The Shergar Cup adds an extra dimension to what is a pretty average weekend of racing.
Named in honour of the 1981 Derby winner Shergar, it comprises 12 jockeys (split into four teams of three) all of whom must ride in five races and are allocated their mounts by a draw. The team with the highest points is the winner, whilst the jockey with the most points is awarded the Silver Saddle. It’s an early start at 12.55 pm – so don’t miss it.
The Shergar Dash
Some old favourites clash in this 5-furlong sprint, and working out whose turn it is to win in this type of event is always tricky. Move In Time (Olivier Peslier) and Goldream (Craig Williams) top the list, with the latter just preferred as the minimum trip over Ascot’s stiff track may prove perfect for him.
Goldream 4/1 each-way
Shergar Cup Stayers Handicap
Hassle and Big Thunder are the only two course winners in the line-up, and the former lost nothing trying to concede the well-handicapped maid In Rio 16lb over course and distance last time. Meanwhile, Big Thunder has dropped a couple of pound since the start of the season and looks to be coming to the boil. Back Hassle each-way and do a reverse forecast the two of them.
Hassle each-way 5/1
Reverse forecast: Hassle and Big Thunder
Shergar Cup Challenge Handicap
There are no course winners in this 12-furlong contest, and a chance is taken that top-weight Communicator may just prove too classy for the opposition dropping back to the distance he has won twice over before finishing third last time in the Chester Cup.
Communicator each-way 13/2
Shergar Cup Mile Handicap
Dark Emerald runs here after finishing runner-up to Heavy Metal last time out. A 5lb rise for finishing second may seem a little bit harsh at first glance but, considering the subsequent exploits of his conqueror, it may actually prove lenient.
Dark Emerald 7/1 each-way
Shergar Cup Classic Handicap
Early prices for Andrew Balding’s From Frost vary from 15/2 to 14/1 and bookmakers are obviously split over the horse’s last time out performance. Sent off at 5/4 favourite at Doncaster after two wins on the all weather, he flopped, but should be given a chance to bounce back here.
From Frost 14/1 each-way
Shergar Cup Sprint Handicap
Telmeyd is likely to be all the rage for this after two consecutive wins, but Rufford looks worth risking at a big price as he is dropping down in class and has first-time cheek pieces and Frankie Dettori doing the steering.
Rufford each-way 20/1