Shergar Cup 2023

Osborne secures Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup glory for the Ladies

Dark Trooper (7/2F) and Saffie Osborne posted an impressive victory in the concluding Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Sprint, securing the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup for the Ladies team.

The Ed Walker-trained winner quickened away from the field entering the final furlong and, despite hanging left, was well on top at the line. Russet Gold (11/1) was second under Olivier Peslier, with Quinault (9/2) taking third under Luke Morris.

The Ladies team, successful in 2015, 2018 and 2021, ended with a final tally of 78 points, five clear of Rest of the World. Europe finished third on 54 points, with Great Britain & Ireland last on 35 points.

Osborne said: “Dark Trooper is a really classy horse. Ed’s team has done an amazing job because he has had two quick runs in very competitive races. He showed what a nice horse he is there.

“He tried his best not to run – he pulled off two shoes before the race and had to have them both put back on. He showed all his class there and he still got fairly lonely in front. You would like to think there’s more to come.

“We [The Ladies] had quite a nice book of rides but you can only dream. It has been a great day.”

On George Baker, her jockey coach, she said: “I was George’s first jockey that he took on and I hadn’t even had a ride when he started teaching me. He has been huge for my career.

“Even at this point, I still speak to him probably twice a day and after I go racing and that’s a massive help. Dad said he was the most tactically astute jockey he ever used and I totally agree with him. He is unbelievable to talk through races in before and after and it’s really handy to have someone like him.”

On Hayley Turner drawing a blank, Osborne joked: “We had to carry her today! She is one of my best friends in the weighing room. I live with her in Newmarket her for half a week and we have a good amount of banter. She is great.”

Baker, who is racing manager for Ed Walker, said: “Dark Trooper has been very progressive in his last three starts. It has been a quick turnaround but he was well-in under a penalty. He has a really likeable way of going, and he is actually getting quicker with racing.

“I thought it was a smart performance today to win like that and he was lacking concentration in front. I think he is going to have some big targets coming up at the end of the season. He is versatile as regards ground, so it is all very positive.

“It has been a brilliant day for Saffie. She got a winner for Andrew Balding, which is a big deal.”

4.30pm Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Sprint

1 Dark Trooper (LADIES) Ed Walker 3-9-05 Saffie Osborne 7/2F

2 Russet Gold (EUR) Roger Varian 3-9-06 Olivier Peslier 11/1

3 Quinault (GBI) Stuart Williams 3-9-13 Luke Morris 9/2

4 Washington Heights (LADIES) Kevin Ryan 3-9-10 Hollie Doyle

5 Radio Goo Goo (EUR) David Evans 3-9-06 Thore Hammer Hansen

Final team standings

LADIES  78

ROW  73

EUR  54

GBI  35

Final Alistair Haggis Silver Saddle standings

Hollie Doyle LADIES   48

Matthew Chadwick ROW   30

Saffie Osborne LADIES   30

Kazuo Yokoyama ROW  25

Thore Hammer Hansen EUR  23

Luke Morris GBI  21

Joao Moreira ROW  18

Olivier Peslier EUR  17

Frankie Dettori EUR  14

Declan McDonogh GBI  11

Tom Marquand GBI  3

Hayley Turner LADIES   0