Racing: Sangster and Sheikh Shergar Cup captains

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THE ELEMENT of team competition, hitherto confined to well-meaning but uncompelling international jockeys' challenges, will form the cornerstone of racing's latest innovation, the Shergar Cup, an afternoon of top-class sport unveiled yesterday.

The Cup, a six-race card to be staged for the first time at Goodwood on 8 May next year, takes its inspiration from golf's Ryder Cup. Whereas the little white ball pitches Europe in opposition to the United States, the home continent's "enemy" will be the Middle East.

Team captains for the event, named in honour of the 1981 Derby winner, are the two most influential men in racing over the past two decades, Robert Sangster (Europe) and Sheikh Mohammed (Middle East).

The venture is the brainchild of the British Horseracing Board chairman, Peter Savill. "This exciting new event will help bring to racing the dynamism and interest of international team competition," he said. "It has the potential to establish itself in equivalent terms with golf's Ryder Cup."

Team captains will be solely responsible for team selection, which must be made by 1 March, with the eligibility of horses being determined by their ownership as of 1 January, 1999, 1 March and at starting, with ownership remaining constant on all three dates.

Points will be awarded down to sixth place, with the winner receiving 15 points, the runner-up 10, the third seven, fourth-placed horse five points, fifth-placed three and the sixth horse one point.Each race will have a field of 10, with six horses initially selected for each team, one from each acting as reserve. The Cup will be shown live on BBC Grandstand.


Nap: Lord Richfield

(Uttoxeter 3.45)

NB: Nahrawali

(Taunton 2.25)