Three-year-old colt Jacquinot won the $1m G1 C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) in the stewards’ room as improving older gelding Gentleman Roy was stripped of victory at Ladbrokes Park Sandown Hillside on Saturday.
Gentleman Roy ($8) was first past the post ahead of Jacquinot ($4), winning by a short head. Nugget ($10) finished third, a further short neck away. This season’s Cox Plate runner-up I’m Thunderstruck ($3.10 favourite) rounded out the first four placings, finishing less than a length from the winner.
Mark Zahra in his attempts to lead throughout aboard Gentleman Roy switched the whip from his right to left hand. Gentleman Roy shifted out under Zahra’s left-hand drive, shifting Jacquinot, Nugget and I’m Thunderstruck all off their line.
Damian Lane, rider of Jacquinot, threw in the protest against Gentleman Roy, believing the interference over the final 100 metres cost him a length, far greater than the short-head margin.
Zahra counted Lane’s argument that Gentleman Roy was “holding” Jacquinot on the line.
Racing Victoria stewards, with the hearing led by chairman Robert Cram, believed sufficient interference occurred to overturn the result.
“Jacquinot is taken out (by Gentleman Roy) and makes contact with the horse on his outside, Nugget, and is tightened for room,” Cram said.
“Given the margin of a short head, and the amount of interference, the stewards are of the view if the interference didn’t occur that Jacquinot would have finished ahead of Gentleman Roy and therefore the objection is upheld.”
Jacquinot’s victory in the C.F. Orr Stakes is his second at Group 1 level, accompanying his Golden Rose (1400m) win earlier in the season at Rosehill last September.
Photo: Magic Millions & Bruno Cannatelli