The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is now a four-cornered jockeys’ team contest,featuring three-rider teams representing GB & Ireland, Europe, the Rest Of The World and The Girls, a team of international female riders.
The day’s razamatazz features cheerleaders at the opening ceremony and as escorts for winning jockeys and horses, anthems and mascots for each team and this year’s event hosted a pop concert by Chesney Hawkes and others to round up the day’s entertainment.
The young team mascots, who had a day to remember among some of the sport’s leading names, were Jacob Tennent, 10 (GB&I), Harriet Green, 10 (ROW), Lily Breary, 8 (Girls) and Oliver Dixon, 7 (Europe).
EUROPE WON – BUT ONLY JUST!
European team captain Frankie Dettori may have scored only three points for one fifth place, but they were vital ones as he, Frenchman Olivier Peslier and Dutchman Adrie De Vries hung on to beat The Girls 69–68.
“What a captain,” he said. “Three points. Different class, eh? Thank goodness for the other two. But in truth we did have the most experienced team. And we just had to beat those girls.
“Olivier has been my good friend for more than 20 years. Just a wonderful natural jockey, cooler than a cucumber when it mattered, as cool as an iceberg.
“Adrie is so talented and as nice a guy as you will meet, and a world class jockey, even if he isn’t so well known here as Olivier.
“But that’s the great thing about the Shergar Cup, it gives people a chance to see these top riders. It’s great fun for us and I hope is great fun to watch.”
Dettori singled out for praise the European team mascot, seven-year-old Oliver Dixon, a member of Ascot’s Colts And Fillies junior club. “We couldn’t have done it without him,” he smiled.
GIRLS MISS BY ONE POINT
Canadian Emma-Jayne Wilson, who just failed to win the Silver Saddle for top jockey despite two wins and a close second and saw her team, The Girls, lose by one point in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, said: “I can’t describe how happy I am today. It has been an absolutely magnificent day and I hope everybody out there, including all the girls here today, enjoyed it.
“So close but that is what horseracing is all about – a good fight to the finish keeps the crowd cheering and I hope everybody had as much fun as I did.
“I could not have asked for more. To be beaten by one point when we were rank outsiders was just magnificent. The girls are just as good as the boys, even though we have been beaten by one point.
“I hope we showcased that enough today. I feel really privileged to have the success I have had at Ascot today.”
Her colleague Hayley Turner added: “How much fun was that? It’s been fantastic. It was such a shame to miss out by just one point but there is always next year hopefully.”
Olivier Peslier, who did not have a ride in the last, won the Silver Saddle with 42 points to Wilson’s 40.
With Chesney Hawkes performing at the evening concert after racing, staff and racegoers collaborated to recreate Hawkes’ number one hit ‘The One and Only’ to celebrate the day.
Participants in Ascot’s very first lip sync include Mike Cattermole, Hayley Turner, the Clerk of the Scales, a cameraman, course stewards, bar and restaurant staff, racegoers and more.
Not to be missed! http://www.ascot.co.uk/chesney-hawkes-0
Also to celebrate the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, Ascot recreated the figure of a giant racehorse, cleverly contorted out of 10 acrobats, crossing the winning post at the Racecourse (pictured top).
The ‘human racehorse’ took seven hours to create and was ridden by German jockey, Stefanie Hofer, who made her debut at the event this year as part of the Girls team, alongside Canadian Emma-Jayne Wilson and Brit Hayley Turner.
Watch the video to see how the 6ft figure was formed http://www.ascot.co.uk/con-horse-tionist.