Wednesday 22 January 2020

Berry leads the way for home side in Shergar Cup

ASCOT, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Fran Berry riding Great Hall win The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Challenge at Ascot racecourse on Shergar Cup Day on August 12, 2017 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
ASCOT, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Fran Berry riding Great Hall win The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Challenge at Ascot racecourse on Shergar Cup Day on August 12, 2017 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Fran Berry claimed the leading rider honours as his two winners helped the Great Britain and Ireland team to a decisive victory in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot.

Heading into the concluding Shergar Cup Sprint, just five points separated the leading home team on 64 from the Europe side, with the Rest of the World squad also poised to challenge on 54.

However, Berry delivered the Tim Easterby-trained Golden Apollo with a perfectly-timed challenge in the six-furlong heat to see off Lualiwa for the Rest of the World, with the Jamie Spencer-ridden Megan Lily also claiming third for the Great Britain and Ireland team.

That result saw Great Britain and Ireland end the day on a tally of 86, with the Rest of the World second on 67, Europe third with 64 points and the Girls team last on 23.

Berry's earlier victory on the Mick Quinn-trained Great Hall (12-1) in the Shergar Cup Challenge and third on Bear Valley in the Shergar Cup Classic ensured he took home the Alistair Haggas Silver Saddle Trophy for the top rider.

Berry said: "It is a fantastic win and I think it has been a great competition.

"It was very tight going into the last race and any one of three teams could have won it. It is a great buzz to cross that line in front. You have got to keep putting yourself in the shop window. It is all about Saturday winners over here. I have had a very good week and this tops it all.

"Winning the Silver Saddle is a great thing to put on the CV, they might ask me back again now! This day is important. You get a big family crowd here, racegoers of the future, and if you can get the youngsters interested at a young age, it is only going to have a knock-on effect for racing in the future."

Spencer captained the GB&I side and also featured on the roll of honour after partnering Stake Acclaim to victory in the opening Shergar Cup Dash.

That neck verdict over Sir Robert Cheval represented another milestone in Spencer's career as it was his 2,000th British Flat success. "It's only a figure, but it's good to get there," he said. "It's all gone right, the team's done great. The last race went well and that got us over the line."

Anthony Delpech got one on the board for the Rest of the World side as Glenys The Menace (8-1) just outpointed favourite and teammate Contango in the Classic.

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