New Zealand horse Balmerino, first home by a short head in Sunday's (16 October) Gran Premio del Jockey Club classic in Milan, was "disqualified" for crossing and placed second by Milan stewards, who awarded the race to Stateff, and English-trained three-year old.
GV EXTERIOR San Siro stadium, Milan
GV Racecourse and crowd along fence
GV Horses parading before race, Balmerino leading parade (2 shots)
GV Crowd along fence and in stand
GV Start of race, horses away (4 shots)
GV Finish Balmerino neck and neck with winning horse No. 7 English-trained"Stateff"
SV Results board
SV Jockey being congratulated
SPORT: HORSE RACING
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Background: New Zealand horse Balmerino, first home by a short head in Sunday's (16 October) Gran Premio del Jockey Club classic in Milan, was "disqualified" for crossing and placed second by Milan stewards, who awarded the race to Stateff, and English-trained three-year old.
SYNOPSIS: The race carried winning stakes of 96,000 dollars. The much travelled New Zealand start racehorse, Balmerino, which finished second to Allege in the Prix de l'Arc de Triumph only fortnight ago, started favourite in the race at five to two one.
Balmerino's misfortunes began when the pacemaker Nagala, wearing saddle blanket number two, broke down as the horses approached the straight, leaving Balmerino in the lead, a position which doesn't suit the New Zealand horse so early in the race. Especially with Milan's long finishing straight of more than five furlongs still to be covered. And it was in the final furlong that Stateff made his challenge, which eventually cost Balmerino the race.
It was at the point that Stateff drew neck to neck with Balmerino that Stateff's jockey Sergio Atzori accused Balmerino of veering over, into the path of his horse. Jockey Ron Hutchinson strongly denied the obstruction charges, but after a thirty minute inquiry, Milan stewards upheld the protest, and awarded first place to Stateff, with Balmerino second, and number five, Beau Buck, finishing in third place.
A sad day for Balmerino and his supporters, but not of course for the Jockey and trainer of Stateff. The winning colt sired by Pieces of Eight, was bred in Lincolnshire, England, and sold to Italy as a yearling for nearly 14,000 dollars.