UAE Champion Jockey O'Shea to make Shergar Cup bow

UAE Champion Jockey OShea to make Shergar Cup bow
UAE Champion Jockey Tadhg O'Shea celebrates after winning the Dubai Kahayla Classic during the Dubai World Cup. - KT file

Dubai - The 37-year-old will captain Great Britain and Ireland at Ascot on Saturday

By James Jose

Published: Fri 9 Aug 2019, 9:17 PM

Last updated: Fri 9 Aug 2019, 11:34 PM

It has been nothing short of a remarkable season for Tadhg O'Shea. The Irishman won a seventh UAE Champion Jockey title and also put another record to shade.
And having ticked all the boxes there is to, the 37-year-old is set to make his bow in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, a horse racing competition styled along the lines of the Ryder Cup in golf.
The Shergar Cup, named in honour of Shergar, the stallion that won the treble in 1981 - the Epsom Derby, Irish Derby and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, is contested by four teams - Great Britain and Ireland, Europe, Rest of the World and The Girls.
With such credentials as a staggering seventh jockey championship title in the UAE, to equal compatriot Ted Durcan, as well as becoming the most successful jockey of all-time in the UAE, surpassing Richard Hills mark of 504 wins, O'Shea has been handed the captaincy reins of Great Britain and Ireland.
And apart from a handsome prize purse across the six-race card, it is the world's premier international jockeys' competition.
And O'Shea, who has come a long way since being crowned the Champion Irish Apprentice Jockey in 2001, is eager to make his debut, a successful one.
"I'm really looking forward to it," O'Shea told Racing TV, ahead of the competition to be held at Ascot in Berkshire on Saturday.
"Obviously, it's my first time participating. I'm hoping for some good rides on some good horses," he added.
Horse racing has mainly been an individual sport, which O'Shea has done all his life. This will mark the first time that he will be part of a team formation.
It will be unchartered territory for the Irishman but one he is looking forward to.
"It's a very new thing to me - teamwork. I'm used to solo competition which is so competitive. The teams are a nice twist, it's something I've never done before," said O'Shea, who won UAE Jockey titles in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018 and the season gone by.
O'Shea's teammates are former captain Jamie Spencer, who won the Shergar Cup in 2017, and debutant Danny Tudhope, currently second in the British Jockeys' Championship.
Four-time German Champion Jockey Filip Minarik leads the Europe with the team consisting of Frenchman Gerald Mosse and 12-time Dutch Champion Jockey Adrie de Vries. 
Britain's most successful female jockey Hayley Turner is the captain of The Girls which has Women Jockeys' World Cup winner Nanako Fujita and Jamie Kah, who recently set a new record for the most wins by a female rider in an Australian season.
The Rest of the World team is captained by Japanese jockey Yuga Kawada, one of only eight riders in history to win all five Classic races in Japan, Hong Kong Champion Apprentice Vincent Ho Chak-Yiu and Australia's Mark Zahra.


1. The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Dash (Handicap) (Class 2), £60,000 (5 furlongs)
2. The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Stayers (Handicap) (Class 2), £60,000 (2 miles)
3. The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Challenge (Handicap) (Class 3), £60,000 (1 mile and 4 furlongs)
4. The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Mile (Handicap) (Class 2), £60,000 (1 mile)
5. The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Classic (Handicap) (Class 3), £60,000 (1 mile and 4 furlongs)
6. The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Sprint (Handicap) (Class 2), £60,000 (6 furlongs)

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