Sunday, June 26, 2011
WHYTE, TAKE AND BOWMAN FORM “STRONGEST EVER” REST OF THE WORLD TEAM FOR 2011 DUBAI DUTY FREE SHERGAR CUP
South African Doug Whyte, the record-breaking 10-times Champion Jockey in Hong Kong, will return to the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup for the first time in five years on Saturday 6th August as Captain of the Rest of the World Team.
Whyte, 39, is nailed on for an 11th consecutive championship title when the season ends next month and remains the only jockey to ride 1,000 winners in Hong Kong. He will be joined in the world’s premier international jockeys’ competition by Japanese superstar, Yutaka Take.
Take, 42, has been crowned Champion Jockey in Japan on an unprecedented 18 occasions and has ridden an all-time record of well over 3,000 winners in his country, where he is revered as a sporting icon.
The third member of the team is Hugh Bowman, one of the top five jockeys in Australia who was crowned champion in Sydney in 2008-09. The 30-year-old is back in the UK for a short period riding for Mick Channon, with whom he spent a successful stint in 2007.
All three jockeys have excelled in past Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cups, making them a formidable combination for the Rest of the World Team this year.
Since it became an international jockeys’ competition in 2001, Whyte has ridden in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup three times (2002, 2003 and 2006), finishing second in the Silver Saddle table for the top jockey in 2003 when he rode two winners.
Take has taken part four times (2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008), finishing second in the Silver Saddle table in 2008 when he notched up two winners to add to the one he rode in 2007.
Bowman has ridden in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup once before, in 2007, when he made a huge impact, winning the Silver Saddle as the day’s top jockey (he rode a winner, a second, a third and fourth) and captaining the Rest of the World Team to victory with Take alongside him. That is the last time that the Rest of the World Team was victorious.
Colm McLoughlin, Managing Director of title sponsor Dubai Duty Free, said: “We are delighted to see such a strong contingent representing the Rest of the World.
“The competition for places in all the teams further endorses the growing profile of the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup and we look forward to seeing some of the world’s leading riders competing on one of the world’s greatest stages.”
Ascot’s Head of International Racing, Nick Smith, said: “This has to be the strongest and most experienced Rest of the World Team that we have ever assembled for the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup.
“Doug Whyte and Yutaka Take are nothing short of legends in the Far East where they have broken every riding record, while Hugh Bowman is one of Australia’s very best jockeys and rode our tracks so well when he was here in 2007, taking that year’s Shergar Cup by storm.
“Ireland has won the Team competition for the last two years, but I’m sure the Rest of the World will make a bold bid for victory this year. We will be announcing the teams to represent Great Britain, Ireland and Europe in a few weeks’ time. ”
The six races will be followed by a two-hour 80s concert with a line-up including Jason Donovan, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, Jimmy Somerville, Paul Young, Toyah, China Crisis and Altered Images.
It is Ascot’s best attended raceday outside the Royal Meeting with a crowd of around 30,000 expected. Tickets (Premier £40; Grandstand £26) can be booked in advance with a minimum 10% discount (higher discounts available for group bookings) at www.ascot.co.uk or by calling 0870 727 1234.
The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is the world’s premier international jockeys’ team competition. Three world-class riders will represent each of Great Britain (GBR), Ireland (IRE), Europe (EUR) and the Rest of the World (ROW).
The six races, all handicaps, are limited to 10 runners with either two or three horses racing for each team (this will balance itself out over the course of the afternoon), and points are awarded on a 15, 10, 7, 5, 3 basis to the first five horses home (non runners score 4 points).
Subject to full fields, each jockey has five rides and the team with the highest total after the sixth race lifts the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup while the jockey with the highest individual points tally wins the Silver Saddle and a cheque for £3,000.
Since it became a four team competition in 2007, the winners have been:
Team Competition: REST OF THE WORLD (Hugh Bowman, Yutaka Take, Darren Beadman)
Silver Saddle: HUGH BOWMAN (ROW)
Team Competition: EUROPE (Gerald Mosse, Mirco Demuro, Halis Karatas)
Silver Saddle: GERALD MOSSE (EUR)
Team Competition: IRELAND (Richard Hughes, Seamus Heffernan, Neil Callan)
Silver Saddle: RICHARD HUGHES (IRE)
Team Competition: IRELAND (Richard Hughes, Pat Smullen, Fran Berry)
Silver Saddle: FRAN BERRY (IRE)
REST OF THE WORLD TEAM BIOGRAPHIES
The subject of national adulation in Japan, where he is the country’s top sporting figure, Yutaka Take was born in Kyoto on March 15, 1969, the son of legendary jockey turned trainer Kunihiko Take, who was known as the ‘Magician of the Turf’. He rode his first winner on Dyna Bishop at Hanshin on March 7, 1987, and won 69 races when champion apprentice that year, a record for a first‑season rider.
Take has been champion Japanese jockey 18 times (1989‑90, 1992‑2000, 2002‑2008) and his 2005 title saw him win a record 212 races. He has won at Group One level for 23 consecutive seasons. In 1991 he became the first Japanese rider to win a Pattern race overseas when taking the Grade Three Seneca Stakes on El Senor at Saratoga, USA, and was also the first Japanese jockey to win a Pattern race in Europe when landing the 1994 Prix du Moulin on Ski Paradise at Longchamp, France, as well as the first to score in Britain, when winning the 2000 July Cup on Agnes World. Take is an internationally renowned jockey who has travelled extensively and was based in California in 2000 and rode in France during the 2001 and 2002 seasons, before returning to his domestic base. He partnered the great Deep Impact in all of his races, including the 2005 Japanese Triple Crown.
Take participated at the 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cups. He won his first race at Ascot in the 2007 competition, steering the Tony Martin-trained Leg Spinner to success in the Shergar Cup Stayers Handicap. In 2008, he rode Strike Up The Band to win the Shergar Cup Dash and Nan’s Joy to land the Shergar Cup Distaff, placing him second in that year’s Silver Saddle leading rider competition.
On July 22, 2007, Take established a record in Japan when recording his 2,944th success at a Japan Racing Association (JRA) track, passing the record of 2,943 achieved by Yukio Okabe. On November 3, 2007, Take reached another milestone in his career when becoming the first JRA rider to record 3,000 victories. That win, which came on two-year-old Sky Beauty at Kyoto racecourse, was his 14,288th JRA ride and came 20 years and eight months after the jockey made his career debut. His numerous notable victories include three in the Japan Cup thanks to Special Week (1999), Deep Impact (2006) and Rose Kingdom (2010).
Previous Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup wins (3): 2007 Leg Spinner; 2008 Strike Up The Band; 2008 Nan’s Joy.
Doug Whyte is on the verge of clinching an unprecedented 11th consecutive Hong Kong jockeys’ championship and with a career total of over 1300 victories in the former British colony, he is well clear of his nearest pursuers on the all-time winners’ list there.
Whyte was born on November 15, 1971, in Durban, South Africa, where his father John was a leading jockey before retiring due to problems with his weight. John Whyte died when his son was nine and Doug attended the South African Jockeys’ Academy at Summerveld. He spent the first two years of his five-year apprenticeship with David Payne in Durban and the remainder with Johannesburg-based Gary Alexander. He rode nine winners when with Payne before dramatically increasing his tally with 244 winners during years four and five of his apprenticeship - beating the record of 205 set by Michael Roberts and securing two apprentices’ championships.
After finishing second in the senior South African jockeys’ championship on five occasions, including a best ever seasonal tally of 279 winners, Whyte was offered a job in Hong Kong by contacts met on one of his racing stints in Singapore. In the 2000/2001 campaign he won a first Hong Kong title with 88 wins, was champion again in the 2001/2002 season with 77 successes and prize money totalling HK$63,514,400. He again took the title in 2002/03 with 88 successes and HK$67,565,325 in prize money. In the 2003/2004 season he was the first jockey to break the 100-winner mark in Hong Kong when registering 106 victories and earning HK$82,729,570. He was again champion jockey of Hong Kong in 2004/05 with 98 winners and HK$67,668,195 in earnings, while the 2005/06 season was his winning most yet, with 114 successes and HK$79,130,045 prize money. He has been crowned champion in each subsequent season and ranks the 2009/10 championship, when his 100 winners (HK$86,32.01) repelled the challenge of Brett Prebble, as his most satisfying. The current campaign has yielded 92 successes (as of June, 22). He is the only jockey to have accrued 1,000 winners in Hong Kong.
Whyte had been due to partner the Ivan Allan-trained Indigenous in the 1999 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot but missed the ride after suffering acute appendicitis following his arrival in Britain. Cash Asmussen deputised when sixth to Daylami. Whyte’s successes on Indigenous include the Group One Hong Kong Gold Cup and Hong Kong International Vase. Prior to that, he had finished third on South African champion London News in the 1997 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at the Royal Meeting. The South African-bred horse had earlier given him successes in the Queen’s Plate and the J & B Metropolitan Handicap, two Grade One events in South Africa, and the Group One Queen Elizabeth II Cup in Hong Kong.
He participated in the 2002, 2003 and 2006 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cups and won twice in 2003, taking the Shergar Cup Sprint on Move It and the Shergar Cup Mile on Pentecost.
Previous Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup wins (2): 2003 Pentecost; 2003 Move It
Born on July 14, 1980, in rural Mudgee, New South Wales, Australia, Hugh Bowman first sat on a horse before he could walk. His parents, Jim and Mandy, moved the family to Dunedoo and he soon became the star of the local pony club, winning the best under 12 rider category at age seven. He took up polocrosse because he was too small to play rugby league, and then, during school holidays, he started riding barrier trials at Gilgandra racetrack. His first winner came on Slats at the Wellington picnic races in October 1996, several months after his first ride aboard his father’s Go Campese at the Mungerie picnic races.
Trainer Bill Aspros took him on as an apprentice in 1997 and Bowman won the Central Districts and Western Districts apprentice titles in the following two seasons. In 1999, Bowman moved on to trainer Ron Quinton and won the Sydney premiership apprentice championship with 68 winners, more than double the number of his nearest rival. Having established himself as one of Australia’s finest young riding talents, Bowman won the 2008-09 Sydney jockeys’ premiership and was awarded the inaugural Bart Cummings Medal that season. He has partnered over 1,200 winners to date with prize money totalling in excess of AUS$56 million.
Bowman has notched 18 Group One wins in his career. The first such triumph was aboard Defier in the 2004 Doomben Cup and the most recent being Danleigh in the 2011 Chipping Norton Stakes. Other top-class wins have come aboard Desert War, Samantha Miss, Red Oog, Lion Tamer, He’s No Pie Eater, Vitesse Dane, Court In Session, Cheeky Choice, Racing To Win, Dafodil and Erewhon.
Leading trainer Gai Waterhouse was one of Bowman’s main backers following his arrival in Sydney, although his career in Australia was not without controversy. In 2002 he was handed a six-month ban after a positive test for cocaine. Bowman served his suspension by working on a cattle station in the Queensland outback, an experience he credits for giving him a fresh perspective on life. In 2004, he took a busman’s holiday and rode in Ireland, where he partnered one winner, the Kevin Prendergast-trained Premier Dane at Fairyhouse.
A meeting with Mick Channon at the fifth Ashes Test in Sydney in January, 2007, led to Bowman being offered a position in England by the West Ilsley-based trainer. Bowman’s British debut was aboard Rio Taffeta at Brighton on April 29 and he only had to wait until the following day for a winner when Emerald Wilderness won in a dead-heat at Wolverhampton. His first big-race victory in Britain came aboard Wise Dennis in the totesport.com Victoria Cup at Ascot. He went on to notch 33 wins before returning to Australia at the end of that August, including Hatta Fort’s victory in the Group Two Superlative Stakes at Newmarket. He also made his Shergar Cup debut that year as he captained the triumphant Rest of the World team that consisted of himself, Yutaka Take and Darren Beadman. Bowman won the Silver Saddle as leading rider as he scored on Benandonner in the Shergar Cup Mile. He has returned for a second stint with Channon, having arrived back in England in mid-June and rode at Royal Ascot.
Previous Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup wins (1): 2007 Benandonner