Luke Morris makes his first appearance in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup as he heads up the home team at Ascot on Saturday.
The 34-year-old – who took his career to new heights last year, winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with Sir Mark Prescott’s Alpinista – has never before taken part in the team event, which was first run in 1999 and now includes four teams competing for points over six races.
The Great Britain and Ireland squad is made up of Morris, Tom Marquand and Declan McDonogh, and the trio will aim to defeat a European team, a Ladies team and a team representing the Rest of the World.
Morris said: “When I was asked to participate, I was hugely grateful. It looks a great, fun day with a real buzz about the place.
“The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is something that I have grown up watching.
“The prize-money is great and it is real competitive racing.”
Morris has some well-fancied mounts at the weekend, including Clive Cox’s Tis Marvellous in the Dash and Stuart Williams’ Quinault in the sprint race – the latter a horse who has won his previous six races.
“From a participant’s perspective, everyone is really behind the Shergar Cup,” said Morris, who is favourite to win the Silver Saddle award for top rider, ahead of Rest of the World captain Frankie Dettori and Saffie Osborne.
“I know lots of jockeys would like to ride in it, plus lots of owners and trainers like running horses here,”
“To be honest, there is not much to dislike. I think it is a great initiative and the fact it is still going strong after so many years proves that it does work.
“I know my teammates Declan and Tom very well. Tom is flying at the moment and Declan is a former Irish champion.
“Throughout all the teams, there is real talent on show and hopefully it will be a great day.
“Riding winners at the highest level is always the aim. I am fiercely competitive and enjoy winning. I want to ride as many winners as I can each year, in the hope that it unlocks the door to ride nice horses.”