Shergar Cup looks Rosie
Rosie Napravnik, one of North America's leading jockeys, and Lisa Allpress, the best female jockey that New Zealand has ever produced, will join Britain's best, Hayley Turner (Captain), in the Girls Team for the 2013 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot on Saturday 10 August.
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Meanwhile Gary Stevens (Captain), one of the USA's greatest ever jockeys, will be joined on the Rest of the World team by Japanese ace Yasunari Iwata, who has won three Japan Cups including the last two on Buena Vista and Gentildonna, and Brazilian star Joao Moreira, who is currently re-rewriting the record books in Singapore.
Colm McLoughlin, Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman, welcomed the news: "The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is truly deserving of its status as a major international horseracing event. We are delighted to be bringing together a group of top international riders and creating a unique opportunity for the public to see them in action on the same stage.
"We look forward to revealing the European contingent who will complete the line-up (Teams Europe and Great Britain and Ireland) after the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the end of June."
Napravnik, 25, is currently ranked second in wins and fifth in earnings on the North American leader board. She finished eighth in the jockeys' earnings lists last year, which was the highest place ever by a female jockey. She became the first female jockey to win the prestigious 2012 Kentucky Oaks on Believe You Can and won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Shanghai Bobby.
Last weekend, following her third consecutive meet title at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, she finished fifth on Mylute in the Kentucky Derby and rode a double - both Grade Two winners - at Churchill Downs over the weekend.
Allpress, 37 and a mother of two, was the first female to pass 1000 winners in New Zealand. She won the New Zealand premiership last season with 159 winners after finishing second with 145 winners the year before. She has ridden over 90 Group and Stakes winners and will take up a three-month contract in Singapore later in the year.
Allpress said about her Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup appearance: "It is a fantastic opportunity. I have always wanted to go to England... and to go there and ride at Ascot, well that is just so wonderful."
Hayley Turner, 30, a Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup regular who has ridden four winners in the competition in the past, will captain the Girls Team.She said: "I'm really looking forward to captaining the Girls Team again in an event I always enjoy and hopefully we can win it this year."
Stevens, 50, made an unexpected return to the saddle in January of this year after retiring in 2005. He did not take long to notch up a first Graded victory, taking the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes aboard Slim Shadey on 10 February.
Prior to his initial retirement, he became the youngest rider to surpass $100 million in earnings in 1993, was inducted into racing's Hall of Fame in 1997, won the Eclipse Award as the nation's top jockey in 1998 and won three Kentucky Derbys and eight Breeders' Cup races. He also won the Dubai World Cup, Japan Cup and had a very successful spell in the UK in 1999, including riding a winner for The Queen at Royal Ascot on Blueprint. He also starred in the 2003 film, Seabiscuit.
Iwata, 39 was awarded Japan Racing Association's most winning-jockey title in 2011 and 2012, determined by races won and money earned. As well as three Japan Cups, he also struck gold on his very first ride overseas in 2006 when he travelled to Australia and won the Melbourne Cup on Delta Blues. He took part in the 2010 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup in which he was beaten a short head in the Shergar Cup Classic.
Iwata said: "For Japanese jockeys, the Shergar Cup is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious and aspired to competitions in the world and it is a great privilege for me to be able to participate as a representative of Japanese racing.
"I very much look forward to competing with so many world-class jockeys including my great team mates, Gary and Joao. I can hardly wait for the race day!"
Moreira, 29, the Brazilian-born champion jockey in Singapore for the last three years, won last year's championship by a staggering margin, riding 206 winners against the second place total of 72. He also won the Hong Kong International Jockeys competition at Happy Valley last December.
Moreira added: "It is an honour to be invited to participate in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup.
"This will be my first visit to ride in the UK and to do so at such a prestigious racecourse is a dream come true. I am really looking forward to the event."
Nick Smith, Head of International Racing at Ascot, concluded: "We set the bar really high in 2012 with our first all female team, with Chantal Sutherland and Emma-Jayne Wilson competing alongside Hayley. So we are particularly pleased in year two to have arguably the two outstanding riders in their countries - of any sex - in Rosie and Lisa, joining Hayley this year.
"The Rest of the World Team is also as strong as usual with Gary captaining a new face in Joao, who is simply in a league of his own in Singapore, and Yasunari, who has won the last two Japan Cups."