ANTHONY Delpech might not have emulated the feat of Weichong Marwing in 2004 and walked away from the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot with the Silver Saddle, but he certainly had a memorable UK debut on Saturday.
The South African champion joined Australian Kerrin McEvoy and Japan’s Keita Tosaki to make up the Rest Of The World team and they finished in second spot behind Great Britain and Ireland.
Delpech was in line for the Silver Saddle trophy that goes to the jockey with the highest points at the meeting and it all came down to the last race.
The South African had earlier won Race 5 over 2300m on 8-1 shot Glenys The Menace, who beat 2-1 favourite Contango by 0.50 lengths with Bear Valley a further neck back in third place. The horse appeared to be quite keen early on but in the straight he made headway on the outside over the final 200m. He led close home and then stayed on well to get the better of the favourite.
With teammate McEvoy finishing second, it put the Rest Of The World in contention. It all came down to the final race, in which Delpech rode 9-2 shot Lualiwa and, had he won, he would have walked off with the Silver Saddle. But it wasn’t to be for the South African as he ran second to Golden Apollo ridden by Fran Berry, who took the title.
“It was a good finish from Lualiwa,” said Delpech. “it was a great ride, and everything went my way. I might have moved up just a little soon but I didn’t want to get squeezed out.”
That left Delpech in fourth place on 30 points, but the five-point difference between first and second gave Berry 37 points.
Berry continued his love affair with the Shergar Cup, maintaining his unbeaten record in the competition as part of the winning team for the third time.