Shergar Cup 2023

The Very Man makes the trip over from Ireland a worthwhile one

The Very Man (9/4F) came from last to first under a power-packed Hollie Doyle to win the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Stayers for the Ladies team.

The Jessica Harrington-trained winner, who was having his first Flat start outside of Ireland, came with a withering run down the outside to clear away and score by three and a quarter lengths.

Runner-up Berkshire Rocco kept on well for Matthew Chadwick, while The Grand Visir was third under Great Britain & Ireland captain Luke Morris.

Doyle said: “The Very Man is very straightforward. He never runs a bad race and he deserved to get his head in front today like that. He doesn’t do anything quickly but today he actually showed a nice turn of foot from where he was positioned.

“I wasn’t too worried [with her race position]. Jessie said he can run in snatches but keep hold of him and he will keep finding. I just wanted to keep hold of his head because the ground was loose down the back and he was struggling a little bit on that.

“Jessie gave me plenty of confidence. When I watched his run the other week in Galway I thought he had a right chance as he ran a really good race that day.

“The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is a great day and everyone is accommodated very well.”

Harrington’s representative Emma Doyle said: “Kate [Harrington] is not here – she is in the ring at this very moment at the Royal Dublin Show riding Sizing John, while Jessie is at the Phoenix [at The Curragh] today. I am sure someone will have shouted to Kate to tell her we have won.

“Jessie loves sending horses here for this meeting and we won here last year with Jungle Cove, a horse she owns herself. He was ridden by Emma-Jayne Wilson.

“It was a bank holiday on Monday in Ireland but we were not going to miss doing the Shergar Cup entries, Jessica loves it. It is such a good pot and these condensed races suit some of the older handicappers, who maybe don’t like getting in amongst it all now.”

Matthew Chadwick said of Berkshire Rocco: “The horse ran well. The circumstances of the race didn’t really work out that well for us; they went a bit fast. Had they gone a fraction slower, my horse would have been more comfortable and would have been able to get into it better. But it is what it is – he ran well and I’m happy.”

The Grand Visir’s jockey Luke Morris said: “He ran very well. He is a bit of an old legend – he runs in all these big handicaps. He is admirably consistent so I’m sure he’ll have a big day soon. It is a great atmosphere with some great horses and jockeys, so there’s not a lot to not like about today!”

2.10pm Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Stayers

1 The Very Man (LADIES) Jessica Harrington IRE 9-9-06 Hollie Doyle 9/4F

2 Berkshire Rocco (ROW) Andrew Balding 6-9-09 Matthew Chadwick 6/1

3 The Grand Visir (GBI) Ian Williams 9-9-08 Luke Morris 11/1

4 Law Of The Sea (ROW) Ian Williams 5-9-06 Joao Moreira

5 Prydwen (GBI) George Scott 5-9-11 Declan McDonogh

Team standings after race 2

ROW 40

LADIES 18

EUR 12

GBI 10

Alistair Haggis Silver Saddle standings after race 2

Matthew Chadwick ROW  20

Hollie Doyle LADIES  18

Kazuo Yokoyama ROW 15

Frankie Dettori EUR 7

Luke Morris GBI 7

Thore Hammer Hansen EUR 5

Joao Moreira ROW 5

Declan McDonogh GBI 3

Olivier Peslier EUR 0

Tom Marquand GBI 0

Hayley Turner LADIES  0

Saffie Osborne LADIES  0