A pair of wins for Nicola Currie saw the jockey win the Alistair Haggis “Silver Saddle” Trophy and assist the Ladies Team to Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup glory at Ascot.
Going into the finale, the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Dash, the Ladies Team had a five-point advantage, but Team Ireland finished first and second with Joe Fanning and Tadhg O'Shea. Currie was third, giving the Shergar Cup to the Ladies Team by three points with 69 points. Ireland was second on 66 points, with Great Britain third with 64. Team Rest of the World was fourth with 53. Currie won the overall riding title with 47 points, 18 ahead of David Egan of Team Ireland. Veteran reinswoman Haley Turner was also presented with the original Shergar Cup in recognition of her amassing 304 points over her appearances in the unique competition.
Currie, who partnered with Turner and Mickaelle Michel for the Ladies Team victory, 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.
“Ascot is my favourite racecourse. I love riding here. I've been lucky over the years here and it's great to have won the Silver Saddle. All the publicity is great, it's hard work being a jockey and any publicity is good publicity.”
Turner, Captain of the Ladies team, said, “Well done to Nicola she has rode 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 as she deserves more quality rides than she is getting. I love the Shergar Cup, it is so much fun.”
Michel added, “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.”
Nick Smith, Ascot's Director of Racing & Public Affairs, commented, “It has been a good day and tremendous to be back after a year's absence. We are grateful to the sponsors for standing by us.
“Credit must go to James Willoughby who has done the algorithms and puts the teams together. He made it a level playing field and has done it for several years. However, this will be his crowning glory given three teams finished right up next to each other.
“It's lovely to see Nicola shine–that is what the event is about, to give people a profile, and I'm sure she will remember this for a long time. It's also nice to give Hayley the existing Shergar Cup, which is much deserved. It was not her day today, but seven points was enough to put her over the 300 threshold of Shergar Cup points. Credit to Mark Johnston who is the Leading Trainer and he went away with a £2,000 stable prize.”