first Group One victory came in July, 2011 aboard Dream Ahead in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket and she enjoyed further Group One success as Margot Did captured the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York the following month. She is only the second woman to have ridden a Group One winner in Britain and the first to win one outright as Alex Greaves’ success came when her mount Ya Malak dead-heated with Coastal Bluff for the 1997 Nunthorpe Stakes.
In 2008, she became the first female jockey to partner 100 winners in a calendar year in Britain. Turner was forced to miss four months of the 2009 Flat season after an incident on the Newmarket gallops that March, when catapulted from the horse she was riding and knocked unconscious. Turner’s injuries – bruising to the brain – were originally considered serious enough that her licence was suspended for a year. However, following an appeal hearing at the BHA in July, she was declared fit to resume race riding and was back in action at Ascot the following day.
She has ridden at the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup on six occasions (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011) and captained the GBR team in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Turner has recorded four wins in the competition and was runner-up to Hugh Bowman in the 2007 Silver Saddle Standings. Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Wins: 2007 Relative Order; 2008 Gee Dee Nen; 2009 Noverre To Go; 2010 Yorgunnabelucky.
Born on 1 September, 1981, in Brampton, Ontario, Emma-Jayne Wilson is a riding phenomenon from Canada, with nearly 1,000 wins to her name. She burst onto the North American racing scene in 2005 when landing the riding title at Woodbine. At its 167-day meet, Wilson rode 175 winners from 1,096 mounts, becoming the first female to take the title in its 50-year history, and only the third ever apprentice to do so, following Sandy Hawley in 1969 and Mickey Walls in 1991.
Wilson started riding at the age of nine and soon had her heart set on becoming a jockey. She studied equine management at the University of Guelph and spent two years riding out at Woodbine racecourse, where she caught the eye of leading agent Mike Luider. She rode her first winner on only her second ride – a horse called Ali Olah at Fort Erie, on 28 August, 2004, and enjoyed an annus mirabilis in her first full season as an apprentice, recording a first Stakes victory on board Classic Stamp in the Grade Two Bell Canadian Stakes to go with her leading jockey title at Woodbine.
Her achievements on the racetrack were rewarded with a Sovereign Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey and an Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey in North America – becoming only the second woman ever to land the apprentice Eclipse award. Wilson retained her leading jockeys’ title at Woodbine in 2006 and received a second Sovereign Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey.
She became the first female rider to win the Grade One Queen’s Plate, part of Canada’s Triple Crown, when scoring on board Mike Fox in June, 2006. Wilson competed in the Hong Kong International Jockey Challenge in December, 2007, and was granted a licence to ride in the former colony the following winter.
Wilson made an impressive debut at the Breeders’ Cup in November, 2011, as she rode Excaper to finish second behind the Wrote in the Grade One Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. As of 1 April, 2012, she has recorded 927 wins in her career with prize money win of more than US$44 million. Wilson, who won the inaugural Pimlico Female Jockey Challenge in June, 2011, is making her second appearance at the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, having participated in the competition in 2006.