DDF reinforces major Ascot deal

By Doug Newhouse |

Dubai Duty Free has become the Official Sponsor at Ascot for the first time, adding to its continued support for the Dubai Shergar Cup until ‘at least 2016’.


As Executive Vice Chairman Colm McLoughlin has explained in interviews with TRBusiness in the past, DDF has a long association with top-level horse racing in the UK and elsewhere and also benefits from the major worldwide television exposure that goes with it.


In this latest development, DDF also has exclusive naming rights to all six races on the Shergar Cup card, which is a unique team event whereby jockeys form teams and compete against each other.


Dubai Duty Free has been involved with Ascot since the move of the team jockeys’ competition from Goodwood in 2000 – first as Rest of the World team sponsors and as event sponsors since 2006.


In line with this new agreement, all six races on the card will be raised in value by £10,000 to £40,000 ($16,788 to $67,153) each.






Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman of Dubai Duty Free, said: “We have been associated with the Shergar Cup from the outset and have seen it develop into a unique and hugely popular event in the British racing and social calendar.”


He added that DDF is also delighted to be raising the prize money by more than 30% for every race.


“The line-up of international jockeys is taking shape and I am sure this year’s renewal will be as competitive as ever.”


The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup race programme comprises six competitive handicaps, which continue to be well supported by many of the sport’s leading trainers.


Commenting on the development, Charles Barnett, CEO, Ascot said: “The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is key to our overall global strategy for Ascot. We spend a lot of time promoting the Royal Meeting and King George to overseas owners and trainers and on this unique day of the year, that theme extends to the world’s best jockeys.



Top image and above: Charles Barnett, CEO of Ascot Racecourse and Executive Vice Chairman Colm McLoughlin sign the Shergar Cup contract for 2014.




“We have seen stars from all over the world take part in the Shergar Cup and it is always fascinating to see the champions of various regions going head to head with sometimes quite different styles.


“Last year, we welcomed the out-of-retirement Gary Stevens from the USA along with compatriot Rosie Napravnik, the top female rider in that part of the world, along with Joao Moreira from Brazil, who subsequent to impressing everyone in the Shergar Cup has become one of the top riders based in Hong Kong.


“The teams for this year are shaping up to be just as exciting, especially as we are welcoming back the enigmatic Canadian legend, Emma-Jayne Wilson, who is one of the event’s biggest fans and ambassadors.


We could not do this without the invaluable support of Dubai Duty Free and look forward to working with them on the event going forward.”


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