Stefano Cherchi jockey dead at 23 after Canberra racing incident

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Visiting Italian jockey Stefano Cherchi has died from injuries suffered in a Canberra race fall late last month.

Cherchi, 23, was placed into an induced coma when suffering head injuries and internal bleeding after parting company with his mount in a race at Thoroughbred Park on March 20.

Cherchi was one of three jockeys dislodged from their mounts in the incident, the other two riders Jeff Penza and Shaun Guymer avoided injury.

The incident happened as the field passed the 800m mark of the race when Cherchi’s mount Hasime fell and Penza, aboard Epic Statement, and Dunjenni, ridden by Shaun Guymer, were unable to avoid the fallen horse and were dislodged.

The three horses involved in the incident avoided serious injury.

Cherchi has been based at Warwick Farm since he started riding in Australia earlier this year.

He was apprenticed in the UK to leading trainer Marco Botti and rode more than 100 winners during his time in England before heading to Australia.

Since he started riding in NSW, Cherchi had ridden two winners from limited opportunities, his last coming on the Saturday prior to his fall when successful aboard the Robert Quinn-trained Flying Bat at big odds in a Gosford maiden.

The NSW Jockeys Association earlier confirmed the tragic news.

“With deep sadness, the Cherchi family have announced their beloved son Stefano passed away peacefully today,” the association posted on X, formerly Twitter.

“The family are very grateful for the love, prayers & messages sent by the racing community across the world.”