FRENCH jockey Olivier Peslier inspired Europe to defend the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup by just a point from the “Girls” team, enthusiastically led by Canadian Emma-Jayne Wilson. The competition went down to the wire at Ascot on Saturday.
Europe emerged as champions, with Peslier claiming the Silver Saddle award for the leading rider and said: “I’m very happy. It’s been a competition everyone could follow until the end. Everything happened in the last race.”
Wilson was delighted with the day despite narrow defeats in both the individual and team competitions, saying: “I can’t describe how happy I am today. It has been an absolutely magnificent day and I hope everybody out there, including all the girls here today, enjoyed it.
“So close but that is what horseracing is all about – a good fight to the finish keeps the crowd cheering and I hope everybody had as much fun as I did. I could not have asked for more. To be beaten by one point when we were rank outsiders was just magnificent. The girls are just as good as the boys, even though we have been beaten by one point.
S’manga Khumalo, South Africa’s champion jockey, riding for the Rest of the World squad in the four-team, six-race contest, wasn’t lucky with the rides he drew. However, he did manage a close second in one race – his mount Tenor (8-1) going down by just a neck to Don’t Call Me (5-1), ridden by Wilson.