Hayley Turner is looking forward to taking home the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup for good after leading the Ladies team to victory in the 20th running of Ascot’s annual competition.
Turner is the most successful jockey in the Cup’s history, having claimed eight winners in 13 previous appearances.
She was leading rider at the fixture in both 2018 and 2019 – and with the competition having to be cancelled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, she was delighted to again be leading the team which this year also contained Mickaëlle Michel, from France, and Scottish rider Nicola Currie.
Earlier in the week, Turner made a plea to keep the Shergar Cup for good if she could complete a hat-trick of jockey crowns.
“My dad was telling me if you win the World Cup for three years you get to actually keep it, so I’m thinking if I win it for a third year, surely I get to keep the actual Shergar Cup?” she said.
While riding honours went emphatically to Currie, whose double on the card helped her claim the Alistair Haggis Silver Saddle award, Shergar Cup organisers confirmed Turner can keep the team silverware – having racked up 304 Shergar Cup points.
Another trophy will be produced for 2022.
Turner said: “I think I’m going to need a bigger house to put it in! I’m absolutely delighted.
“Well done to Nicola – she has ridden out of her skin today. The Shergar Cup has helped me over the years by projecting my career and hopefully it will be the same for Nicola, because she deserves more quality rides than she is getting.
“Nicola is amazing, and it’s so good for her – I’m delighted. I love the Shergar Cup, it is so much fun.”
The Ladies team, previously known as the Girls, was introduced in 2012 to create a four-way competition along with Europe, Rest of the World and Great Britain and Ireland.
The sides have tweaked slightly in the current pandemic era, with GB and Ireland split and Europe on hold for 2021.
Currie’s two winners on the card were a major contribution to the Ladies Team’s table-topping tally of 69 points.
She said: “What a team. In the end they were straightforward rides and straightforward winners. It’s been a fantastic day, and thanks to all the owners and trainers who have helped today.
“All the publicity is great – it’s hard work being a jockey, and any publicity is good publicity.
“It’s great to have two winners on the board. It’s fantastic and it’s just been a great day.”
Team Ireland were second best in the overall competition on 66 points, with Britain third on 64 and Rest of the World last of the four on 53.
While she did not manage to get among the winners, Michel was delighted to take part, saying: “I’ve loved riding today.
“I was close on a second, and it would have been lovely to win a race, but riding at Ascot has been brilliant.”