Shergar Cup Preview
Racing takes a short break from the big festivals this weekend and the team competition for the Shergar Cup takes centre stage.
The annual jockeys’ competition did not meet with universal approval in the early days but is now in its 13th year. This year the format will see top jockeys riding on four teams representing Great Britain & Ireland, Europe, the Rest of the World and The Girls.
The Girls team will be captained by American rider Rosie Napravnik. Her big race victories include the 2012 Kentucky Oaks and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. She is joined by Lisa Allpress from New Zealand and our very own Cathy Gannon who steps in for the injured Hayley Turner.
Napravnik rode Pants on Fire to finish ninth in the 2011 Kentucky Derby, the best finish for a woman in the history of the race. She improved on that record when finishing fifth on Mylute earlier this year.
Her victory in the Kentucky Oaks came aboard Believe You Can and she became only the second woman to ride a Breeders’ Cup winner when partnering Shanghai Bobby to success in the juvenile last year.
Allpress won last year’s New Zealand jockey premiership and is also the first New Zealand woman jockey to ride 1000 winners in her homeland. She has signed a three month contract to ride in Singapore from September this year.
The Rest of the World team will be captained by veteran American jockey Gary Stevens. He is supported by Japanese rider Yasunari Iwata, a three-time winner of the Japan Cup, and Singapore based Brazilian Joao Moreira.
Europe will be led by top French jockey Gerald Mosse who is joined by Ioritz Mendizabal from Spain and Germany’s Andrasch Starke, best known for his association with the brilliant Arc and King George winner Danedream.
The Home team is captained by Kieren Fallon this year who will be joined by James Doyle and Kevin Manning. Doyle enjoyed the limelight at Royal Ascot when he rode a brilliant treble including the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes aboard Al Kazeem.