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Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

German ace Starke delighted to be back at scene of Danedream's King George win

Andrasch Starke: returns to Ascot to captain the European team in the Shergar Cup
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Andrasch Starke is relishing a return to the scene of his memorable King George triumph in Saturday's Shergar Cup.

The 44-year-old German jockey, competing in the team competition for a third time, will captain a European line-up featuring Swedish rider Per-Anders Graberg and Frenchman Gerald Mosse, who was a late call-up when Frankie Dettori became unavailable.

He said: "It’s a big pleasure to be riding back at Ascot. I’ve been to two Shergar Cups in the past and now I’m the captain.

"I think England is the homeland of horseracing. It’s a good atmosphere. While we have some big meetings in Germany like Baden-Baden – people like racing a lot there – it’s a bit different to the huge crowds coming to the races and betting in England. The whole family might go racing and I miss that a little bit in Germany."

Recalling Danedream's King George success in 2012, Starke said: "I remember the huge crowd in the big grandstand at Ascot. I think everybody who was lucky enough to see it remembers how close that finish was. I didn’t know if I had won, but I had a good feeling when I galloped back to the grandstand and heard the announcement that I had won. It was unbelievable."

In contrast to British racing, the sport in Germany is afflicted by numerous problems, Starke said.

He added: "German racing is struggling a lot. The breeding industry is a lot smaller, it’s a small horse industry but quite successful over the globe. A lot of our good stallions and mares are sold overseas.

"I think we have bigger problems, more problems than just the [stringent] whip rules. I think sorting out the breeding is the biggest challenge.

"The racing industry and the Jockey Club have to find new ways to do things."


Quickfire Q & A with Andrasch Starke

Most memorable victory? Danedream winning the King George.

Favourite racecourse? Ascot and Longchamp.

Country you’d like to race in but haven’t? Luckily enough, there isn’t really one.

If you weren't a jockey, what would your career have been? I didn’t have any other dream.

What did you make of Germany’s performance in the World Cup? I couldn’t find any words to describe that. A disaster.

Biggest luxury you own? Being healthy.

What’s more important for a jockey, ambition or talent? Ambition.


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I think everybody who was lucky enough to see it remembers how close that finish was
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