Glory for the Girls and Hayley Turner in Shergar Cup

Girls deny Europe in team competition and Turner wins Silver Saddle award

  • Saturday 11 August
  • News
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Hayley Turner and the Girls team took the honours in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot.

Turner, making a record 12th appearance in the annual team competition, saw off the late challenge of Hong Kong-based Brazilian ace Joao Moreira to win the Silver Saddle as top rider by one point, 39-38.

The Girls, comprising Turner, Hollie Doyle and their captain Josephine Gordon, landed the team prize with a points total of 76, with the European team second on 70.

Turner said: “I can’t believe it. The best thing is my whole family are here.

“I’ve been coming to the Shergar Cup for 12 years now and it is a very special day. The progression of female jockeys is something that is really being pushed and discussed, and this is a fine example of how well girls can do in racing.

“Winning the Silver Saddle, named after the late Alistair Haggis – he was the one who got me on the team 12 years ago and really pushed me, so I think he is up there looking down on me.

“This is my favourite day of the year.”

Gordon echoed those thoughts, saying: “It’s brilliant to compete against the best jockeys in the world.

“Today’s been really good fun and it’s one of the best days of the year. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our day and it’s great to win.”

Turner’s second place on Roundhay Park in the concluding Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Sprint Handicap assured her the individual and helped secure victory for the Girls.

Turner’s one win on the card came on Via Serendipity in the Mile.

She always had the Stuart Williams-trained four-year-old close to the pace set by Poet’s Society, before kicking on a furlong out and keeping Via Serendipity going to get the verdict by half a length from Shady McCoy.

Turner said: “It’s such a buzz of a day and the horse has done it so well – I only had to give him a couple of flicks late on.”

Hollie Doyle gained her first win in the Shergar Cup for the Girls’ other success, when scoring on Tis Marvellous (6-1) in the Dash for trainer Clive Cox.

Doyle said: “It’s a massive deal for me to get the call-up (to ride at the Shergar Cup), let alone have a winner.

“I really enjoyed this meeting last year and just got touched off in this race, so it’s great to get a win on the board.”

She added on the team win: “It’s been an amazing afternoon. It was a very close finish, but I am delighted that we have won.”

Cox said: “This was the first ride that Hollie has had for me and I am over the moon. She gave the horse a super ride.”

Moreira, riding for the Rest of the World team, went close to upstaging Turner by taking the last two races.

His victory on Green Power (12-1) in the Dash almost saw him snatch the individual award

John Gallagher’s three-year-old proved a willing partner as he kept Roundhay Park at bay by a neck.

Moreira said: “It couldn’t be any better. I’m extremely happy.

“I have to say congratulations to the girls. They did an amazing job and they deserved that.”

“I’m extremely happy to have two winners on the day. I am looking forward to another day here – if I get invited to come back!”

The ‘Magic Man’ initiated his brace on the Andrew Balding-trained Berkshire Blue in the Classic.

The well-backed 9-2 chance just held the late bid of Blue Laureate by a head.

Moreira said: “I thought I had won as my horse had the momentum, but I knew it was very tight. I am very pleased.

“I think he’d have won easier if he had kept in a straight line, but in the end he won the race.”

Balding said: “It was an excellent ride. He didn’t have a great pitch in stall 11, but he saved ground at the vital stages and produced him a good run.”

It was a red-letter day for Balding, who was completing a treble on the card following the earlier wins of Cleonte and Genetics.

Cleonte (9-2) struck first in the Stayers for the Kingsclere handler in the hands of Swedish rider Per-Anders Graberg.

Balding said: “Cleonte will go for the Cesarewitch now and we might give him another run in between.”

Genetics (9-1) was the easiest winner of the day, romping home by 12 lengths under German ace Andrachs Starke in the Challenge after coming in as a reserve.

Starke said: “I am very delighted to get a reserve horse like that.

“I had a perfect race and he was travelling nicely. In the home straight he kept going, I didn’t know he’d won that easy.”

Glory for the Girls and Hayley Turner in Shergar Cup
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