World enjoys Dubai Duty Free’s hospitality at Ascot

The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, in which the world’s top jockeys compete in teams for the trophy named in honour of the legendary Irish stallion, was held at Ascot last Saturday and attracted thousands of racegoers to one of the UK’s most impressive sporting venues. As ever, the Middle Eastern retailer’s hospitality was exemplary, even down to the weather, and the company’s staunch support of horseracing in the UK and Ireland continues to generate positive exposure for Dubai Duty Free worldwide.

The racecard was a Who’s Who of top jockeys: Frankie Dettori, Kieran Fallon and Johnny Murtagh all took part, but could not prevent the trophy from leaving Europe. Despite the traditional dominance of the British and Irish teams, this year the Rest of the World team powered to victory, thanks to strong performances by Japan’s Yutaka Take, American rider Aaron Gryder and Hong Kong’s Matthew Chadwick.

The latter will always be welcome here at the Old Pumping Station following his barnstorming ride in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Sprint, the final race of the day. What this punter knows about horse racing would fit on one of the shreds of a torn-up betting slip, but I had a funny feeling that Mince, Chadwick’s steed in that final race, was named not for his final destiny but for his camp yet effective gallop. So it proved as Chadwick and Mince ensured The Moodie Report departed with a spring in our step.

Neither did the entertainment end with the final race – the day concluded with a ‘Best of the ‘80s: Here and Now’ concert featuring the likes of Rick Astley, Midge Ure, Belinda Carlisle and Bananarama. The presence of the latter alone was enough to speed the heart-rate of your nostalgic reporter, and it was perhaps for the best that the call of the Olympics made necessary a premature exit.

Dubai Duty Free President George Horan and wife Carmel, Executive Vice Chairman Colm McLoughlin and wife Breeda, and Vice President of Marketing Sinead el Sibai ensured the warmest of welcomes at the sponsor’s suite, as always. Thanks to all at Dubai Duty Free for a memorable day out.

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