Delpech grabs victory at Ascot

Delpech grabs victory at Ascot


Mike Moon: Anthony Delpech flew the South African flag high in the Shergar Cup international jockeys’ challenge at Ascot in the UK. He won one race and registered a second and a fourth from five rides.

The South African champion finished fourth overall in the individual contest for the Silver Saddle, with 30 points. Fran Berry of Great Britain & Ireland lifted the trophy with 37 points.

The Rest of the World team came second in the Shergar Cup itself, amassing 67 points to GB&I’s 86. The latter’s trio of riders managed three wins in the six competition events.

The Europe team was third on 64 points and last were The Girls on 23.

After a slow start to the day, not riding in the first race and then being partnered with horses who clearly didn’t act on the soft ground, Delpech, 48, showed his evergreen talent by booting home the filly Glenys The Menace in the fifth leg.

Drawn in gate No 8 among 10 three-year-old runners over 2400m, Glenys The Menace was a little sluggish away and Delpech was forced to drop her in among the backmarkers. Reachforthestars under Italian jockey Umberto Rispoli set the pace from 2-1 favourite Contango, who was being steered by Delpech’s Rest of the World teammate Kerrin McEvoy of Australia.

As the field peeled off the bend into the final straight, Delpech aimed his mount towards the middle of the course – not unlike the way he does it at his home course Greyville in Durban. Under a typically forceful Delpech ride, the filly began to gain on the leaders, mostly colts, who also included 9-1 shot Bear Valley, ridden by Berry, and Rake’s Progress (7-1) with Neil Callan (BG&I) on board.

In the final 100m, Glenys The Menace forged into the lead and won going away by half a length from Contango and McEvoy. The Sporting Life’s live blogger enthused about the South African champ’s “sensational timing”.

One race later, in the final leg, a sprint, Delpech got his mount, Lualiwa (9-2), away smartly and was to the forefront of the cavalry charge. With 200m to go, he looked likely to snatch the victory, but Berry, on 4-1 chance Golden Apollo, came flying up to pip him on the line.

Earlier in the contest, the best Delpech could manage was a fourth on Briliadoro, a weak 9-2 favourite in Race 4, a Class 2 handicap over a mile.

After positioning his horse nicely in fourth place on the rail, Delpech made a promising-looking run up the inside rail, but the six-year-old gelding failed to match the finishing efforts of three competitors.

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