Saturday the 12th of August Ascot hosted the annual Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, where the racing on the day is different to most other racedays. It is held as a team competition, with jockeys riding for different teams, which are made up by countries/region or their gender, and the winning team is determined by their overall performance across six races, where they score points for where they finish in the race. This year the winning team was Great Britain and Ireland who won with a total of 86 points. It was also a memorable day for Jamie Spencer who was Captain of the Great Britain and Ireland team as he won the first race aboard Stake Acclaim which was his 2,000th British Flat winner. In doing so he joined only 4 other currently active jockeys to have completed this feat, those being: Frankie Dettori, Ryan Moore and Joe Fanning.
1. Great Britain and Ireland 86
2. Rest of the World 67
3. Europe 64
4. The Girls 23
Top 3 jockeys on the day
1. Fran Berry 37
2. Jamie Spencer 32
3. Alexander Pietsch 31
The event had been sold out since mid July and there was a buzz in the air as racegoers enjoyed fun fair rides, picnics, racing and live performances from Craig David, All Saints and Feeder. The lawn areas in front of the Grandstand were packed with racegoers enjoying picnics and music. We were all lucky as the rain held off and there was even the odd ray of sunshine here and there which made the day even more enjoyable.
One of the great things about this event is that it attracts a lot more people than just your usual racegoers. This is due to everything else that takes place on the day such as the entertainment and live music performances, meaning there are lots of families and friends who go to this day as a big event. Each race is also a handicap race meaning it can be extremely hard for racegoers to pick a winner, I myself didn’t have one in the whole day. The results show how tough it can be to pick a winner, with only one race being won by a joint favourite, and favourites only placing in two other races in the day.