The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup

Dubbed the Ryder Cup of horseracing, The Shergar Cup is an annual horse racing spectacle usually held at the beginning of August at Ascot; but cast your mind back to late 90’s, and you may remember this wasn’t always the case.

The event, first held in 1999 at Goodwood, was originally split up into UK and Ireland horses competing against Middle East horses to win the cup. However, as we all know this has evolved greatly since its opening days. Today, we have competing jockeys instead of horses. With four teams consisting of three jockies split up between Europe, GB & Ireland (GB&I), Girls & Rest of the World (ROW) jockeys.

Captaining this year's European team is Racing Brakes ambassador, Frankie Dettori. The legendary jockey is joined by Adrie De Vries and Olivier Peslier.

Emma-Jayne Wilson captains the girls team with Hayley Turner and Steffi Hofer joining her to try replicate 2015’s success.

GB&I is captained by Tom Queally, with Jimmy Fortune and Richard Hughes looking to snatch their first ever GB&I win.

Finally, the ROW team will be looking to continue last year's success with a team captained by Craig Williams, with S’manga Khumalo and Yuichi Fukunaga filling in the remaining two places.

This cup isn’t one to miss. Being one of Ascot’s highlight of their year and attracting over 30,000 spectators each year, this race meet is one which is perfect for families (U-18s go free!) and other spectators outside the usual race-goers demographic. There is much to do for families in between races including fairground rides, extreme sport demonstrations and musical performances.

Although, this isn’t to say adults can’t have a good time either. With champagne and cocktail bars spread across the racecourse, the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup day has become synonymous with late-summer fun and top class sporting action.

Racegoers have much to look forward to in the Afternoon. Live performances will pursue the last race at 4:30 from Craig David, All Saints, Feeder and Scott Mills up until 8:30 in the evening. Let’s just hope the weather holds out! Ascot is always a great laugh and easily accessible from London stations, with direct trains running regularly from Clapham Junction. Meaning, a night out in London is always on the cards after the racing.

Although the 2017 event may be sold out, this is certainly one you should out on your to-do list for next years fixtures.

AscotSam Hitchmough