Payne excited at chance to ride in first Shergar Cup
History maker Michelle Payne, who became the first female to win the Melbourne Cup in 2015, will make her Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup debut this year after she was confirmed among the Girls team for the international jockeys' competition.
Payne, who missed last year's event due to injury, will join regular captain Emma-Jayne Wilson from Canada and Josephine Gordon, the reigning champion apprentice, in the line-ups for the August 12 fixture at Ascot.
Frankie Dettori, a veteran of eight Shergar Cups, will lead the Europe team, Jamie Spencer will captain Great Britain and Ireland, and Kerrin McEvoy heads the trio of jockeys who will represent the Rest Of The World, who won the trophy for the sixth time last year.
Payne, who also has plans to ride at Royal Ascot for the first time this summer, said: "I'm so excited about riding in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, especially after the disappointment of not being able to last year due to my injury. We have a great team and I’m really hopeful we can do the fans proud and take back the cup."
Wilson, who will be making her sixth appearance, led the Girls team to their first victory in the competition two years ago and said: "I'm so proud to have been part of the first Girls team to win in 2015 and am looking forward to being back at Ascot this year.
"The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup provides a great opportunity for us girls to prove we are as good as some of the world’s best male jockeys, and I can’t wait to team up with Michelle and Josephine."
Under the format of the Shergar Cup the winner is the team which amasses the most points from six £45,000 handicaps, in which each jockey will have five rides. There is a £3,000 prize for the winner of the Alistair Haggis Silver Saddle Trophy, awarded to the highest point-scoring jockey of the day.
Dettori will be joined by two former champion jockeys of Germany in Alexander Pietsch, who will compete for the first time, and Dutchman Adrie De Vries.
McEvoy, who won his second Melbourne Cup last year, will be joined by two newcomers in South African Anthony Delpech, and Keita Tosaki from Japan, who will both be riding in Britain for the first time. Ryan Moore and Neil Callan complete the Great Britain and Ireland team.