Shergar Cup ‘veteran’ Hayley Turner is relishing the prospect of captaining the first all-female team at Ascot today.
The Dubai Duty Free-sponsored event has had its critics over the years but will be staged for the 12th time this weekend, with a huge crowd expected.
Turner, 29, has ridden in seven renewals, partnering four winners, and will join forces with star Canadians Chantal Sutherland and Emma-Jayne Wilson.
Turner said: “I don’t think Chantal and Emma-Jayne need much advice from me as they are experienced jockeys.
“They will do their homework about the horses they are riding and I should be able to help them.
“I look forward to the Shergar Cup every year – it is just something a little bit different.
“I’ve done quite well with four winners, but I would like to win the trophy there (Silver Saddle for leading rider).
“I like Ascot and have had plenty of winners at the course.
“However, my favourite Ascot moment was my first ride back (in July 2009) after my head injury.
“I didn’t win, but it was just nice to be riding at the races again after the long, boring process of trying to return.”
Wilson, 30, was born in Canada to British parents and has some experience of London and Ascot.
She said: “I arrived late Tuesday morning and I made an attempt to go down to the Olympic Park but that was rather short-lived, although it was good fun to bounce around London a little bit.
“We used to come to England every now and then when I was younger so I have been to London a couple of times before, but never as an independent adult.
“I am riding at Woodbine in Toronto on Sunday, the day after the Shergar Cup, so I have a car ready to make a quick getaway.
“I rode in the Shergar Cup in 2006 – Hayley tells me I was useless! – but it was good fun.
“I’ve had a few more years experience now and I would say I am a little more seasoned.
“The ambition on Saturday is always to win. I think Hayley would agree.”
Sutherland has become a familiar name to viewers of racing Stateside.
The 36-year-old has enjoyed a terrific association with the Bob Baffert-trained Game On Dude and the pair were narrowly denied in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic.
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