Belfast Telegraph

Sammy Jo Bell the star of the show after stunning treble at Ascot

By Cate McCurry

She is the surprise toast of this year's Ascot after scooping the prize for leading rider.

Sammy Jo Bell made the most of her late call-up for the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup as she had her first success with the Girls team.

After the 24-year-old from Templepatrick, Co Antrim won the Silver Saddle for being top jockey, she called it the "best day of my career".

She's the first apprentice to take part in the competition's 13-year history.

Sammy Jo, who has emerged as one of the apprentice finds of the season, was recruited as a late replacement for the injured Cathy Gannon last week.

And she grasped the opportunity with both hands to ride a double on Royal Signaller and Shell Bay.

She rode Royal Signaller home a length ahead of two Melbourne Cup winning jockeys, Kerrin McEvoy and Blake Shinn. Sammy Jo delivered a tactically faultless ride, tracking the two Australians as they set a slow early pace.

On Shell Bay, a 6-1 hope in the Shergar Cup Classic, she outrode Olivier Peslier, a four-time winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, who gave the runner-up, Perestroika, far too much to do.

She then won the overall competition with Shergar Cup team-mates Hayley Turner and Emma-Jayne Wilson.

The star has made a huge impression this season plying her trade for main employer Richard Fahey.

Following the celebrations yesterday she said: "Absolutely amazing. I just can't believe the opportunity I've been given and to have two winners and win the Silver Saddle is outstanding."

Belfast Telegraph


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