Shergar Cup: Female jockeys claim landmark Ascot triumph

Sammy-Jo Bell. Emma-Jayne Wilson and Hayley Turner
Northern Irish rider Bell with Canada's Wilson and English rider Turner

A trio of female jockeys beat three all-male sides to win racing's team riding event - the Shergar Cup at Ascot - for the first time.

The 'Girls' team, of Emma-Jayne Wilson, Sammy Jo Bell and Hayley Turner, claimed three of the six races.

Bell clocked up a 55-1 double to collect the Alistair Haggis Silver Saddle for top rider and Wilson also won in the event, first run in 1999.

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Jockey Hayley Turner meets future of women's racing Sammy Jo Bell

"This is definitely the best day of my career," said Bell.

Canadian Wilson added: "We did it, we nailed it - we got the job done. It's a team effort, but Sammy had an absolute rock star day.

"I hope that shuts up the doubters. Sammy did a brilliant job as an apprentice on the day and Hayley is the flagship female jockey in this country."

The 24-year-old Northern Irish apprentice rider, the first woman to be Shergar Cup leading jockey, was called up as a late replacement for the injured Cathy Gannon.

Watched by a 30,000 crowd, the women saw off some of the sport's top male jockeys.

The Rest of the World team - including Melbourne Cup-winning rider Kerrin McEvoy - finished second in the competition, with Great Britain and Ireland third and Europe trailing in last.

Bell's honour for leading rider was named this year after Haggis, the PR expert who first floated the idea of an all-female team and died in November 2014 after a battle with Motor Neurone Disease.

She won aboard Shell Bay, trained by Richard Hannon, in the Shergar Cup Classic after earlier scoring in the stayers' race with Royal Signaller, for Michael Appleby.

Sammy-Jo Bell (nearest) at Ascot
Sammy Jo Bell was called up as a late replacement for the injured Cathy Gannon
Emma-Jayne Wilson is sprayed with champagne by Hayley Turner
Wilson is sprayed with champagne by team-mate Turner

Final scores

Teams

The Girls 80 points

Great Britain and Ireland 67

Rest of the World 66

Europe 27

Leading riders

Sammy-Jo Bell 35

Jamie Spencer 30

Kerrin McEvoy 30

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