Shergar Cup: Ladies team hold off late Ireland surge for victory as Silver Saddle winner Nicola Currie stars

Nicola Currie rides two winners at Ascot to take Silver Saddle for leading rider at Shergar Cup; Ireland finish with a one-two in the last but narrowly miss out on the title as Currie finishes third on Royal Scimitar

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Nicola Currie was delighted to seal the Silver Saddle award for leading jockey at the Shergar Cup after victory on State of Bliss in the Classic

Nicola Currie was the star of the show as the Ladies team held off a late charge by Ireland to win the Shergar Cup at Ascot.

Currie, making her debut in the competition, won two of the six races to seal the Silver Saddle award for leading rider and lift her team to the top of the table.

Ireland enjoyed a one-two in the final race as they almost propelled themselves from last in the standings to first, but Currie added a vital seven points with Royal Scimitar coming home third.

Shergar Cup 2021 final standings

That ensured the Ladies finished with a total of 69 points, three ahead of Ireland and five clear of Great Britain in third. 2019 champions the Rest of the World finished fourth on 53 points.

The Ladies, led by captain Hayley Turner and featuring global star Mickaelle Michel, began slowly, failing to pick up a single point from the opening Dash over five furlongs, with Rest of the World captain Kevin Stott taking the maximum score of 15 points with victory on board Clive Cox's Tis Marvellous.

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Ladies team winning captain Hayley Turner says Currie 'rode out of her skin' as they claimed the Shergar Cup title at Ascot

Currie then sprang into action, leading from the front on Just Hubert in the Stayers race, with Michel on Call My Bluff earning an extra 10 points for finishing second.

More important points were added in the Shergar Cup Challenge race as Currie came home second on HMS President, finishing behind Ireland's David Egan on Graphite.

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Dashing Roger gave Cieren Fallon his first Shergar Cup winner for Great Britain and the young jockey was delighted with his 'tough' horse

The Mile race went the way of Cieren Fallon, riding his first Shergar Cup winner on Dashing Roger, as Great Britain moved into an overall lead after race four.

But Currie sealed her place at the top of the jockey standings and moved the Ladies back in front with her second victory of the day with a beautifully-timed ride on Mark Johnston's State of Bliss in the Classic.

Nicola Currie is presented with the ride of the day award at the Shergar Cup
Image: Currie is presented with the ride-of-the-day award at the Shergar Cup

Reflecting on a memorable day, Currie said: "It's unbelievable to win the Silver Saddle. I was hoping I might nick one today or the team could win on points, but to have a double.

"I thought this leading jockey's armband would be harder to keep than a driver's licence!

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"I had a very straightforward ride on State Of Bliss. I jumped to be positive, but we went a really hard gallop, so I just settled him in on the way round.

"He just keeps finding, so I really wanted to get him rolling as soon as I could and thankfully, I was able to do that. The further we went, the better he has gone."

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