International Affairs

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Geoff Lester: London – We will all be rooting for Anthony Delpech on Saturday when he makes his first appearance at Ascot’s popular Shergar Cup meeting as part of the Rest of the World team.

Newly installed South African champion jockey Delpech, 48, is excited about the prospect of mixing it with some of the other best jockeys in the world.

He said: “I’ve ridden winners in Mauritius, Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai and I am really looking forward to this new challenge and teaming up with Kerrin McEvoy and Keita Tosaki in trying to retain the trophy for the Rest of the World squad.

“Fellow Springbok Gavin Lerena rode two winners in last year’s Shergar Cup and helped us lift the cup, so hopefully we can get the job done again on Saturday. I just hope I get lucky with the random draw of rides.”

The draw takes place on Thursday, and I’d love to see Anthony pick up the ride on TROPICS in the opening Dash. This evergreen nine-year-old missed Royal Ascot because of the soft ground, but his recent fourth at Newmarket has put him spot on for this.

Godolphin bagged a couple of winners at Goodwood, but the week has to go down as disappointing as they went there with so much confidence over Ribchester, who trainer Richard Fahey, admitting to have got his tactics wrong, concedes “should have won”.

However, the boys in blue are looking to get back on track this weekend, with SCOTTISH in the Arlington Million in Chicago. He made a pleasing reappearance to finish fifth in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot – his first race since his brave effort in last year’s Caulfield Cup in Sydney – and if all goes well in the Windy City then Australia will be the next port of call.

PERMIAN can top up British celebrations in Chicago by landing the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes on the same card. He is as tough as teak, and, having won the King Edward VII Stakes at the Royal meeting, was then beaten only a nose in the Grade 1 Grand Prix de Paris, and word from Arlington is that there is minimal confidence in the home team for this race.

We might just get a cash-injection for both Ascot and Arlington by backing VICTORY ANGEL in the sprint handicap at Newmarket on Friday evening. He bounced right back to his best when sluicing home at Yarmouth recently, and a 3kg penalty may not stop him from following up.

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