Shergar Cup 2023

Perotto’s late show makes it a day to remember for Thore Hammer Hansen

Thore Hammer Hansen secured a first Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup victory as he delivered Perotto (10/3) on the line to land the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Mile.

A late replacement for Bauyrzhan Murzabayev in the Europe team, Hammer Hansen appeared to have an uphill task early in the straight but, once in the clear, his mount picked up strongly to collar Joao Moreira’s Fox Tal (20/1) in the final stride.

The 5/2 favourite Empirestateofmind stayed on to bag more points for Frankie Dettori in third.

Hammer Hansen said: “I was on the way home from Thirsk yesterday and I got a call from my agent; to be honest I thought he was taking the mick out of me, I couldn’t really believe it.

“I am flying out tonight for the Group One in Germany tomorrow and the only place I could have ridden [apart from Ascot] was Newmarket. There did not seem to be any rides there, so that played to my favour and I could come here.

“It is amazing to be here and riding with the likes of Frankie, Olivier, Tom and all the rest of the jockeys in there. Then to get up and beat one of them on the line – I can’t really describe it.”

On whether a win on a day like the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup will have a big effect on his season, he said: “I hope a big one. A huge thanks to Mr Varian [winning trainer] who was very supportive before the race and was very keen for me to try and do everything as smooth as possible.

“As soon as I asked him for an effort, he quickened away nicely and I thought it was only a matter of time before the leader comes back to me. I always felt like getting there at some stage and, when Moreira is in front of you, it’s nice to get him just on the line.

“The plan was always to produce him as late as possible, not quite that late, but we got there in the end. It’s a huge effort from the yard and I’m very thankful to everyone involved.”

Winning trainer Roger Varian said: “Perotto ran really well at Goodwood on deep ground from an awful draw in 17. You are never sure when you run them back eight days later, but he gave us the signs at home he could run again, so I am delighted.

“He has enthusiastic owners [Halcyon Thoroughbreds] and is a nice horse. He has won at Sandown, run a nice race in a Royal Hunt Cup, in a Golden Mile at Goodwood and he has come here. Horses like this are fun horses.”

Joao Moreira said of Fox Tal: “It’s hard to get beaten by a short margin like that, but it is what it is – I can’t change the result. This fella, he gave me a hard time during the race, and at the end of the day it wasn’t the worst of results. I knew from watching some of his replays that he might put his head up like that; I had to deal with that and it wasn’t too bad. I was hoping we’d hold on but, when I crossed the line, I knew we hadn’t.”

3.20pm Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Mile

1 Perotto (EUR) Roger Varian 5-9-07 Thore Hammer Hansen 10/3

2 Fox Tal (ROW) Andrew Balding 7-9-10 Joao Moreira 20/1

3 Empirestateofmind (EUR) John Quinn 5-9-07 Frankie Dettori 5/2F

4 Silent Film (ROW) Ian Williams 5-9-07 Kazuo Yokoyama

5 The Wizard Of Eye (GBI) Stan Moore 4-9-12 Tom Marquand

Team standings after race 4

ROW  58

LADIES  43

EUR  41

GBI  18

Alistair Haggis Silver Saddle standings after race 4

Hollie Doyle LADIES   28

Matthew Chadwick ROW   20

Kazuo Yokoyama ROW  20

Thore Hammer Hansen EUR  20

Joao Moreira ROW  18

Saffie Osborne LADIES   15

Frankie Dettori EUR  14

Declan McDonogh GBI  8

Luke Morris GBI  7

Olivier Peslier EUR  7

Tom Marquand GBI  3

Hayley Turner LADIES   0