Shergar Cup 2023

Kazuo Yokoyama off to a flyer on Rogue Lightning

Japanese star Kazuo Yokoyama made the perfect start on his Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup debut as he steered Rogue Lightning (9/1) to victory for Rest of the World in the opening five-furlong Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Dash.

Trained by Tom Clover, Rogue Lightning came home strongly from the rear to win by just under two lengths. He led home a one-two for Rest of the World, with Intrinsic Bond a clear second under leading Hong Kong pilot Matthew Chadwick. Dream Composer, ridden by Frankie Dettori, stayed on well up the stands’ rail to grab third.

Speaking via a translator, Yokoyama said: “I was a bit tense but, now I’ve ridden and won the race, I am myself again.

“The horse was in the best condition and the track was also in the best condition. It is one of the best racecourses in the world.

“Tom [Clover, trainer] gave us precise advice, so I tried to place the horse in a very relaxed position behind other horses and he quickened in the last furlong.”

Tom Clover said: “Rogue Lightning is a really nice horse, and it was very sporting of [owners] The Rogues to come to a meeting like this. It is great prize money and it’s nice to come here with a nice horse.

“Going forward, perhaps the Scarborough Stakes at Doncaster – he won there last time. It looks as though dropping back to five furlongs and using the hood for his last couple of starts has helped.

“He was obviously keen early doors, showed plenty of talent as a two-year-old, and things didn’t go his way at Kempton. That was frustrating but, bringing him back to five and putting the hood on, he has really relaxed.

“Kazuo is obviously a very good jockey. I just told him to keep the horse relaxed and to follow into the race. The Shergar Cup is a great concept and Ascot do a very good job bringing all these jockeys from around the world. There’s a good crowd here today, the prize money is very good and it’s very nice to be here and doing well.”

Matthew Chadwick said of Intrinsic Bond: “It was very straightforward. He was a bit edgy going to the gates, just did too much, and gave the winner a soft run through. The ground is riding good.”

Thore Hammer Hansen, who rode fourth-placed Chipstead, said: “I am obviously delighted to get the call up. It is a massive thing for me, and I watch it every year. It is great to be with Frankie and Olivier and all the great jockeys coming from the rest of the world.

“We were a little bit unlucky with the draw, being drawn in stall one. We didn’t really want to be stuck out on the wing. I was keen to get him behind a few and try to get him to travel. We could have potentially been a bit closer to the winner if we’d been in the four or five spot. We weren’t beaten very far and we got a couple of points on the board.”

1.35pm Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Dash

1 Rogue Lightning (ROW) Tom Clover 3-9-06 Kazuo Yokoyama 9/1

2 Intrinsic Bond (ROW) Michael Wigham 6-9-07 Matthew Chadwick 4/1JF

3 Dream Composer (EUR) James Evans 5-9-04 Frankie Dettori 4/1JF

4 Chipstead (EUR) Roger Teal 5-9-13 Thore Hammer Hansen

5 Judicial (LADIES) Julie Camacho 11-9-10 Hollie Doyle

Team standings after race 1

ROW 25

EUR 12

LADIES 3

GBI 0

Alistair Haggis Silver Saddle standings after race 1

Kazuo Yokoyama ROW 15

Matthew Chadwick ROW  10

Frankie Dettori EUR 7

Thore Hammer Hansen EUR 5

Hollie Doyle LADIES  3

Olivier Peslier EUR 0

Luke Morris GBI 0

Declan McDonogh GBI 0

Tom Marquand GBI 0

Hayley Turner LADIES  0