Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup: The Girls team profiles
A look at the profiles of the jockeys representing The Girls team who are 7/2 with Coral to emerge victorious in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot.
Emma-Jayne Wilson (Canada, Captain)
Background: Emma-Jayne Wilson is the winning-most female jockey of all-time in Canada (with 1,268 winners in North America as of August 2nd, 2015 – she has ridden in 9,252 North American races and her mounts have earned $62,018,562). She is only one of two female Canadian jockeys to have ridden over 1,000 winners (after the legendary Francine Villeneuve). Wilson burst onto the North American racing scene in 2005 when landing the riding title at Woodbine, Canada. At its 167-day meet, Wilson partnered 175 winners from 1,096 mounts, becoming the first female to take the title in the racecourse’s 50-year history, and only the third ever apprentice to do so, following Sandy Hawley in 1969 and Mickey Walls in 1991. Started riding at the age of nine and soon had her heart set on becoming a jockey. Studied equine management at the University of Guelph and spent two years riding out at Woodbine Racecourse, where she caught the eye of leading agent Mike Luider. Gained her first winner on only her second ride – a horse called Ali Olah at Fort Erie, on August 28th, 2004, and enjoyed an annus mirabilis in her first full season as an apprentice, recording a first Stakes victory on board Classic Stamp in the Grade Two Bell Canadian Stakes to go with her leading jockey title at Woodbine. Her achievements on the racetrack were rewarded with a Sovereign Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey (with 146 wins for the year) and an Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey in North America – becoming only the second woman ever to land the apprentice Eclipse award. Wilson retained her leading jockeys’ title at Woodbine in 2006 with 144 successes and received a second Sovereign Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey. Became the first female rider to win the Grade One Queen’s Plate, part of Canada’s Triple Crown, when scoring on board Mike Fox in June, 2007. Competed in the Hong Kong International Jockey Challenge in December, 2007, and was granted a licence to ride in the former colony the following winter. She was out of action for nearly three months following a fall at Woodbine in August 21, 2010, when she suffered a lacerated liver. Wilson made an impressive debut at the Breeders’ Cup in November, 2011, partnering Excaper to finish second behind Wrote in the Grade One Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. Since 2005, she has finished in the top 100 jockeys by earnings each year in North America, 28th in 2005; 31st in 2006; 22nd in 2007; 30th in 2008; 36th in 2009; 61st in 2010; 18th in 2011 with earnings of US$7,157,347; 30th in 2012; 41st in 2013 and 42nd in 2014.
Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup: Wilson, who won the inaugural Pimlico Female Jockey Challenge in June, 2011, is making her fourth appearance at the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, having participated in the competition in 2006, 2012 and 2014 when the Girls came within one point of winning the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup and she just missed out on the Silver Saddle Award for leading rider.
Previous Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup wins (2): 2014 Retirement Plan, 2014 Don’t Call Me.
Hayley Turner (England)
Background: Hayley Turner, the joint champion UK apprentice in 2005, is the most successful female jockey in British racing history. Turner was taught to ride by her mother, a riding instructor. She started riding out for local trainer Mark Polglase, who supplied her first winner, Generate, at Pontefract on June 4th, 2000. She also attended the Northern Racing College, and then was apprenticed to Michael Bell in Newmarket. She spent 13 years riding for Bell until a split was announced in June, 2013. She has had no luck with injuries subsequently, breaking her left ankle in a Yarmouth fall on July 25th last year. Shortly after making her comeback, she had another fall, this time at Doncaster on September 12th, chipped her pelvis and had three fractures in her back. She returned to action in December, 2013.
Accolades: Turner became the first woman to be crowned champion apprentice when partnering 44 winners during the 2005 Flat (turf) season, sharing the title with Saleem Golam. She also became only the fourth woman in Britain to ride out her apprentice claim, following Emma O’Gorman, Alex Greaves and Lisa Jones. Her success during the 2005 season led to Turner being awarded a Lester for apprentice jockey of the year, the first woman ever to gain that accolade. In 2008, she became the first female jockey to partner 100 winners in a calendar year in Britain. Her total number of winners is approaching 700 and she has ridden in the Derby.
Big-Race Wins: Turner’s first Group One victory came in July, 2011, aboard the David Simcock-trained Dream Ahead in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket and she enjoyed further Group One success when the Bell-trained Margot Did captured the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes York the following month. She is only the second woman to have ridden a Group One winner in Britain and the first to win one outright as Alex Greaves’ success came when her mount Ya Malak dead-heated with Coastal Bluff for the 1997 Nunthorpe Stakes. In 2012, she enjoyed a Grade One victory on the international stage when the Simcock-trained I’m A Dreamer landed the Beverly D Stakes at Arlington, USA.
Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup: She has ridden at the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup on eight occasions (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014) and captained the GBR team in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Wins (4): 2007 Relative Order; 2008 Gee Dee Nen; 2009 Noverre To Go.
Sammy Jo Bell (Northern Ireland)
Background: Raised in Ballyclare, County Antrim. Her mother, Jacqueline, rode in several point-to-points. She grew up around horses and spent six months working for trainer Jim Bolger after leaving school. Subsequently moved on to the stables Kevin Prendergast, where she worked for three and a half years. Enjoyed a first winner on just her third ride as the Prendergast-trained Celtic Dane scored by a short-head in a Leopardstown handicap on March 27th, 2011. Partnered 10 winners in Ireland before moving to the UK at the start of 2013 to ride for North Yorkshire trainer Richard Fahey, in search of greater opportunities. Recorded a first success in Britain on board Shot In The Sun in a maiden at Beverley on July 6th, 2013. Has ridden 22 winners this year (up to and including the racing of Monday, August 3) and is narrowly behind Cam Hardie, who leads the race for this year’s champion apprentice title. Rides under the name on her birth certificate – Samantha Bell – but is known universally as Sammy Jo Bell. Late substitute for the injured Cathy Gannon in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot on Saturday, August 8th. She is currently eligible to claim 3lb.
Accolades: Shortlisted for Sky Sports sportswoman of the month for June, 2015, when she had 11 winners, alongside Olympic champions Nicola Adams and Jade Jones; also made the shortlist for the Stobart Jockey of the Month Award in association with Channel 4 for the same period.
Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup debut.