Hayley Turner OBE is set to make a dramatic return to the saddle in a one off appearance to ride in theDubai Duty Free Shergar Cupfor the tenth time, on Saturday 6thAugust.
Having officially retired at the end of last season, Hayley will complete this year’s Girls’ Team and explained:
“TheDubai Duty Free Shergar Cuphas always been my favourite day of the racing calendar and I wouldn’t have considered coming out of retirement for any other event.
“It's a real shame that Michelle Payne is unable to join the team and I wish her a speedy recovery. I'm looking forward to the challenge and hope myself, Emma-Jayne and Cathy Gannon can recreate the magic of our team’s victory from last year.”
Hayley is the most successful female jockey in British racing history and was recently honored with an OBE from The Queen for services to horse racing. With multiple Group One victories around the world, Hayley has contributed to the increase in female jockeys and the promotion of women in the racing industry.
The Girls’ Team now features Hayley, captain Emma-Jayne Wilson who has previously appeared in the competition in 2006, 2012, 2014 and 2015 and Cathy Gannon who rode in the competition in 2013.
34 year old Emma-Jayne is the first woman in Canada’s history to win the country’s premier horse race, the Queen’s Plate, in 2007 aboard Mike Fox and, as of September 19th2012 she became the leading Canadian female rider of all time, having passedFrancine Villeneuve’s previous tally of 1001 winners.
Irish born Cathy Gannon brings a wealth of experience to the Girls’ Team having amassed more than £1.5m in prize money since being crowned the first female Irish Champion Apprentice in 2004.
Nick Smith, Director of Racing and Communications at Ascot welcomed the news:
“British racegoers were going to see a new female legend in Michelle Payne and we are very fortunate that such is Hayley’s passion for the event, they are instead going to get a rare, and possibly last chance to see her ride competitively under formal rules again.
“It’s incredibly bad luck on Michelle that she suffered such a serious injury. We were very much looking forward to welcoming her to the UK – something that had been planned from the day after her Melbourne Cup victory.”
Shergar Cup title sponsors Dubai Duty Free, are also equally pleased to see Turner’s return. Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Colm McLoughlin, said:
“Hayley has been a terrific international ambassador for racing and a fantastic contributor to the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup over the years. We are very much looking forward to seeing her back in the saddle and wish her every success.”
Tickets for the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup on August 8th are on sale now.Click here for more details