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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Rules and running order for the big event

Thierry Jarnet: won last year's Silver Saddle
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The bare facts
There will be six races of ten runners, contested by 12 jockeys. Each race will have two reserves, which can be called up until 45 minutes before the scheduled off time.

Each jockey will, barring a late withdrawal, have five rides. The reason for not having full fields of 12 for each race is to cover any injuries.

Allocation of rides
On Thursday, the draw was made allotting stalls and riders to horses. To assure fairness, former Racing Post columnist and expert James Willoughby ranked the runners in each race and these figures were used in the computerised allocation so as to give each jockey – and thus team – an even spread of chances through the afternoon.

On the day
Gates open at 11am and 50 minutes before the first race, at 1.05, the opening ceremony will take place and the jockeys will be officially announced to the crowd accompanied by cheerleaders.

The first five horses home in each race will receive 15, ten, seven, five and three points respectively for their rider and his or her team. Dead-heat rules apply.

Race winners will also get the honour of having their team's anthem played. They are as follows:

Great Britain & Ireland: The Boys Are Back In Town
Rest of the World: Rockin' All Over The World
Girls: Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves
Europe: Ca Plane Pour Moi

After the sixth race, totals will be calculated, if necessary using countback (starting with numbers of winners, then seconds and so on), to decide both the winners of the Shergar Cup and the Alistair Haggis Silver Saddle.

In the four-team era, starting in 2007, only twice has the winner of the Silver Saddle not been on the winning team. Last year Thierry Jarnet joined Paul Hanagan in 2011 as his European side went down narrowly to the ROW team.

Just half an hour after the last race and presentations, the post-racing concert will begin. The acts will be All Saints, Craig David, Feeder and Scott Mills.

It is uncertain whether this is a bit too much, or if organisers haven't had nearly enough fun with it. Both may be true
E.W. Terms
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