Hughes On the Button for Ireland - The Winners
Richard Hughes, team captain for Ireland, sealed a memorable victory for his team and for himself in taking the Silver Saddle for the leading rider at the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, with an impressive win on the 11/1 chance Press The Button and also received the Silver Saddle for the most individual wins at the meeting. His was a 377/1 treble this afternoon.
“It makes me very proud to win for Ireland. We did really terrible last year so its nice to win here and to have a treble, I’m a very lucky boy.
“I love riding horses, I can’t wait to go to Lingfield tonight. I keep telling my agent I don’t mind going anywhere as long as their isn’t too long a drive, I’d rather ride than sit in the weighing room.
“It was nice to win. Press The Button just pulled up a little bit in front and I had to get a bit serious to keep his mind on the job.
“I do love this track as a rule but it is thanks to James Willoughby(Ireland’s team selector) - he got me good rides. I’m riding against some very good jockeys.
“If you are riding with a bit of confidence it opens up. If your trying to make things happen it usual doesn’t happen.
“It really is all down to James, he’s a good form student and he knew that We’ll Come (winner of the third) would suit me. He wasn’t the best horse in the race but James knew he would suit me and I love riding those sort of horses.”
TEAM SELECTOR JAMES O’WILLOUGHBY REFLECTS ON A GREAT TEAM VICTORY
James Willoughby, chief correspondent of the Racing Post and the selector for Team Ireland, reflected on a successful day at the office after his team won the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup with 101 points, 45 points clear of second placed Team Great Britain with 56 points.
When he was asked whether it would be Guinness and oysters for supper he said: “I’m a token Irishman for the night and I just about know the words to the Irish Rover after today.
“The event has a lot of randomness associated with it, you pick in draft order and it dropped really well but on the day I had a lot of luck like Aaim To Prosper as a reserve and I’ve had a couple of one-twos which really stiches it.
“The thing I’m really going to take out of today is what a giant of a man Richard Hughes is. At the moment, he is really on good terms with himself. His weight is under control he’s playing a lot of golf, he’s relaxed and he’s just been sensational.
“He’s ridden every horse exactly as its needed from a pace perspective. On Press The Button, he’s reigned back beautifully when the early pace was contested - all in all I think he’s basically won the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup for Ireland although that said Neill Callan and Seamus Heffernan have been a excellent supporting cast.
“They have really embraced the event and it has been a huge success. It is great to see jockeys who are often castigated for not giving enough of themselves to the sport really give everything.
”I’ve really enjoyed my self, this is the third year I have been a selector, I’ve done the international riders previously. I have had great success with them - they have been terrific - Russell Baze last year and the Australians the year before were fantastic.
“It is such a great chance to meet a couple of domestic jockeys and to learn from them, how they look at races - it has all meshed beautifully.”
JOCKEYS SALUTE THE 2009 DUBAI DUTY FREE SHERGAR CUP
As the 2009 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup concluded with the closing ceremony in the winner’s enclosure, the jockeys involved all agreed it had been a wonderful day.
Richard Hughes, captain of the victorious Ireland team and the winner of the Silver Saddle for being the leading individual rider on the day, said: "It’s been a fabulous day and I was lucky to get such good rides on good horses. The gaps came when I needed them and that is the most important thing.
"It’s a pity that Seamus didn’t win the last but I suppose that we had to let Hayley win one - we have had a great day all round."
Hayley Turner, team captain of the second-placed Great Britain team, who won the concluding Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Sprint, said: "The last race was my best ride of the day and Tom (Dascombe, trainer) said that he fancied him and he is never usually wrong so I am delighted.
"I was stuck in traffic and it took me three hours to get here. I had to run in without my heels on because I was in such a rush."
Gerald Mosse, team captain of the third-paced European team commented: "It is always a pleasure to be here and I think that my team really enjoyed it. We have to be sporting - we won last year so we have to let the other teams win!
"We fought hard and we hope that we gave a good show to everybody. I hope to come again and thanks for the beautiful organisation. It is beautiful to be here."
Ahmed Ajtebi, team captain for the fourth-placed Rest of the World team, said: “Thanks to everybody for giving me the chance to ride and be captain here. I would also like to thank everyone who came and supported us. It was a great day and the experience was more important for us that the result."
His teammate Malesh Narredu added: "The atmosphere was terrific and the crowd was very good. We had a really good time and enjoyed it. We are disappointed that we are not the winning time but we had a good time."
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Total
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Total
DUBAI DUTY FREE SHERGAR CUP DRAWS THE CROWDS
A crowd of 27,772 turned out to watch Ireland reign supreme on a hugely entertaining Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Day at Ascot.
The turnout compares favourably with the bumper 33,115 that passed through the gates 12 months ago.
Nick Smith, Ascot’s Head of Communications and International Racing, said: “A crowd of 27,772 is fantastic. It is a little down on last year but that was an exceptional turnout. Considering the current conditions everyone is operating in, such a turnout is particularly pleasing.
“We are also delighted with how the events around the racing have worked out. The cheer-leaders were really well-received, the crowd loved them and they added a real splash of glamourous colour to the event.
“It’s a real family day and once again we have seen lots of youngsters enjoying themselves. It has been a typically upbeat occasion and we’re all now looking forward to topping off the day watching the Here And Now Tour.”
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