European Jockeys Capture Ascot's Shergar Cup
Frenchman Gerald Mosse led Europe to a decisive victory in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup jockey competition Aug. 10 at Ascot while teams that included elite U.S. riders Gary Stevens and Rosie Napravnik finished third and fourth.
The European team amassed 97 points in the six-race competition, which pitted four teams of three top jockeys each against each other. The Great Britain and Ireland team won the day's first two races but ultimately finished second with 61 points. The Rest of the World team, which included Stevens as captain, finished in third with 46 points, and The Girls Team, with Napravnik the captain, was fourth with 40 points.
A Shergar Cup regular who won the competition in 2008, Mosse was captain of the three-member Europe team that included Ioritz Mendizabal and Andrasch Starke. Returning to action after sustaining a shoulder injury last month at Happy Valley Racecourse in Hong Kong, Mosse earned the "Ride of the Day" award in winning the fourth race aboard trainer Mark Johnston's front-running Royal Skies. The victory secured the overall win for his team.
Points were awarded to the first five horses to finish in each of races, with the winner receiving 15 points; second, 10 points; third, 7 points; fourth, 5 points; fifth, 3 points. Mosse's mounts earned 46 points overall, 12 more than the mounts of his nearest rival and teammate, Mendizabal, who finished the competition in second with 34 points.
James Doyle and Kieren Fallon, of the Great Britain and Ireland team, individually earned 31 points and 30 points to finish third and fourth, respectively. Joao Moreira of the Rest of the World team earned 28 points to finish fifth.
Mosse was honored with the coveted Silver Saddle trophy for being leading rider of the competition.
Stevens, 50, a member of the United States Racing Hall of Fame who came out of a seven-year retirement earlier this year, won the competition's final race with trainer Richard Hannon's Annunciation. The colt surged late and headed Napravnik's mount Noble Deed, the 3-1 favorite, at the finish line.
The victory was the 50th in Great Britain for Stevens. He amassed individual 18 points to finish sixth in the competition. He team included Joao Moreira and Yasunari Iwata.
"That was fun, and the only ride I've had today that played out right," Stevens said.
Stevens, whose comeback this year includes a 15-1 upset with Calumet Farm's Oxbow in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), had praise for Napravnik, currently a top-five rider in the U.S. who was riding in Britain for the first time.
"She has done us proud," he said. "I know a lot of people have been impressed with her performance, including this camp that I just rode for."
Denied victory in the final stride, Napravnik said: "It is going to be a lot longer trip home."
As captain of The Girls team, Napravnik had the consolation of being the leading female rider with 15 points. Teammates Cathy Gannon, who received her chance to participate when Hayley Turner dropped out due to injury, had 13 points and Lisa Allpress tallied 12.
"It was great fun and very competitive," Napravnik said. "It was great to ride with some of the best riders in the world. I would love to come back—but I want to win next time!"
The Shergar Cup, which was held for the 13th time, attracted a crowed of 28,867, down from 39,062 last year.
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