A sell-out crowd of 31,696 (29,276 last year) enjoyed another tremendous Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot today.
A sell out crowd attended the Shergar Cup at Ascot, photo Liesl King
Nick Smith, Director of Communications and Racing, commented: "What was particularly interesting today was that 84 per cent of this great crowd were through the turnstiles by 1.15pm, showing that they were keen to see the racing.
"With a capacity of about 12,000 for the concert, the evidence today is that the majority of the crowd were here to fully embrace the racing, which is very gratifying. It shows the event and the structure are building well.
"We were very pleased with how the races worked out again - there were maximum fields for all of them.
"The algorithm that we used for the allocation of the jockeys was particularly pleasing, with three out of the four teams in with a chance of winning the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup coming into the last race. There were also seven jockeys capable of taking the Alistair Haggis Silver Saddle approaching the final contest.
"All in all, it was a tremendous day. We were sorry that Michelle Payne had to miss out, but it was good to see Hollie Doyle ride well and nearly have a winner.
"Our thanks go to all the visiting jockeys for their help in promoting the event."
1:05pm DUBAI DUTY FREE SHERGAR CUP DASH
The Stewards noted that WILLYTHECONQUEROR (IRE), trained by William Muir, would wear earplugs, which would be removed at the start. GREEN DOOR (IRE), trained by Robert Cowell, failed to enter the parade ring. The Stewards were satisfied that this was because the gelding had to be re-shod.
The Stewards held an enquiry into the use of the whip by Hollie Doyle, the rider of SIR ROBERT CHEVAL, placed second, from one and a half furlongs out. Having heard her evidence and viewed recordings of the race, they found her in breach of Schedule (B)6 Part 2 in that she had used her whip above the permitted level. The Stewards suspended Doyle for 2 days as follows: Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 August 2017.
1:40pm DUBAI DUTY FREE SHERGAR CUP STAYERS
The Stewards gave permission for GRACELAND (FR), trained by Michael Bell, to wear a hood in the parade ring only.
2:15pm. DUBAI DUTY FREE SHERGAR CUP CHALLENGE
Nothing to report.
2:50pm DUBAI DUTY FREE SHERGAR CUP MILE
The Stewards considered the apparent improvement in form of the winner, RAISING SAND, ridden by Alexander Pietsch, and trained by Jamie Osborne, compared with its previous run at Newmarket on 22 July 2017, where the gelding finished sixth of thirteen, beaten 14 lengths. They noted the trainer could offer no explanation for the gelding's improved form. They ordered RAISING SAND to be routine tested.
Hollie Doyle, the rider of EARLY MORNING (IRE), placed eighth, reported that the gelding stopped quickly.
3:25pm DUBAI DUTY FREE SHERGAR CUP CLASSIC
The Stewards gave permission for GLENYS THE MENACE (FR), trained by John Best, to wear a hood in the parade ring only.
The Stewards noted that MISTER BLUE SKY (IRE), placed seventh, hung left-handed approximately two furlongs out, despite the rider's best efforts, causing ITALIAN HEIRESS, placed ninth, to have to take a slight check, but after viewing a recording of the incident they were satisfied that it neither involved a riding offence nor improved MISTER BLUE SKY (IRE)'s placing.
4:00pm DUBAI DUTY FREE SHERGAR CUP SPRINT
The Stewards gave permission for BELLE MEADE (IRE), trained by Andrew Balding, to wear a hood in the parade ring only.