Facteur Cheval is likely to head to Royal Ascot after his Dubai World Cup night heroics in Meydan.

Jerome Reynier’s five-year-old has been the most consistent of operators when campaigning predominantly over a mile, finishing no worse than third in six starts in top company last season and ending the campaign by chasing home Big Rock at Ascot on British Champions Day.

Upped in distance to nine furlongs for a red-hot renewal of the Dubai Turf, the French challenger finally got his moment in the spotlight, revelling around the turns of Meydan to prevail by a short head in the hands of Maxime Guyon.

Further international assignments could be on the horizon once a trip to Royal Ascot for the meeting-opening Queen Anne Stakes is out of the way, with connections keen to explore more opportunities to race around a bend.

“I think the conditions favoured him and he’s more of an American type of horse to tell the truth,” said Barry Irwin, CEO of Team Valor, who own the horse in partnership with Gary Barber.

“I think he wants to run on a round track and with a pace to run at.

“He can handle any kind of surface, but I think he prefers a sounder surface and most of those races in Europe he ran in when he was finishing second and third, they were too tactical – especially in France, where they go so slow – and he doesn’t have that instant burst of speed.

“I think now we have figured out what he enjoys doing, we’re going to figure out a programme around that.

“We will go to Ascot probably and run in the Queen Anne because it’s an exciting race and people would like to see it, but after that I think we will focus on international races on a round course.”

Facteur Cheval could also be seen plying his trade on dirt before the end of the year, having impressed in his trackwork on that particular surface out in the Middle East.

Although no concrete plans are made, that would bring some valuable prizes in America into the equation, including the season-ending Breeders’ Cup, which this year takes place at Del Mar in November.

“Another thing is, he trained great on the dirt over there in Meydan and I think we will try him on that also,” continued Irwin.

“I wouldn’t run him in the Breeders’ Cup Mile because that is two turns and at Del Mar it is too tight a turf course and he’s too big a horse to adapt to that.

“Santa Anita would be a little better but a mile and a quarter on dirt is something we will take a good look at. We haven’t planned anything yet after Ascot, but after that every option is open.”

Irwin also reserved special praise for the son of Ribchester’s handler, who he credits with formulating the successful Dubai Turf plan.

He added: “I’ve got to give all my credit to my trainer and he figured the whole thing out.

“He took a chance not prepping the horse beforehand and he knew what he had. For a young guy, he is quite the thinker and a very impressive individual.”

British racing has launched a new campaign designed to promote and share the facts around welfare in racing.

HorsePWR will have its own dedicated website (www.horsepwr.co.uk) to provide information about the sport and the thoroughbred, the lives they lead and the high welfare and safety standards within racing.

The website explores the areas that racing has committed to improve, such as the lives after racing horses go on to have, reducing risk on and off course and facts surrounding the whip.

Grand National-winning trainer Lucinda Russell said of the new campaign: “This is just what racing needs. We must provide the facts, help educate, and confront the tough questions head on.

“The facts matter. We understand our responsibility and respect our horses, and we want to make sure the public know this too.

“It’s good to see us taking a new approach, showing pride in the lives we give our horses, and challenging and correcting inaccurate information which is put into the public domain by those who are opposed to the sport.”

Robin Mounsey, BHA head of communications and member of the sport’s Horse Welfare Board, said: “The HorsePWR campaign sees the sport take a new approach when it comes to talking about welfare.

“It is about being up-front, open, and transparent. It is about tackling head-on the elements of the sport that we know are areas of concern and providing information to educate and reassure.

“Those who work in the sport are rightly proud of our record and standards when it comes to welfare. This campaign provides a platform to allow those connected with the sport to share their pride.

“It will be aimed at racing’s current and potential fans, seeking to ensure that future generations of racing followers are not lost to the sport due to negative perceptions around the welfare issues which are tackled by this campaign.

“HorsePWR has received significant support from across the racing industry, and we are especially grateful to the Jockey Club for providing additional funding to support the initial stage of the campaign.”

This afternoon’s National Hunt meeting at Warwick has become the latest victim of the current wet spell, with course officials left with no option but to abandon the fixture due to a waterlogged track.

While persistent rain continues to play havoc with the racing programme, no inspection was planned at Warwick, with only minimal rainfall forecast overnight.

However, the track posted on X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday morning: “Following 16 millimetres of rainfall overnight and into this morning, which is a significant change from the three millimetres initially forecast, the track is now waterlogged and therefore unraceable.

“All tickets will automatically be refunded.”

Southwell’s Thursday card is set to go ahead as scheduled after the course passed a precautionary check at 7.30am, but racing at Clonmel in Ireland has been called off.

Further disruption looks likely heading into the weekend, with Friday’s meeting at Wetherby subject to a 3pm inspection this afternoon and Saturday’s Premier Raceday at Kelso also under threat.

The Borders track is due to host a high-profile card, part of which will is set to be shown live on ITV, but the ground is currently heavy, waterlogged in places and an inspection will take place at 8am on Friday to assess the latest state of play.

Further adjustments to the National Hunt programme have been “under discussion” as the British Horseracing Authority seeks to improve competitiveness within that sphere.

A total of 300 jumps races and 20 jumps meetings were removed from the 2024 fixture list as part of a package of initiatives focussed on increasing field sizes.

However, the BHA’s director of racing and betting Richard Wayman reports that while the numbers of runners for all-weather meetings on the Flat in the first three months of the year have been pleasing, National Hunt numbers have not reached similar heights.

While citing the wet winter as a possible reason for a lack of competition, Wayman admits jump racing is “short of where we want it to be”.

He said: “It is a mixed picture. If we wanted to look at it positively, on the all-weather through the winter our Flat fixtures have generated probably more competitive racing than we have had for a long time.

“If we look at the percentage of races that have attracted eight runners, you’ve got to go back to 2007 to find the sort of percentage we have achieved in the first three months of this year.

“Obviously, jumping isn’t where we want it to be and we continue to face our challenges with the competitiveness of jump racing. The numbers for jump racing on core fixtures are around 47 per cent, a little bit better at the Premier meetings but either way that is short of where we want it to be.

“I think we haven’t been helped by the ground conditions that we have faced through the first three months of this year – 78 per cent of races have been run on soft or heavy ground compared to 44 or 43 per cent in the last two years, it just demonstrates how wet it has been and that clearly will have had an impact on field sizes.

“However, it is important to stress we’re not using that as an excuse, I think that has been a factor in where we are this year but the challenges we face with jump racing competitiveness are beyond just the fact we’ve had a wet three months.

“We’ve introduced measures this year, we made changes to the programme, we took out 300 races through the year and some will have fallen in the first quarter. It is certainly under discussion whether we need to go further for 2025 in an attempt to make racing more competitive at this time next year than it has been in the last few months.

“Having said that, in our view, you can’t just keep reducing fixtures and/or races with a view to making jump racing more competitive. There are more fundamental issues that as a sport we are going to need to tackle to try to support the long-term future of jump racing.

“We are looking at that and I think we will need to introduce further measures beyond race volume to try to support the future of jump racing longer term.”

During a briefing call, the BHA’s director of communications and corporate affairs Greg Swift confirmed discussions remain ongoing with the Betting and Gaming Council over a reform of the levy, with gambling minister Stuart Andrew due to issue an update later this month.

Swift said: “Meetings are accelerated between BGC and DCMS – in fact, I had a meeting with them this morning.

“We will have at least two next week and we had two last week and there are conversations and meetings that take place outside of those formal arrangements with DCMS at which the minister is trying to bring us closer to an agreed position.

“We continue to work at pace, in good faith on all sides. We are not there yet but we will keep our shoulder to the wheel to try to get an arrangement agreed with the sports minister in time for him to update the house on April 24.”

Tomorrow’s National Hunt meeting at Southwell and Friday’s jumps card at Wetherby will need to survive inspections to go ahead.

While the Flat season is now under way, the persistent rain is playing havoc with the new campaign, with the meeting at Nottingham on Wednesday abandoned.

Catterick’s card did go ahead after passing an inspection but there is no sign of the wet weather abating and Southwell has called a precautionary check for 7.30am.

The course is currently raceable, but should more rain than the forecast showers fall overnight, then there may be an issue.

There is a jumps meeting at Warwick where the ground is heavy but no inspection is currently planned.

It is a similar story at Fontwell on Friday but at Wetherby there are “multiple areas of standing water/waterlogged ground”.

An inspection will be held at 3pm on Thursday after 7mm of rain fell on Tuesday night and a further 6mm arrived through Wednesday up to 1pm. The forecast for Thursday is mainly dry but another 11mm is forecast for Thursday night.

Kelso are also keeping an eye on the situation ahead of their Premier meeting on Saturday.

A post on social media read: “We are closely monitoring the weather conditions with regard to racing on Saturday. We will be in a better position to assess the impact of today’s rainfall by Thursday morning, when declarations will be made for Saturday’s races.”

Fiona Needham is one trainer who hopes the rain keeps falling ahead of Sine Nomine’s potential Coral Scottish National bid.

An ‘old-fashioned’ winner of the Cheltenham Hunters’ Chase in that Needham is strictly an amateur behind her day job as Catterick’s clerk of the course, the grey’s victory was one of the most popular at the Festival.

The Congratulations Fifi & Sine Nomine Handicap took place at Catterick on Wednesday in homage to her achievement, something she knew nothing about, but while the racing world is counting down to Aintree, Needham, who won the Cheltenham race as a jockey on Last Option as well, has her eyes fixed elsewhere.

“It was 22 years after riding the winner but it was a dream come true – I didn’t think I’d have a horse good enough to run in it again, so to win it was unbelievable,” she told Racing TV.

“I never think I’m going to win, I’m the biggest pessimist, but my boyfriend did back her and when I asked why he said ‘you must be quite confident, as you said we might be placed, which is as good as it ever gets’ – so I suppose you could say I fancied her.

“She always travels well in her races, which is what you need there. She’d run there twice before, the first was first time over fences and the second we thought she might not have got up the hill, but she over-raced a bit.

“My only instructions to John (Dawson) were to save a bit for the hill but he was very cool.

“She’s come out of it very well, she’s very much a confidence mare and knows she’s won. She’s entered for the Scottish National, obviously she’d need to get in, but it keeps raining, which is in our favour, so we’ll see where we go from there.”

The Middleton Stakes at York and the Lockinge at Newbury are among the races likely to come under consideration for Nashwa following her creditable comeback run in Dubai last weekend.

John and Thady Gosden’s filly has struck gold three times in Group One company, landing the French Oaks and the Nassau Stakes in 2022 before adding the Falmouth Stakes to her CV last summer.

She was also placed against the colts in both the Juddmonte International and the Irish Champion Stakes last season and headed for the Middle East to make her five-year-old debut on Dubai World Cup night.

Drawn widest of all at Meydan in stall 16, Nashwa managed to get into a prominent early position in the Dubai Turf and was not beaten far in the end – and connections are taking the positives out of her performance.

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for owner-breeder Imad Alsagar, said: “Her chance was certainly compromised by the draw, but it is what it is. She’s run a super race and got a great ride and everything pretty much went to plan.

“She just had to use herself up a little too much, but she was beaten just over four lengths, so overall we were very encouraged really.

“We’d hope she’ll improve, as she did last season. She’s due back tomorrow and we’ll see how she is, but I think we’ll probably look at the mile, mile and a quarter races.”

Nashwa is entered in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Fillies’ Stakes at York on May 16 and the Al Shaqab Lockinge at Newbury two days later. The daughter of Frankel appears likely to contest one or the other on her next appearance.

“Of course, it depends how she comes out of the race. She recovered fine, but we’ll see how she takes the trip home etc, and then we’ll make a plan,” Grimthorpe added

“She’s in the Middleton and the Lockinge and I think those would be the most likely potential targets.”

On the 20th anniversary of Graham Lee winning the Grand National on Amberleigh House, a new racing club was launched to help raise money for the jockey after he suffered life-changing injuries in a fall at Newcastle in November.

The 48-year-old had a long and distinguished career in the saddle – under both codes. As well as winning the Grand National, he completed the unique double of riding the Gold Cup winner at Royal Ascot, via Trip To Paris.

The Graham Lee Racing Club has been set up by the Good Racing Company, founded by Phil Hawthorne, who established a similar venture for former rugby league player Rob Burrow.

They have purchased a two-year-old filly called We’ve Got This, in reference to a message Lee’s wife Becky posted on social media after the accident.

Lee’s daughter Amy and son Robbie have been at the forefront of the fundraising, with the latter designing the club’s logo, featured around Lee’s favourite number 17, also the number Amberleigh House wore at Aintree and the cost, £17, to join the venture, while Amy set up the initial Just Giving page.

She said: “It’s so nice that something so positive comes out of something so awful. I love meeting people who know dad, everyone has their really cool stories and everyone has been wanting to help so much. It’s nice to create something positive.

“When we set up a Just Giving page for dad, the target was £100, last week it hit £200,000 – which is crazy. I never expected that.

“I’ve always said to dad every time he has a negative thought, there’s a donation to show him he needs to keep going, there are so many people behind him.

“When he’s had his down days, we’ve sat there and we’ve read all the lovely messages and it always puts a smile on our faces.

“We’ve had so much support and the McCoys have been like a second family to us – the night it happened AP picked me up, as I live near him, and he brought me up home.”

She went on: “Dad is just dad to me. I never really clicked how incredible he was. I’ve always thought the world of him but another jockey said to me ‘he’s like God, he’s who everyone wants to be like’. It’s so nice to hear something like that.

“I wish that I could be half the person. I’m a performer, I’m studying musical theatre, and to have that competitive mindset to be a winner, to be a champion, is admirable.

“While he was a jockey, it was onto the next thing. When he won the National, he was just thinking ‘I need to go to Hexham tomorrow’, he never got to celebrate it really, but since his accident, he’s really reflected and we’ve pulled out the old photos and old videos.

“When his friends and fellow jockeys come and see him, they reflect on races from years ago and his memory is insanely sharp. I think it’s starting to click that ‘actually, I think I was all right. I don’t think I did too bad a job’.

“So many people have come to see him or got in touch with a message, it’s been so nice and really kept dad going.

“The world goes on but for us four, we’re still at November 11, time’s just stopped since then. Everyone has been carrying on, as they should. But it’s nice that people are still caring at this point, five months down the line. They are still showing up, ringing, messaging.”

Lee’s former weighing room colleague and dual champion jockey Paul Hanagan is now assistant trainer to Craig Lidster, who has been entrusted with looking after We’ve Got This.

“It’s an honour to be involved in this, Graham’s family are closely involved, Steve and Wendy Burdett, who own Eboracum Stables, have given us the horse, so a lot of thanks go to them,” said Hanagan.

“The filly is by Invincible Army, she’s been doing everything right and I’ve sat on her myself. She’s flourished these last few months and we’re really looking forward to the season.

“Obviously, I’ve had a few sleepless nights hoping I’ve picked a good one! Hopefully she’ll be running in the next five to six weeks.

“Graham has made a huge contribution to racing all through his career and I’d love to give something back.”

Lee himself said: “I’m really humbled that a fundraising racing club has been set up in my honour, and that Paul Hanagan has chosen the horse for me. I’ve been shown videos of the horse and she looks very promising. No pressure Paul, but I hope you’ve picked a winner!

“I’ve seen what the Good Racing Company has achieved for Rob Burrow and how it’s united the racing community. I have high hopes that this new racing club achieves the same success with We’ve Got This, and my family and I look forward to following the excitement and being part of this new community.”

Lidster, whose yard is flourishing, said: “As you can see, she’s a nice, big filly, so hopefully we might get to York at some point.

“I don’t want to put her on a pedestal but she’s going the right way, she’s got a great attitude, she loves her work and we’re pleased with her.

“She has size and scope about her, so we’ll be choosing the right track for her; galloping tracks like York and Doncaster.

“This is a special cause. Family is family, whether that is your own or the racing industry – and that is how we look at Graham and anyone else in this sport, we all look to help each other when these things happen.”

More information can be found at: https://thegoodracing.co/

Last year’s runner-up Vanillier and Cheltenham Festival heroine Limerick Lace could be joined by Malina Girl to form a three-pronged assault on the Randox Grand National for trainer Gavin Cromwell.

Vanillier charged home from the rear to finish best of the rest behind Corach Rambler 12 months ago and warmed up for his return to Merseyside by finishing second in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse in February for the second year in succession.

The grey is a Cheltenham Festival winner himself, having landed the 2021 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, and Cromwell is optimistic of another bold showing at Aintree on Saturday week.

“He’s good, I’m happy with him now, he’s come out of the Bobbyjo well and come forward since that,” said the County Meath handler.

“I’d like it if it stopped raining so the ground isn’t too testing. If it dried up a little bit it would be no harm.

“If you look back at his form, he won the Albert Bartlett in the spring time when there was a bit of nice ground coming and we think he improves for it.

“This has been the plan for the year, we’re pretty happy with how it’s gone and we’re happy with where he is now, that’s the most important part.”

Limerick Lace has won three of her four starts over fences so far this season, most recently edging out fellow JP McManus-owned runner Dinoblue in a thrilling Mares’ Chase at Cheltenham.

The seven-year-old will step up almost two miles in distance in the Grand National, but William Hill ambassador Cromwell does not feel she is lacking in the stamina department.

“At the moment, the plan is to run her, she’s come out of Cheltenham well,” he said.

“She jumps well, so hopefully she’ll take the fences.

“She was second in the Troytown in Navan back in November and stayed well that day over three miles on testing going. I know the National is a bit further again, but the Troytown is a big stamina race and she did stay well, so hopefully she can stay a bit further.

“She certainly handles soft ground and she’s very clear winded, but the softer the ground, the more stamina that’s needed. Hopefully she can stay.”

Malina Girl, who won a staying handicap chase at Cheltenham in November, is currently the 39th horse in the order of entry, meaning she is not yet guaranteed a place in the final field of 34.

But with an allotted weight of just 10st 5lb, Cromwell is keen to let her line up if she does make the cut for the world’s most famous steeplechase.

“She’d probably prefer it if the ground dried out a little. She’s only small, but she does jump really well and she’s off a light weight, so we plan to run her anyway,” he added.

“She’s probably not got much in hand off her handicap mark, but at the same time she jumps well and stays well and has a light weight, so hopefully she can run well.”

Lucinda Russell is hoping for a break in the wet weather ahead of Corach Rambler’s bid for back-to-back victories in the Randox Grand National at Aintree on Saturday week.

The 10-year-old provided the Scottish trainer and her stable jockey Derek Fox with their second victory in the world’s most famous steeplechase last spring, having previously successfully combined with One For Arthur in 2017.

Corach Rambler made an inauspicious start to the current campaign at Kelso in October, but performed better in Haydock’s Betfair Chase the following month and made an excellent return from a winter break when third behind reigning champion Galopin Des Champs in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Russell has been delighted with how her pride and joy has recovered from his Festival exertions, but admits the prospect of running in testing conditions on Merseyside is a concern.

“Time seems to be passing very quickly since Cheltenham, but everything has been going according to plan,” she said.

“He’s now back in full work, he was working today actually, and we’ll get him wound up for the National. Everything is looking good, I just wish it would slightly stop raining at Aintree.

“I don’t think anyone would want a really heavy-ground Grand National, so hopefully it won’t be too testing, it does drain well here.”

Corach Rambler is set to lead a small but select Russell team into battle at Aintree, with Ahoy Senor poised to run at the Grand National meeting for the fourth year in succession.

The nine-year-old was a shock 66-1 winner of the Grade One Sefton Novices’ Hurdle in 2021 and returned to Liverpool to claim another top-level success in the following season’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase.

Last term, Ahoy Senor had to make do with the silver medal behind Shishkin in the Bowl, but is poised for another crack at the same race next week after finishing sixth in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham.

Russell, a William Hill ambassador, added: “He’ll go for the Bowl again and again he’s one that will be affected by the ground, he’s better on good to soft but he’s in good form.

“Giovinco might run in the three-mile novice chase (Mildmay) and we have a few nice novice hurdlers like Esprit Du Potier and a horse called Myretown, who is by the same sire as Ahoy Senor (Dylan Thomas). He’s a lovely horse and he might go for the Sefton, which is a race we like having runners in.

“I’ve always loved Aintree and it’s very much in my heart. I love Liverpool and love the people here. They look after the horses and owners so well and it’s a track I like winning at.”

Clive Cox is “open-minded” as to whether to give his unbeaten colt Ghostwriter a prep run ahead of the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

The son of Invincible Spirit won each of his three starts as a juvenile, completing his hat-trick with a taking Group Two victory in the Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket in September.

Cox is delighted with how his charge has wintered and is now readying the Jeff Smith-owned three-year-old for a tilt at Classic glory on the first Saturday in May.

“Ghostwriter is really pleasing me, we’ve had a great winter with him and he’s trained well through the spring,” said the Lambourn-based trainer.

“I’m not sure about a trial, I think we’re open-minded. We definitely need to have him on fire for the Guineas in the first week of May and the going will play a part in whether we do have a trial or whether he has a racecourse gallop.”

Ghostwriter also holds an entry in the Derby at Epsom on June 1, with Cox optimistic he will stay further than the straight mile of the Guineas.

He added: “He won over a mile at two and being out of a Champs Elysees mare, I think he could stay a little bit further.

“He’s got an entry in the Dante as well, so we’ve got longer trips in mind, but obviously he’s got a bit of class to win like he did at two and we’ll feel our way as we go regarding that (trip).

“I think he’s quite versatile ground-wise, but he’s only run on a quicker surface.”

Marco Botti paid tribute to his compatriot Stefano Cherchi after the young jockey died as a result of injuries sustained in a fall in Australia last month.

The 23-year-old was riding at Canberra on March 20 when his mount, Hasime, fell in the Affinity Electrical Technologies Plate, with two other riders escaping serious injury after being unseated in the incident.

Cherchi received medical treatment at the track before being transferred to hospital and was found to have sustained a head injury and internal bleeding.

The New South Wales Jockeys Association posted on X, formerly twitter, on Wednesday: “With deep sadness, the Cherchi family have announced their beloved son Stefano passed away peacefully today.

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

The majority of Cherchi’s success in Britain came aboard horses trained by fellow Italian Botti, the man who provided his most recent mount in Britain at Chelmsford in November.

Cherchi partnered 38 winners for Botti while in the UK, and the Newmarket handler was hugely saddened by the news of his death.

He told the PA news agency: “We were devastated this morning when we heard that Stefano had passed away. I think it was midday in Australia and we just heard an hour ago basically.

“It’s just devastating news for all of us. We knew it was a bad fall and we knew things didn’t look great, but you live in hope and hope for a miracle. Hopefully he’s going to a better place and we will never forget him – he will always be with us.”

Botti added: “His charm and his way of behaving with people, he was such a nice guy. For me, he was a little bit like a son to be honest.

“When he left for Australia, we had a chat and in a way I was happy he was going to try to have a career there. He had a couple of winners recently and things were just picking up and then this happened. Life is tough.

“For us he was always a good judge in the mornings. He rode some of our nice horses and his feedback was incredible. As a jockey he just needed to get on good horses and he would have proven himself.

“Away from the saddle he has always been a really good guy. We were texting each other through the winter and I was hoping he would come back in the spring.

“It’s very sad for the family and all his friends. It’s like we lost a member of the family to be honest.”

The Sardinian-born Cherchi made his British debut in 2018 and rode his first winner the following April aboard the Botti-trained Withoutdestination at Wolverhampton.

He teamed up with a wide variety of trainers, including Godolphin handler Saeed bin Suroor for whom he partnered eight winners, and Newmarket trainer Amy Murphy who provided 10 victories from 175 rides.

Cherchi struck gold four times for David Loughnane, who said on X: “We are all completely devastated with the loss of Stefano Cherchi.

“He was an absolute gentleman and a pleasure to have known and worked with. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”

In a statement, the British Horseracing Authority said: “We are heartbroken to hear the news that Stefano Cherchi has died following a fall at Canberra racecourse last month.

“Stefano rode over 100 winners in Britain before moving to Australia, and the high esteem in which he was held around the world is clear to see.

“Our thoughts are with his friends, family, and everyone who has had the pleasure of working with him. The entire racing industry will be in mourning after the loss of such a talented young man.”

Stefano Cherchi, who rode over 100 winners in the UK, has died as the result of injuries sustained in a fall in Australia last month.

The 23-year-old was riding at Canberra on March 20 when his mount, Hasime, fell in the Affinity Electrical Technologies Plate, with two other riders escaping serious injury after being unseated in the incident.

Cherchi received medical treatment at the track before being transferred to hospital and was found to have sustained a head injury and internal bleeding.

The New South Wales Jockeys Association posted on X, formerly twitter, on Wednesday: “With deep sadness, the Cherchi family have announced their beloved son Stefano passed away peacefully today.

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

Cherchi partnered 38 winners for trainer Marco Botti while in the UK before switching to Australia earlier in the year.

Nico de Boinville paid Constitution Hill a visit on Tuesday and said the former champion hurdler is feeling “a bit sorry for himself”.

Nicky Henderson’s stable star has had no end of health trouble this season, scoping dirty in January and then being laid low with an infection which ruled him out of the defence of his Champion Hurdle title.

Just when connections had hoped for some light at the end of the tunnel and a possible run at Punchestown, he was then struck down by suspected colic and spent a few nights at the vets.

It was a relieved Henderson that informed everyone on Monday he was now back at Seven Barrows and De Boinville was keen to check in on him.

“Everyone has been kept in the loop. I went to see him this morning and hopefully he picks up in the next couple of weeks,” he told Racing TV.

“He’s certainly feeling a bit sorry for himself and I can see why.”

Elegant Man has the Lockinge and Coronation Cup as options after his Good Friday triumph was followed by a boost from the Middle East.

The Amo Racing-owned four-year-old ran three times through the winter, winning twice at Dundalk and coming home second behind Rebel’s Romance in the Listed Wild Flower Stakes at Kempton.

The impression he made in those runs left him carrying top-weight at Newcastle, where he ran in the BetUK All-Weather Easter Classic Middle Distance from a wide draw in stall 14.

Neither factor was a hindrance to him in the 10-furlong contest, however, and under David Egan he was an impressive winner when crossing the line a length and a half ahead of Mick Appleby’s Penzance.

“It was a big run, but we were expecting a big run and he didn’t fail to deliver – he’s a right nice horse,” said trainer Adrian Murray.

A son of the late American superstar Arrogate, Elegant Man’s form was quickly boosted the following day when Rebel’s Romance struck at Group One level to take the Sheema Classic at the Dubai World Cup meeting, a two-length victory that reflects very well on Elegant Man after their meeting at Kempton.

“It’s huge, a huge boost. The day when we met that horse we were very, very green, it was only the second time he’d ever seen a racecourse,” Murray added.

Elegant Man is entered in the Alleged Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday but will not run, and is instead likely to be aimed at either the Coronation Cup or the Lockinge.

“I entered him this morning for the Coronation Cup and he’s entered at Newbury over a mile, too,” said his trainer.

“He’s entered in the Curragh on Saturday but he won’t go there, the race will come up a bit quick for him so we’ll freshen him up again.”

Murray also trains Bucanero Fuerte for Amo Racing, a Wootton Bassett colt who won the Railway and the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh last year and was third in both the Coventry and the National Stakes.

He holds an entry for the English and the Irish Guineas, but may head to Ascot for the Commonwealth Cup Trial in preparation for the Commonwealth Cup itself at the Royal meeting in June.

“He’s getting on great, we’re very happy with him,” Murray said.

“He’ll go for the Guineas or he’ll go for a race at Ascot, a prep race for Royal Ascot over six furlongs.”

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